Definition of Ready

Shared knowledge regarding what it means for a work item to be ready to be worked on

foundation-culture-and-collaboration loop position

No. People



15 minutes




Product Owner, The Team

This practice is part of: Facilitation Tips for Remote Sessions.

What is it?

  • Criteria that is used to identify any work item as ready to be be taken by a team member and worked on
  • Collaboratively created, maintained and enforced criteria by the team

Why use it?

  • Reduce scope creep on “in-flight” work items
  • Increase understanding of the work item when pulling it to be worked on

Tips for Remote Working

  • It is reasonable easy to find an agreement on both definition of ready and done remotely
  • One person can be a facilitator writing it based on everyone input or everyone can co-edit
  • Use virtual white boarding tool and use techniques such as “roman voting’ or adding a sticky w/name to gain consensus.

An Example

Whilst Definitions of Ready should be specific to the teams using them, it helps to have an idea of what others teams are using. Included below is just one example current in use in AXA PPP Healthcare:


User Stories meet INVEST criteria

\ Independent (of all others)

\ Negotiable (not a specific contract for features)

\ Valuable

\ Estimable (to a good approximation)

\ Small (so as to fit within an iteration)

\ Testable (in principle, even if there isn’t a test for it yet)

Must have Acceptance Criteria

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