The definition of ready is used when refining the user stories in the backlog. The goal of these refinements is to make user stories ‘ready’ so that they can be discussed in the next sprint planning meeting and be taken into the sprint. Stories that are not ready cannot be taken into a sprint because the team would not be able to commit to delivering them as they are not clear enough, too large or depending on other teams.
Each Agile team defines these criteria by determining system requirements, team roles and delivery process.
In the following example, the team has defined a definition fo ready where the business owner has business domain knowledge and this checklist of criteria will help the team to determine if a user story is ready:
- The user story indicates the business owner of the user story, i.e. the business person that wants the user story to be implemented.
- The user story indicates the business contact of the user story, i.e. the business person that is available to provide more details and clarify the user story. This may be the same person as the business owner.
- The user story describes which business process step(s) the user story is implementing.
- The user story describes what new or changed functionality will be available to users when the user story is implemented.
- The user story describes which (types of) user(s) should benefit from the new feature.
- The user story has clear and testable acceptance criteria.
- The user story has defines which system interfaces need to be integrated with and the interface specifications for each interface.
- The user story indicates the technical contacts of the user story, i.e. the technical persons that are point-of-contact for the systems that need to be interfaced with (if any).