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Building Software Teams by Zeeger Lubsen, Gijs Wijnholds, Sylvan Rigal, Joost Visser

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Chapter 3. Make Definition of Done Explicit

I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.

Oscar Wilde

Best Practice:

  • Make a Definition of Done, listing all items necessary to reach your development goals.

  • Ensure that the Definition of Done is measurable.

  • This improves the quality of development because you can track the progress of the product.

Before you can manage something, you need information about status and change. Are we reaching our development goals? Well, that depends on the status and on what your goals are.

The Definition of Done (hereafter DoD) is a term specific to the Scrum approach of Agile development. It can be an organizational standard or it is made by the development team. The DoD defines when a product is “done”: everything that needs to be done to produce software in a releasable (or shippable) state to end users. It does not guarantee user acceptance or success in production, but does provide a check toward achieving nonfunctional requirements (such as performance, security, reliability, or other characteristics as defined by the ISO 25010 standard). Because user acceptance criteria are defined by the owner of the system, they are complementary to the DoD. Think of the DoD as a list of the software development activities that add value to the end product, though those activities are not necessarily visible to the user. For example: a minimum amount of unit test coverage, adherence to coding standards, and documentation requirements. ...

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