Definition of Done Exercise
Definition of Done Exercise
Definition of Done Exercise
Definition of Done Exercise
Definition of Done Exercise

Definition of Done Exercise

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The core responsibility of Scrum Teams is to deliver a "Done" increment every Sprint. This exercise is all about making transparent what this means, and what happens when teams are unable to do so.

How does this help your team?

With this exercise, you create transparency around the ability of your team to deliver completely "Done" software every Sprint. And if they can't, this exercise makes painfully clear how risky that really is. 

Based on the patterns that become apparent during the exercise, you can inspect with your team what that means. Can you do better? Where can you improve? 

We also found this exercise to be hugely powerful to help teams grasp why "Done" increments are so essential. Without it, predictability suffers, and the risk increases. This exercise shows you why.

We created this exercise for the Professional Scrum Master II Class by and offer it here with their permission. The class is a great way to learn more about Scrum and why "Done" matters. If you haven't attended this class, make sure to do so!

How does it work?

Together with your team, you distribute a set of activities that typically happen for each item on a Sprint Backlog across a workflow. Then, you distribute a set of 19 unexpected issues that may emerge during or after the Sprint on the same workflow. Then, you have a conversation about what the distribution of activities and problems tells you about risk, (un)certainty, and empiricism. Finally, you diagnose where your team is in the workflow, and what can be improved to create a "Done" increment every Sprint. The exercise usually takes between 45 and 60 minutes. Be warned: it can be a gut punch for some teams.

What do you receive?

  • 6 cards with workflow steps
  • 1 green card with 'Done!'
  • 1 red card with 'Not done!'
  • 1 card with a description of the exercise
  • 19 blue cards with activities
  • 19 red cards with issues and problems that (can) emerge during a Sprint

All cards are printed on strong, coated cardboard with rounded corners and are printed full-color on both sides. The cards are 21x15 cm.

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