The Increment is the sum of all Product Backlog Items completed during a Sprint and the value of the increments of all previous Sprints. At the end of a Sprint, the new Increment must be “Done” which means that it should be in a useable condition and meet the Scrum Team’s definition of Done. It must be in a useable condition regardless of whether the Product Owner decides to actually release it.
Potentially Releasable Product Increment
Scrum asks that teams deliver “potentially releasable software” at the end of every sprint. To me, potentially shippable software or potentially releasable product increment is a feature(s) that can be released, with limited notice, to end users at the product owner’s discretion. Products that can be released to end users with two days can be reasonably said to be in potentially shippable state. Ideally, potentially shippable is equivalent to the Definition of Done.
Example of Potentially Releasable Product Increment
Let us take a simple real-life example to understand this term. Let us say you are interior-decorating your house. You could do the work in multiple ways:
- You could change the tiles of the entire house, then fix the paint of the entire house and then you could move-in back into the house
- You could complete one bedroom, then another, then the kitchen and finally the living room.
In the first example, you thought about the entire product (interior decorated house) as one chunk and thought about it in a traditional way. Let us think if we can deliver this in the second option. The second option gives you a way in which, if required you could get incremental value of the product. Potentially Releasable Product Increment is about getting incremental value for your product. Whether you really move-in after completion of the bedroom (in the above example) is your call, however, you have an option – just in case you want to move in.
Let us see the above Cake piece. I can bet that a child would enjoy the piece of a entire Vertical Slice of cake instead of only icing or only chocolate or only cake. Potentially Shippable Product Increment or Potentially Releasable Product Increment is a vertical slice which gives incremental value to the customer.