Definition of Done: Best Practice to Succeed in Software Projects - ByteScout
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Definition of Done: Best Practice to Succeed in Software Projects

Check out the quick navigation for this article:

  1. What is the Definition of Done?
  2. Who Defines Done?
  3. Differences Between the Definition of Done and Acceptance Criteria
  4. What is Agile?
  5. Agile Software Development
  6. What are Agile Methodologies?
  7. Agile Project Management or Agile Business Analysis

Definition of Done in Agile

What is the Definition of Done?

The process starts at the beginning of a project. It is significant to achieve the agreed-upon set of items before completion of the project concerned. Such a term is applied routinely to deliver the purpose of an official gate to differentiate things from being in progress to “done”.

Every organization incorporates particulars differently; Peer-reviewed code, checked-in code, code/feature passes regression testing, documented code, updated help documentation, etc., are a few of the items that include in the typical definition of done.

Though several companies bring individual variants, the ideals remain the same as the code does what it is supposed to do without breaking anything else. Transparency is one of the crucial components since, in the end, things are tied back to the checklist of done-ness. If a feature has not met the criteria, then it would fail to move forward.

Who Defines Done?

The most vital question is, who is the one defining the Definition of Done. The engineering organization plays a significant role in doing this to meet the basic technical requirements. Though the engineering department might be the leader, the approval process is more about collaboration. There would not be widespread acceptance about something being readily accepted without the input and approval from the product, quality assurance, and the words of other stakeholders.

One of the best advantages of defining done is that it acts as a timesaver and lessens the revision time. It is crucial to meet the definition of done for quality improvement. Reducing the amount of rework by preventing user stories that fail to meet the criteria of the provided definition is highly beneficial. Further, the promotion to the higher levels of the environment would not be successful. Also, it prevents features that do not meet the definition from being conveyed to the customer or user.

In the words of Derek Huether, “The definition of done (DoD) is when all conditions, or acceptance criteria, that a software product must satisfy are met and ready to be accepted by a user, customer, team, or consuming system.”

Differences Between the Definition of Done and Acceptance Criteria

Have you ever thought about why such an issue falls in the category of product management and not in the quality control topic of the technical team? The difference between the Definition of Done and the specific acceptance criteria for a particular user story lies here.

When it comes to the Definition of Done, it applies to everything that the engineering organization, trying to achieve, though a few exceptions may include here. One can accept this as a fairly generic definition.

On the other hand, considered unique to the user story or feature in question, the acceptance criteria are more about the product management with inputs from the technical team. Such information from the technical team is mentioned for the item to abide by the specific parameters to complete the process.

Product management must examine the definition for it to be comprehensive enough. Such a step is significant as the Definition of Done is a requirement for everything. Also, it is worth mentioning that it is necessarily not the responsibility of product management to acknowledge the ownership and supervision of the definition. If the done items successfully pass the tests spelled out in the DoD, they are good to go.

As said by Adam Sigel, “Once it’s launched, you begin the long tail of customer support, price changes, bug fixes, and compatibility updates. Once you’re done supporting it, it’s time to sunset it. Then, and only then, you are done with a product.”

What is Agile?

The ability to create and respond to changes is what defines agile. It shows us a path of dealing and succeeding with uncertainties and a chaotic environment. The word “Agile” represented the adaptiveness and response to change which was significant to the approach, and hence the authors of the Agile Manifesto chose such a word to portray the whole idea.

Think, Introspect, and Acknowledge the happenings around the environment today, try to identify the uncertainties that the world is facing today, and figure out the approaches that one can adopt to move on in the future.

Agile Software Development

Emphasizing incremental delivery, team collaboration, continual planning, and continual learning are some of the prominent features of Agile. The main objective of Agile is to focus on the production of minimum viable products that undergo various redundancies before the final deal. One can define this as a more dynamic process, where people come together and work as a team to achieve the goal.

Agile software development is more than the frameworks and practices, such as scrum, extreme programming, pair programming, test-driven development, planning sessions, etc. Based on the values and principles, Agile Software Development is an umbrella term used to define the set of frameworks and practices; expressed well in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development.

Focusing on the people, their way of work, and their efforts in working together are the spheres where Agile focuses mainly on; this marks the difference. Collaboration and negotiations often bring out the solutions creatively; self-organizing cross-functional teams benefit from the evolving solutions through these collaborations.

What are Agile Methodologies?

One needs to have a clear definition of methodology to learn and say more about the concept of Agile methodologies. According to Alistar Cockburn, a set of conventions agreed by a team to follow defines the concept of methodology. Hence, you may consider that each team will be following different methodologies based on individualistic ideals. These may differ from one another in significant ways. Therefore, based on agile values and principles, a team chooses the agile methodologies or the conventions.

Agile Project Management or Agile Business Analysis

With Agile Software Development being more on focus, people involved in such arenas started figuring out ways to include these Agile ideas in their line of work. Written by a group of software developers, one of the main aims of the Agile Manifesto and the 12 Principles is to address the issues faced by the software developers. One can perceive Agile as a mindset, a mindset that is applicable in various fields of activities. In this way, Agile is adopted as an adjective to define how one can perform the work.

To understand Agile Project Management, one must be allowed to think differently; try to question yourself: how to create and respond to change that deals with uncertainty. Exploring the ideas brings change. It is only after understanding Agile Business Analysis that one must question how to perform a business analysis that allows one to create and respond to change while dealing with uncertainty?

Agile Development is a well-known word in the world of the software development industry, and it is about administering software development projects. However, without specifying a particular software development method it defines a set of principles and practices; it gives a platform where solutions evolve through the collaboration for better functioning of the teams.


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