Learning Minute – Definition of Done

Learning Minute – Definition of Done

2020-02-06T01:24:33+13:00Apr 18th, 2018|2 Building Delivery Engines|


What is Done ?

Quickly come up with an answer and if you are sharing this with a team, ask them for one or two answers.

You may find that the answers are different. Which is surprising as we should all be working toward the same definition of done. If we aren’t we are setting ourselves up for confusion and mistrust not to mention conflict.

Done is FLUID – it depends! What we can do in a day is different to what we can accomplish in a week or a month.

Done is not about 100% perfection. It is about what is good enough for now. If we do more than ‘good enough’ we are wasting valuable capacity.

So, what is your definition of Done ?


Spend 15 minutes exploring how everyone sees DONE in your team! It may even be worthwhile to take 60 minutes. Split the team into pairs and ask them to come up with a definition for done in 10 minutes. Then join up the pairs to create groups of 4 and ask them to share their definitions and agree on a new definition. Finally ask each of the larger groups to put their definitions of done onto the wall and explain them quickly.

Then ask everyone as an individual to ‘vote’ on these definitions using a single dot to indicate yes and a different colour to optionally indicate ‘HELL NO! “.

The end result could be a common agreement to what we define as done and as interestingly, it could show you where people see things differently.

Remember to Honour the No here and explore why people are seeing things differently. What is is that they don’t know that we perhaps should be taking into account.

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