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In Agile development, the definition of ready (also known as DoR) refers to the criteria that a user story must meet before it can be considered ready to be worked on by the development team. In Scrum the DoR is a complimentry approach.

This can include having a clear and concise description, having any necessary acceptance criteria defined, having any required resources or dependencies identified, and having an estimate of the level of effort required to complete the user story.

The purpose of the definition of ready is to ensure that the development team has a clear understanding of what needs to be done and has everything it needs to begin work on a user story, which can help to increase efficiency and reduce the risk of delays.

Who creates the Definition of Ready?

If not already in place, the definition of ready is typically created as part of the planning process in an Agile development project. It is generally the responsibility of the development team, in collaboration with the product owner, to define the criteria that a user story must meet in order to be considered ready for work.

The development team should have a good understanding of the technical requirements and constraints of the project, and the product owner should have a clear vision of the business value that the user story is expected to deliver. Together, they can define the necessary criteria to ensure that the user story is well-defined and can be worked on effectively.

When should the Definition of Ready be reviewed

Just like the Definition of Done, the definition of ready should be reviewed and updated regularly as the project progresses. This is important because the needs and requirements of the project may change over time, and the definition of ready should reflect these changes. It may also be necessary to update the definition of ready in response to any issues or challenges that arise during the development process.

There are a few specific times when it can be especially helpful to review the definition of ready:

  • At the beginning of a new sprint: Before starting work on a new set of user stories, the development team should review the definition of ready to ensure that all stories are well-defined and ready to be worked on.
  • After completing a sprint: It may be helpful to review the definition of ready after completing a sprint in order to identify any areas that could be improved or any new criteria that should be added. This is especially important if there was any confustion regarding what was to be built.
  • When the project or its goals change: If the project or its goals change, it may be necessary to update the definition of ready (as well as the Definition of Done) to reflect these changes.

Overall, it is important to be flexible and adaptable when working with the definition of ready, and to be willing to review and update it as needed in order to ensure that the development team is able to work efficiently and effectively. Its important to keep the Definition of Ready useful and relevant.

Common mistakes when creating the Definition of Ready

Just like when creating the Definition of Done, teams make some common mistakes:

  1. Not involving the whole team in the process: It is important to involve the team in the process of creating the definition of ready, as they may have valuable insights and knowledge about the technical requirements and constraints of the project.
  2. Not being specific enough: The definition of ready should be specific and clearly define the criteria that a user story must meet in order to be considered ready for work. Vague or general criteria can lead to confusion and may not provide enough guidance for the development team.
  3. Failing to review and update the DoR regularly: As the project progresses, it is important to review and update the definition of ready to ensure that it remains relevant and useful. Failing to do so can result in user stories being worked on that are not adequately defined or ready for development.
  4. Being too rigid: While it is important to have clear criteria, it is also important to be flexible and adaptable. A definition of ready that is too rigid may not allow for the necessary flexibility and may hinder the development team’s ability to respond to changing circumstances or requirements.
  5. Not aligning with the project’s goals and objectives: The definition of ready should be aligned with the overall goals and objectives of the project. If it is not, it may not effectively support the delivery of business value.

So there you have it. A simple guide to creating a useful Definition of Ready – we hope it helps!

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