Definition of Ready- "Ready for Refinement" (Part 1)

Over time scrum/agile teams go through many stages of development as mentioned in Tuckman's Model of Team Dynamics and it is important to if not done so already to establish your team "Definition of Ready" (DoR) and "Definition of Done" (DoD) to ensure that you are achieving maximum performance. If you have not yet established an agreed to workflow with your squad don't fear, see my previous post on Establishing your Agile Development Workflow for Ultimate Efficiency (Scrum/Kanban)


Over the next few weeks i'll be focusing on the many different stages of what is means to have a well established DoR and DoD through a series of posts focusing on an agile scrum squad workflow, but first let's answer the below question...

What is a DoR and DoD?

A Definition of Ready (DoR) and a Definition of Done (DoD) are an agreed list of conditions that are completed to progress 'something' (usually a user story) to the next stage of a workflow. The sum of all the conditions being complete make up your DoR and DoD. 

Definition of Ready is a list of conditions that focuses on discovery, definition and analysis which means once complete it is then Ready for something - in this example "Ready for Sprint"

It's important to note here that each squad workflow is different based on the environment and can be as simple as three steps in the workflow to 10 steps. 

Ok let's get to the star of today's blog post...

What does "Ready for Refinement" mean?

Firstly, Backlog Refinement is the process of providing the development team with an overview and clarification of the backlog. The aim of this step is to ensure that the objective is clear to the team and the user story can be estimated.

Some examples of how to be "Ready for Refinement":
  • Product level kick-off completed (What? Why? How?)
  • User journey has been determined
  • Success metrics have been defined
  • User Experience has been tested and agreed
  • High level User Interface design has started, to provide the team context
  • Can estimate to a degree of certainty (or note assumptions)
  • Assets have been obtained
  • Key change areas identified
  • User story breakdown and Technical spike on a page complete
  • Stakeholder green light (Content, Legal, Copy, Partners etc.)
All of these conditions should come from the team discussed and agreed on. Once you have done this you and your squad should be one step closer to a smooth delivery process, clearly defined and understood. 

- I'd like to dedicate this post to my current team who have been working so well through COVID-19 remotely together. Their hard work and dedication to always strive to achieve a better result is truly outstanding.