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Definition of Done (DoD): Why & How To Use It In Agile Project

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Last updated on
07th Jun, 2022
15th Feb, 2018
Definition of Done (DoD): Why & How To Use It In Agile Project

Definition of Done (DoD) is the collection of deliverables like writing codes, coding comments, testing of units, integration testing, design documents, release notes etc that add verifiable and demonstrable values to project development. DoD helps the Scrum team to identify all the valuable deliverables needed to complete the Agile project successfully on the time. Although ‘Definition of Done’ is the fundamental element of Scrum methodology; yet, a number of Agile-Scrum teams neglect its importance. The blog post spills the beans on ‘why & how to use DoD in Agile project’. 

Know more about project description.

Why to use DoD in Scrum Project: 


  • DoD Helps To Get Feedback For Improvement: 

 DoD defines all the steps to deliver an increment; therefore, it helps Scrum team members get feedback about the product and processes. The well-defined steps like sprint demo, acceptance testing, functional testing etc generate on the time feedbacks from the product owner. The more detailed Definition of Done helps you get more feedbacks.

  • Definition Of Done (DoD) Improves Planning To Release

At the end of sprints, numbers of processes or tasks are found incomplete at one stage or the other; gradually, the undone work piles up to retard the Agile project’s progress.  The application of DoD helps to complete all the undone work within the particular sprints; thus, saves valuable time because you do not need release sprints.

  • Definition Of Done Elaborates Burn-Down Charts In True Colors: 

If DoD is not applied, Agile burn-down chart, the  graphical representation of work still to be done, often presents false image of ‘when the software will be production ready’ because it doesn’t account the undone work accurately at sprints. As a result, the undone work piles up in hidden way while the burn-down chart shows the reduction in remaining work. The burn-down charts created with DoD application presents real picture of work done in complete.

  • Definition Of Done Minimizes The Delay Of Risk:

‘Definition of Done’ helps you minimize the delay possibility because the defined steps in DoD generate on the time feedbacks guiding you to manage all the identified risky items by inspection, adaptation and improvement at an early stage. 

  • DoD Reflects The Agility, Maturity & Quality of Scrum Team:

The efficient Scrum team is expected to complete a new feature in single sprint and to release it at the earliest with guarantee of being the best. DoD reflects the agility, perfection, maturity of Scrum team by exhibiting that it releases new feature in every sprint.

How to Use DOD in Scrum:

1.Make DOD Essential:
To complete the project on the time, make it essential to follow DoD in each sprint review. Walk through DoD for each PBI (product backlog item) to make it “front & centre” for the team members and stakeholders; it will establish perfect understanding with mutual trust between the project development team, product owner and other stakeholders.

2.DoD Checklist:
Use DoD as a checklist for each PBI. Only after going through the complete checklist up to the satisfaction, proceed for the next step.  

3.Make DoD the Tasks Oriented: 
Create a specific task for each DoD element to ensure that you are more focused on DoD items.  Tasks are easier to manage by managing the expanded DoD checklist. 

4.Involve PO to Review DoD at Mid-Sprint: 
Develop the culture of showing PBI to PO during mid-sprints. It facilitates PO to know about DoD status. 

5.Apply  DoD with Retrospective Approach: 
Always be ready to improve, and explore the possibility to make the processes more robust. Ask other Scrum teams for innovative concepts that helped them; and, explore the suitability of shared tips in the line of your project. 


The major reason to adapt anti-DoD pattern is lack of awareness about the importance of DoD. 
In most cases, whenever DoD is neglected, it bites the project’ progress & quality. Agile and Scrum training helps the project team members to understand the importance of DoD and the strategies to apply it. Therefore, do not take chances, and, use ‘Definition of Done’ as a Scrum tool for improving quality, minimizing delay possibility and building trust with all the stakeholders.


Shubhranshu Agarwal

Freelance content writer

Shubhranshu Agarwal is a technical writer with special interest in business management and project management subjects. Over the 15 years of freelance content writing, he has written a lot to help the industries, businesses and project managers to achieve the sustainable growth by implementing strategic critical management methodologies.