A set of agreements that let you know when a user story is really done, and all the essential activities are complete is the Definition of Done. But Definition of Ready is a different concept. It is a set of agreements that tells you when something is ready to begin. More correctly, “if something is good to begin”.
E.g., when a user story is ready to be taken into a sprint, or when all the conditions are right for a team to begin a sprint.
A ready story is a detailed user story that necessarily has-
It should also be clear when there are any story-specific operational attributes like performance and the layout or appearance of the user interface design. A simple approach could be to capture the qualities on constraint cards and have a tentative design on a piece of paper.
Next, the artifacts are attached to the story.
A definition of ready deals with the user story, wherein the user story is ready to be taken into a sprint. It doesn’t need to be “100 % defined” covering all the acceptance criteria. However, it should be “ready enough” only when the team is confident that they can successfully deliver the user story.
It will help in saving ample time if each user story meets the definition of ready before the sprint planning meeting. But it is also fine and acceptable to work on the user story during the sprint planning meeting and bring it to the ‘Ready’ status.
The definition of ready has much to contribute to a good user story. It is also very much related to a concept which we have already discussed in the chapter on User Stories. The INVEST matrix.
A team pushes back on a story when it doesn’t align with these criteria. But again, while these criteria are necessary for a story to be “Ready”, it is safe to say that they may not be sufficient. Several other factors are to be taken into consideration.
Each team will have its own definition of Ready. This largely depends on its personnel and the context.
An example will give you a clear picture.
The above items equip the team with the required information for a particular story. They also provide the opportunity to challenge the product owner in the absence of those items.
The Definition of Ready should not stay fixed. Rather, it should grow and develop as the team evolves in terms of-
You can input the same information into the product backlog via backlog grooming and planning sessions. The Definition of Ready will be updated through sprint retrospectives.
In this section, we shall show two separate instances of Definition of Ready. This will help you develop an appropriate Definition of Ready as per the requirements.
Full Time on project=X hours per day.
The Product Owners can use Definition of Ready as a guide when preparing for user stories for upcoming sprints. For a team, it is used as a checklist to make sure that there is an increased chance of success in delivering the completed user story, and that there are enough thoughts involved in building the user story before they start to deliver it. So finally, Definition of Ready brings back the focus to backlog grooming meetings and lookahead planning activities.
Definition of Ready helps in minimizing the Rework on a user story.