Response is based on The Scrum Guide by the creators of the Scrum framework for product development and later contributors to the Manifesto for Agile Software Development as a general philosophy.
There are some anti-patterns and room for improvement.
Scrum Teams are self-organizing and cross-functional. Self-organizing teams choose how best to accomplish their work, rather than being directed by others outside the team. Discuss the concerns and issues as a team in order to work toward improvement.
Definition of Ready (DoR)
Definition of Ready (DoR) is a debated1 2 practice but is not a part of the Scrum framework beyond one statement:
Product Backlog items that can be "Done" by the Development Team within one Sprint are deemed "Ready" for selection in a Sprint Planning. One of the issues is that a detailed DoR is often treated as a phase gate for the hand off of deliverables which is rooted in traditional project management. Instead the entire Scrum Team is encouraged to work together collaboratively knowing that not all of the details are available to be planned in detail before work begins.
Product Backlog item refinement
Product Backlog refinement is
an ongoing process in which the Product Owner and the Development Team collaborate on the details of Product Backlog items. Product Backlog items can be, but do not need to be (and are often coached not to be), expressed as traditional, fully detailed specifications.
Higher ordered Product Backlog items are usually clearer and more detailed than lower ordered ones. To embrace change and maximize the amount of work not done, details and decisions are delayed until they are likely to be realized in the very near term.
Estimation is just that: not an absolute and not a promise. Scrum and other agile approaches are value driven through delivering Increments of a high quality product to the customer; they are not plan driven as with traditional, project management processes.
More precise estimates are made based on the greater clarity and increased detail. This occurs with refinement through knowledge of completed work.
If thought is that "only work that is directly visible via the Increment is permitted", then this exposes another misunderstanding of the Scrum framework. Addressing technical debt, improving infrastructure, improving practices, optimizing processes, refinement of expected next Sprint's items, etc. are all valuable efforts for the product. Many of the tasks presented within this specific DoR may be better addressed as part of the effort during the Sprint; i.e. Documentation can be created along with the functional product.
Candidly discussing and addressing concerns is an activity for the Sprint Retrospective:
Create a plan for implementing improvements to the way the Scrum Team does its work. Whether the Product Owner is overwhelmed, the Development Team is frustrated, the customer is not seeing value, etc. the five values of
commitment, courage, focus, openness and respect are most needed during this event.
Most of these issues should be apparent to the Scrum Master and they should be attempting to foster improvement. Where is this individual? Do they have the means (knowledge, ability, etc.) necessary to fulfill this role?