The Definition of Done & The Increment


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Module 2 – The Scrum Artifacts  

This module introduces the three different artefacts available to a Scrum Team: the Product Backlog, the Sprint Backlog and the Increment; it also looks at the “Definition of Done” within Scrum. This module is made up of Videos, followed by a quiz to help support your understanding.   

  • Product Backlog  
  • Sprint Backlog
  • Backlog Refinement  
  • The Definition of Done  
  • The Increment  
  • Minimum Viable Product  
  • Minimum Features Implemented 

- At the end of the Sprint, the product will likely have new usable features. But before a team gets to a point where these features can be added, everyone on the Scrum Team needs to ensure that the product has met everyone's agreed level of completion. Does it meet a certain quality or usability criteria? Let's discuss the Definition of Done and the Increment. End Scrum, when something is completed by a Dev team member, it has to meet the Team's Definition of Done. Essentially, everyone on the Scrum Team must have a shared understanding of what done means. The Definition of Done varies depending on varies depending on the Scrum Team. Each Scrum Team will have a shared understanding of what a complete item of work is. Scrum Teams must create a usable product each Increment. But the level of usable might vary between Scrum Teams. When the team means this level of done, it'll mean that the functionality described in the backlog item is ready to be released. Let's use an example of a software development team working on the latest features of a piece of software. The Scrum Team, throughout their Sprint, works on 10 backlog items, all of which are updated to their software. The Scrum Team's Definition of Done requires that the software be usable on a test device, and works after repeated usage. It also has to have a written guide on how to use it, that can be added to the user manual. Claire submits that her piece of work is done. AD tests the software repeatedly, and it works, and checks that the user guide update follows. They agree that the backlog item meets the Scrum Team's Definition of Done, and add it to the complete list. At the end of the Sprint, all of these done items may become the latest Increment of the product. The Increment is an artifact from Scrum. It's essentially the latest version of the product. At the end of a Sprint, the Increment is all of the product backlog items that were completed. It also adds the value of the Increments completed in all previous Sprints. You can think of it as the latest version. Without all of the previous Increments there would be no basis for the current Increment. The Increment can also be thought of as a step towards a vision or goal. The latest Increment must be thought of as done, must be in a usable condition, and meet the Scrum Team's Definition of Done. The Increment has to be in a usable state too, regardless of whether the product owner decides to release it to market. The Increment is often the result of the Sprint being the usable, releasable update of the product. This makes it a key artifact in the Scrum methodology.

About the Author
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Paul Williams is a Senior Learning Consultant for QA, based in Manchester, UK. He is a member of the Agile, Lean & DevOps Trainer Team.