On the Benefits And Problems Related to Using Definition of Done – A Survey Study

by   Sylwia Kopczynska, et al.

Context: Definition of Done (DoD) is one of the fundamental concepts of Scrum. It expresses a shared view of a Scrum Team on what makes an increment of their product complete. DoDs are often defined as checklists with items being requirements towards software (e.g., quality requirements) or towards activities performed to make the increment shippable (e.g., code reviews, testing). Unfortunately, the knowledge about the usefulness of DoD is still very limited. Objective: The goal is to study what benefits using the DoD practice can bring to an agile project, what problems it may trigger, and how it is created and maintained. Method: In the survey among members of agile software development projects, 137 practitioners from all over the globe shared their experience with us. Results: 93 ventures. It helps them to make work items complete, assure product quality, and ensure the needed activities are executed. However, they indicated that every second project struggles with infeasible, incorrect, unavailable, or creeping DoD. Conclusions: It follows from the study that DoD is important but not easy to use and more empirical studies are needed to identify best practices in this area.


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