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The Development Team is responsible for creating/updating the definition of “Done”.

According to official Scrum framework, WHEN is it most appropriate for a Development Team to create/update their definition of “Done”?

  1. WHEN is it most appropriate for a Development Team to initially create the definition of “Done”?

  2. WHEN is it most appropriate for a Development Team to update the definition of “Done”?

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  1. Answer to 1st part:

    • IMHO, during Sprint Planning at the very first Sprint? (I could verify this.)
  2. Answer to 2nd part:

    • During Sprint Retrospective.

      "During each Sprint Retrospective, the Scrum Team plans ways to increase product quality by adapting the definition of “Done” as appropriate." (compare Scrumguides.org)

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  1. As soon as possible. The Scrum guide does not describe this. Personally I would do it when the team is complete member wise. Preferable during the first sprint, before the first PBI is completed. Recently I have done a one hour DoD workshop to get the initial DoD for a new team.

Scrum shock therapy has a DoD to get started with, maybe just use that during the first sprint:

  • Feature Complete
  • Code Complete
  • No known defects
  • Approved by the Product Owner
  • Production Ready
  1. The Scrum guide suggests that retrospectives should lead to an adapted DoD. Personally I think you should update it whenever you have new insights that should be on the DoD. This could also be during planning, daily-scrums or review sessions.

During each Sprint Retrospective, the Scrum Team plans ways to increase product quality by adapting the definition of “Done” as appropriate.

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The Scrum guide is explicit in this topic. “Scrum is founded on empirical process control theory, or empiricism” and “Three pillars uphold every implementation of empirical process control: transparency, inspection, and adaptation”. Considering that, the update of the Definition of Done is the adaptation of this, it must be performed ASAP.

Some doubts about the opportunity of the update of DoD, may exist, because the Scrum Guide says that “During each Sprint Retrospective, the Scrum Team plans ways to increase product quality by adapting the definition of Done as appropriate”, but after it says that “Although improvements may be implemented at any time, the Sprint Retrospective provides a formal opportunity to focus on inspection and adaptation”.

Then, the sprint retrospective is a formal opportunity for inspection and adaptation of the DoD, but this must be done when this is necessary.

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