#Done-but definition

During the last project kick-off workshop we discussed the definition of done. It was a very standard discussion to confirm that everyone had the same concept of what done was. As usual, it was an enlightening discussion as most people had some subtly different ideas of what done was. Eventually we agreed that done was the following definition.

“Done is either in production or in a such a state that if the sponsor asked for the functionality to be put in production, it could be done in a routine manner without any scrambling to complete outstanding tasks. The main activity would just be to schedule the actual deployment activities.”

During this discussion we talked about the difference between done and done-but. (Tip of the chapeau to Scrum-But)

We discussed that done is not:

  • Done – but I need to have the testers test it.
  • Done – but I need to write the help routines
  • Done – but I need to write the logging and auditing functionality
  • Done – but I need to write the exception handling
  • Done – but I need to complete writing the automated tests
  • Done – but I need to complete the documentation
  • Done – but I need to complete french version of the screen/report
  • Done – but I need to create and test the deployment procedure
  • Done – but I need to schedule and conduct a code review
  • Done – but I need to fix a couple of minor outstanding defects

We also agreed that done is not the status of an individual’s work on the story, but of story itself.

Great discussion and everyone now shared the same definition of done. This discussion also highlighted the fact that different people had different concepts of what the estimate contained. (Whether it was just development or development/testing or development/testing/analysis) But that is a topic for another post. Perhaps we should make it a point to always agree on a definition of Done and Do? 🙂

  • Done – Definition of what it means to be Done.
  • Do – Definition of all the things we need estimate and Do to be Done.

In the immortal words of Yoda: ‘Done or not done, there is no done-but’

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