Teams want to jump straight to execution on a new project, but then spend several sprints spinning over what is actually needed. Creating a Definition of Ready (DoR) will help your team know when they are ready to start development. What is a Definition of Ready? Team Agreement – it is an agreement made by […]
Teams want to jump straight to execution on a new project, but then spend several sprints spinning over what is actually needed. Creating a Definition of Ready (DoR) will help your team know when they are ready to start development.
Team Agreement – it is an agreement made by the team to determine when a product backlog item (PBI) is ready for execution. It is not determined by stakeholders, executives, or project managers.
Objective, Measurable, Specific – the DoR should capture information which helps the team determine if a PBI is objective, measurable, and specific enough to execute.
Just Enough – the DoR should include the minimum amount needed for the team to execute a PBI. The team should revisit this in retrospectives to revise and update as needed.
Most importantly, the team should never begin work if it doesn’t meet their DoR.
My client’s project kicked off with a brand new team comprised of myself as the ScrumMaster, the clients as Product Owner and Subject Matter Experts, and a vendor team as Business Analysts and Developers. The team prepared a backlog, discussed requirements, and kicked off release planning.
Then, we spent 3 sprints hashing out details and delivered nothing.
We spent the majority of our sprints in meetings and getting questions answered. The little work which was completed needed re-work as we discovered more details.
As a team, we brainstormed what we needed to start development. We used our experiences, and we agreed to hold ourselves to this definition. We identified three specific items.
Once we established this Definition of Ready, the team mindset improved. The team was more open and less defensive. We had fewer meetings and delivered more functionality at the completion of each sprint.
What have you included in your Definition of Ready?
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