Defining “Done”

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Preparation

Decide on the acceptance criteria for the paper aeroplane that you want your scrum team to build. You might consider things like:

1. It must be capable of flying more than 10 metres in a single direction.

2. It must be capable of straight line flight, deviating no more than 1 metre from the flight line towards a target

3. The aeroplane will be flown indoors only

4. The aeroplane will be made from a single sheet of A4 (US – Letter Size) paper

5. The aeroplane can only be constructed from paper. No glue, sellotape, blu-tack, paper clips etc are allowed.

6. The aeroplane must be hand launched by a team member

Introduction

Describe your Product Vision to your scrum team: ‘To create an awesome paper aeroplane’

Estimation

Ask how long it will take your team to create an awesome paper aeroplane. Hopefully, they’ll ask questions about what constitutes an awesome aeroplane. If not, prompt them.

If they give you an estimate, tell them you want to see a product backlog item with a description of what they’re going to build and the acceptance criteria.

If they provide that, ask them how they know they’re going to be done. Hopefully they’ll see the need for a definition of done. If not, prompt them and ask them to create one.

Creating a Definition of Done

This may stump them for a while so you may wish to prompt with items like:

1. What will your aeroplane be constructed from? (Up until now, you won’t have mentioned size to them or paper thickness. Imagine trying to build one from a roll of wallpaper, or a rizla paper!)

2. What tests will you run on the aeroplane? (Leads to ‘All tests must pass’ which in turn depends on acceptance criteria)

3. Should your PO approve before the stakeholders see it?

Sprint

Set the timebox according to the estimate the team gave and have them build the aeroplane. Ensure it meets the acceptance criteria and definition of done. Act as the stakeholder and accept / decline the product according to what was asked for.

If you want to extend this exercise, provide stakeholder feedback that will require the definition of done to be adjusted. For example: All aeroplanes must now carry a payload.

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2 Responses to "Defining “Done”"
  • Deepak October 2, 2014 at 1:11 am

    Too good!! Simple and effective.

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  • Stani May 17, 2016 at 6:01 am

    Awesome! I even regret that I don’t need it right now =) But at some moment I’ll certainly use it

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