Do you know the 3 commitments in Scrum (Product Goal, Sprint Goal, and Definition of Done)?

Last updated by Nick Curran [SSW] 3 months ago.See history

Each step of Scrum is designed to take you towards an outcome, and this is built upon 3 levels of commitment:

Product Goal

This is the commitment at the Product Backlog level. It is defined by the Product Owner and ensures continued focus upon progress towards a defined outcome.

The Product Goal describes a future state of the product which can serve as a target for the Scrum Team to plan against. The Product Goal is in the Product Backlog. The rest of the Product Backlog emerges to define “what” will fulfill the Product Goal.

"A product is a vehicle to deliver value. It has a clear boundary, known stakeholders, well-defined users or customers. A product could be a service, a physical product, or something more abstract."

The Product Goal is the long-term objective for the Scrum Team. They must fulfill (or abandon) one objective before taking on the next.

Excerpt from The Scrum Guide

Tip: Make it easy to find your Product Goal by documenting it in the README of your project.

Sprint Goal

This is the commitment at the Sprint Backlog level. It is negotiated between the Product Owner and the Team, and defines the “why” of the Sprint, and how it will help the product eventually reach the Product Goal.

The Sprint Goal is the single objective for the Sprint. Although the Sprint Goal is a commitment by the Developers, it provides flexibility in terms of the exact work needed to achieve it. The Sprint Goal also creates coherence and focus, encouraging the Scrum Team to work together rather than on separate initiatives.

The Sprint Goal is created during the Sprint Planning event and then added to the Sprint Backlog. As the Developers work during the Sprint, they keep the Sprint Goal in mind. If the work turns out to be different than they expected, they collaborate with the Product Owner to negotiate the scope of the Sprint Backlog within the Sprint without affecting the Sprint Goal.

Excerpt from The Scrum Guide

Definition of Done

This is the commitment at the Product Backlog Item (PBI) level. This may include testing, deployment, Pull requests, etc, and ensures the quality of each PBI.

The Definition of Done is a formal description of the state of the Increment when it meets the quality measures required for the product. The moment a Product Backlog item meets the Definition of Done, an Increment is born.

The Definition of Done creates transparency by providing everyone a shared understanding of what work was completed as part of the Increment. If a Product Backlog item does not meet the Definition of Done, it cannot be released or even presented at the Sprint Review. Instead, it returns to the Product Backlog for future consideration.

If the Definition of Done for an increment is part of the standards of the organization, all Scrum Teams must follow it as a minimum. If it is not an organizational standard, the Scrum Team must create a Definition of Done appropriate for the product.

The Developers are required to conform to the Definition of Done. If there are multiple Scrum Teams working together on a product, they must mutually define and comply with the same Definition of Done.

Excerpt from The Scrum Guide

Ulysses Maclaren
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