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DoD Kards: a game to co-create the team Definition of Done


So here is a new card game that we created with my colleague and friend Camilo Velasquez from Kleer: the DoD Kards.

DoD Kards, a game to co-create the team Definition of Done

It is a card game whose purpose is to reflect and reach consensus among all team members on the criteria to be included in its Definition of Done.

What is a Definition of Done?

The Definition of Done (DoD) is an agreement co-created by a team, which applies to all the elements that the team is working on. It includes a minimum set of activities or conditions that must be met in order to achieve the level of finish and quality required for each element of work.

It is an agreement of the team, which can improve as it grows over time, and provides great transparency on the team’s actual progress.

Learn more about the DoD -> Agile Alliance, Scrum Alliance.

In what context should DoD Kards be used?

The scope of the game is the DoD in the context of software development with Scrum, applied to the Items of a Product Backlog (PBIs, often expressed as User Stories), but can be used in other contexts.

The cards

The game offers criteria cards, which can potentially be part of a team’s Definition of Done. For example:

Example of the DoD Kards

There are also empty criteria cards, to add your own criteria.

And finally, there are choice cards:

  • YES, for the criteria to be included in the Team Definition of Done.
  • NOT YET, for criteria that cannot be included at this time, but that should be considered later.
  • NO, for criteria that cannot be applied, are unclear, not seen by the team as part of the Definition of Done, or for which the team cannot agree.

DoD Kards columns

>>> Download DoD Kards - PDF format <<<

Printing recommendations
It is recommended to print the cards in color, in A6 (105 x 148 mm) or similar format, on 300 gr laminated paper. Another option is to use a lower quality paper and laminate the cards or use them in transparent plastic envelopes, allowing you to make notes on the envelope with a whiteboard marker. The last card serves as the back of the other cards.

Rules of the game

  • Place the YES, NOT YET and NO cards on a table or wall in a line.
  • Shuffle all the criteria cards (cards 1 to 20) and put them in a single pile, face down, accessible to everyone.
  • Place the empty criteria cards (cards 21 to 25) in another pile.
  • In turn, each player: takes a card from the criteria pile and read it out loud. Places this card on the column she considers the most suitable (YES, NOT YET and NO). If another player disagrees, the team discusses together to find a common agreement. If there is no agreement within a predefined time frame, the card is placed on the NO column.
  • Repeat until the criteria pile is exhausted or the team decides to stop.
  • A player can create a criteria card from the empty cards (cards 21 to 25) by writing its definition and use it during his turn.

DoD Kards table

Play online

If you can’t play with the team in person and/or if you prefer, you can use DoD Kards online, in different formats:

>>> Online DoD Kards - Google Slides format <<<

When you click on this link, you will need to log into Google (if you are not already logged in). You can then create your own copy of the DoD Kards Online file, to share and use without moderation with your team. Follow the instructions on the card How to play online?

>>> Online DoD Kards - Mural format <<<

By clicking on this link you will be able to create a new DoD Kards board in Mural. You will need to log into Mural (if you are not already logged in).

What’s next?

It is very useful to give a high visibility to the criteria of the Team Definition of Done in its workplace (or its digital equivalent). For example, you can place the selected criteria cards on your task board.

DoD Kards board - Photo by Diego Ludueña

We recommend that you play regularly in order to keep a continuous improvement of the team’s DoD (every 2–3 months).

Tips & Variants

  • DoD Short Version: randomly choose 3 cards and evaluate them as a team (Christophe Gesché).
  • ALREADY INCORPORATED column: add 1 ALREADY INCORPORATED column (in addition to YES, NOT YET, NO) for criteria that we have already incorporated in our DoD and for which it is not necessary to remember (Christophe Gesché).
  • Hourglass: use an hourglass to limit the speaking time on each card (Christophe Gesché).
  • Final filter: once all the cards have been discussed, review the cards in the YES column, making sure that the team is not too ambitious and that there are only criteria that they can meet. Move the other criteria to NOT YET (Christophe Gesché).

For your feedback on the game, you can use the hashtag #DoDKards on Twitter.

The DoD Kards are also available in French, Spanish and German (PDF, Google Slides, Mural).

The DoD Kards are a creation of Kleer, by Camilo Velasquez and Thomas Wallet, inspired by David A. Koontz’s Definition of Done Exercise, and are distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Written by

Thomas Wallet

Ayudo a las personas a limpiar su ecosistema profesional, afinando y mejorando sus actividades esenciales, eliminando la acumulación de desperdicio y reconstruyendo equipos significativos.