Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Definition of done workshop

Recently one team I take care of as a Scrum Master needed a Definition of Done. Since I couldn't find anything on the internet about a corresponding workshop or a good method to create a definition, I created a workshop based on the "Challenge Cards" method from the book "Gamestorming" (page 158). Here's how you do it:

Time needed:
About 30 - 60 minutes

Preparation:
Prepare green and red colored post its and a blank flip chart (or similar).

How to play:
Divide the team into two groups. One group is the problem group, they get the red post its. The other group is the DoD group, they get the green post its. Now give both groups 10 minutes time.

Ask the problem group to think of common problems the team encounters regarding development, which could be fixed by a definition of done. Examples would be "a lot of bugs", "released version doesn't work" or "duplicate data appears". Important: Point out that it's not about problems the team can't be made responsible for (kernel panic on a server for instance), but that it's about problems that occur due to errors made during development.

Ask the DoD group to come up with possible items for a definition of done. This can be anything they can think of.

After the 10 minutes, ask the problem group to post their first problem on the left side of the flip chart. Now ask the DoD group to post one or more items that can solve this one problem on the right side of the flip chart. Let them draw an arrow going from the DoD item(s) to the problem post it. Notice that there can be more than one DoD items solving a problem and that one DoD item can solve multiple problems. It is ok and desirable to draw arrows from already posted DoD items to a new problem.
Continue until all the problems have been posted.

Now there are 3 possible outcomes:

You still have DoD items left.
Ask the DoD group to post them on the flip chart. After that, ask the whole team if they can think of more items they would like to include on the definition of done.

You still have problems that don't have a possible solution.
Ask the whole team if they can think of anything solving it. After that, ask the whole team if they can think of more items they would like to include on the definition of done.

Every problem has at least one possible solution.
Ask the whole team if they can think of more items they would like to include on the definition of done.

As a last step go over all the DoD items that have been posted on the flipchart during the workshop and ask the team if this item makes sense on a definition of done and if they agree, if this item lands on the definition of done.


Example:
Our result looked like this

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