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Definition of Done

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  1. 1. How to Create a Definition of Done
  2. 2. Related Terms/Concepts
  3. 3. Conclusion
  4. 4. Frequently Asked Questions About Definition of Done

Definition: The Definition of Done (DoD) is a clear and concise list of requirements that a software product or a project deliverable must adhere to in order to be considered complete.

The Definition of Done (DoD) is crucial in Agile and Scrum as a benchmark for ensuring that all work on a product or deliverable meets a consistent standard of quality.

It is a shared understanding among team members about what it means for work to be finished, and it helps prevent the ambiguity that can lead to incomplete or inconsistent deliverables.

How to Create a Definition of Done

Creating a Definition of Done involves collaborative effort and consensus among all team members. Here are steps to guide the creation of an effective DoD:

  1. Gather Input from Stakeholders: Include perspectives from development, testing, product management, and any other stakeholders to ensure the DoD covers all necessary aspects of the work.
  2. Set Quality Standards: Define what quality means for your project by considering factors like performance criteria, security standards, and compliance with design specifications.
  3. Be Specific and Realistic: Clearly specify what ‘done’ looks like for your deliverables. Ensure that the criteria are attainable and not so high that they are impossible to meet within your Sprint cycles.
  4. Incorporate Compliance and Regulatory Requirements: If your project requires adherence to regulations or standards, include these in your DoD.
  5. Review and Revise Regularly: As your team and project evolve, so should your Definition of Done. Regularly revisit and update it to reflect changes in your project environment and lessons learned.

Following these steps, teams can establish a shared understanding of what it takes to complete a task successfully, which is a cornerstone of delivering high-quality products and features in Agile frameworks.

  • Agile Methodology: Framework for iterative, incremental project management.
  • Scrum: A method that defines project success criteria per sprint.
  • Sprint: A short, consistent cycle for completing designated work.
  • Product Backlog: Ranked list of project tasks and requirements.


The Definition of Done is a key artifact in Agile methodologies that ensures clarity and quality in project deliverables. It serves as a contract that defines the completion criteria for tasks and stories, thus enhancing productivity and communication within Agile teams. By regularly refining the DoD, teams can adapt to project evolution while maintaining high standards of work.

Frequently Asked Questions About Definition of Done

How Does the Definition of Done Differ from Acceptance Criteria?

The Definition of Done applies to all items in the Sprint and ensures that each item is truly finished. Acceptance criteria, on the other hand, are specific conditions that a specific user story or task must meet to be accepted by the product owner.

Can the Definition of Done Change Over Time?

Yes, the Definition of Done can and should evolve over time as the team learns more about the project and as project requirements change. It is important to continuously refine the DoD to keep up with these changes and ensure ongoing alignment with project goals.

Is the Definition of Done the Same for Every Team?

No, the Definition of Done may vary between teams depending on the project’s complexity, stakeholder requirements, and the team’s way of working. Each team should create a DoD that reflects their specific project context and quality standards.

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