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PMP Q#6 – Defining the Definition of Done

Q6. Which of the following is the recommended way to define the Definition of Done (DoD)?

A. The Project Manager creates it based on historical data.
B. Product Owner makes it based on project needs.
C. The project team develops it.
D. In consultation with stakeholders, the project team develops it.

Let’s understand the purpose of the Definition of Done to know who should define it.

The Definition of Done is an agreed-upon set of items that must be met before any product backlog item is marked complete. It lists both technical and business quality requirements. It means you need the involvement of all who can contribute to exploring both technical and business aspects:

  • The product owner and the customer may help define acceptance criteria for each product backlog item. When team members get the knowledge, they also define acceptance criteria. Kindly note that the Definition of Done ensures you also meet the acceptance criteria for each product backlog item. So, DoD also includes you meeting the acceptance criteria of each product backlog item.
  • The team is responsible for the quality of each Increment. The team has the most knowledge about the technical and quality aspects of the product.

So, the involvement of stakeholders and the entire project team is needed to define the Definition of Done. Those doing the work and those validating the resulting work must share a common Definition of Done.

So, it is clear that the project team develops the Definition of Done in consultation with stakeholders. Project teams include the product owner and whoever is working on a particular project. So option D is correct.

Now let’s see why other options are incorrect –

Option A – “The Project Manager creates it based on historical data.” – The Definition of “Done” is unique for a team, so historical data might be helpful but not enough. Also, the project manager cannot just define it on his own; it needs the involvement of all (including the project manager) who knows specific quality, technical, and business aspects of the product.

Option B –” Product Owner makes it based on project needs” – The Product Owner needs to be involved, but he can’t do it alone. Because the product owner decides what the value is, and the team decides what the quality is. They all contribute to defining the Definition of Done. 

Option C – “The project team develops it.” – Yes, but it has to be developed in consultation with the stakeholders. Stakeholders could be the product owner or other business stakeholders. 

In summary, the Definition of Done should be developed collaboratively, and the project manager can facilitate that collaboration in developing the Definition of Done. 

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