DoR and Sprint Length — Panda Story — Episode #3

Rene Schroeder
4 min readOct 1, 2020
DoR and Sprint Length — Panda Story — Episode #03

Ray the Product Owner prepares for the planning the next day. He found the feedback he received from stakeholders and the team today valuable. He wants to immediately make good use of it in further product development. He writes two PBIs before the planning to record the ideas he has collected regarding the stakeholders feedback. The definition of Ready, which was previously discussed in the team, is not yet fulfilled. Ray’s goal is to discuss the PBIs with the team during planning so that these PBIs subsequently can be included in the sprint.

Howard couldn’t help but reflect on Britta’s comment about the DoR. His goal, which he wants to achieve with the DoR, is clear to him: to ensure quality in PBIs, so that no time is wasted in planning or even worse during the Sprint. Howard believes that it is Ray’s job to think carefully about WHAT he wants before planning and therefore before the sprint and to formulate it accordingly.

Howard meets Ray at the coffee machine, where they both get a coffee before the Planning. Britta is also present, although she is just about to leave, Ray reports that the customer feedback from yesterday’s review has been very helpful. It was valuable to learn what the customer wants. He had thought about it during the evening and accordingly formulated new PBIs, which he would like to take into the Sprint. Howard is a bit sceptical and looks towards Britta. He asks Ray whether the PBIs meet the criteria of the DoR so that they can include the PBIs in the sprint. Ray had guessed that Howard would not be happy with the PBIs, in their present form, and shakes his head. Ray says to Howard, “No I did not manage to do that, I need the team and a refinement of the PBIs, I can’t estimate the PBIs anyway.

Britta now has to keep going, she goes to Howard and quietly mentions “Value Maximizer” while passing. Howard and Ray go together to the team room where the development team is already waiting to start the Planning. Howard briefly presents the goal of the Planning and then hands it over to Ray. Ray dives into introducing the two new PBIs, which will be worked on in the next Sprint. The Development Team looks at Howard, is a little insecure about the DoR which was worked out yesterday in the retrospective. One of the developers asks Howard and the team if he has understood correctly that no PBIs will be included in the sprint if they do not meet the DoR. Howard nods and answers: “Yes, that was the goal of the DoR”. — Britta’s comment, however, has shaken Howard up, it’s all about the product and maximising value -.

Howard goes on to say that the DoR is intended to help us as a team to establish criteria that we have found useful in order to better understand requirements for the product, so that we can develop them in the sprint. The focus that we have together is on maximising the value of the product. So let’s decide together whether we can now discuss the PBIs to the point where they can meet the DoR for the sprint and we can take them into the sprint. We do not want to see the DoR as a quality gate, the focus is always on communication and a joint decision. The Development Team asks Ray to briefly explain the PBIs again and then decides that this can be possible in the sprint, so that the PBIs are now discussed and estimated in the Planning.

Ray is visibly relieved that he now has had the chance to discuss and refine the PBIs to get them into the sprint. The team discusses the new requirements in an animated way and provides valuable impulses. Together they manage to provide the PBIs with acceptance criteria and also estimate them. Ray is not quite so happy after the estimation, because the team tells him that the PBIs are quite big and also fundamentally different so they don’t believe that they can manage both in the sprint. Ray interjects if the sprint could not be extended? Howard raises an eyebrow, but doesn’t say anything as they are about to take a little break and he wants to take the chance to give Ray a solution impulse at the coffee machine …

Zur deutschen Version / find the german version here



Rene Schroeder

📚 Author of Panda Story 🐼 | Agility Pragmatist 🎯