Define clearly ‘Ready’ and ‘Done’

When a team working between locations, a clear standard around the definition of ready (DOR) and definition of done (DoD) makes it easier to manage expectations and eliminates ambiguity in the work. The DOR & DOD may vary from one agile team to another, but must be consistent within one agile project team. These are live checklists that should be reviewed regularly; the list can contain both mandatory and optional items.

Definition of Ready

Having a strong definition of ready will substantially improve the agile team’s chances of successfully meeting the goals of Iterations. A user story is “ready” when the team agrees they can get it “done”. User stories must meet a set of criteria before they are considered ready for inclusion in the work of the next sprint.

Definition of Done

Team need to understand both DoD and Acceptance criteria are different, Acceptance criteria can be subset of DoD. The general trick for making a team follow the DoD, is to make the checklist items visible and part of the team’s natural workflow.

There might be different DoD at various levels:

  • DoD for product backlog item (Story card / user story).
  • DoD for Iteration or sprint
  • DoD for release

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