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Done, Done, Done, Done...

Updated: Jan 24, 2023


In agile development methodologies such as Scrum and Kanban, the Definition of Done (DoD) is a critical concept. An item must meet specific criteria before it can be considered complete. The work may seem endless without it.


By defining done, we ensure that all stakeholders know what to expect and that work is completed consistently.


The development team, in collaboration with other stakeholders, such as the product owner or business team, typically establishes a DoD. Specific, measurable, and verifiable goals should be established. For example, building a new feature for a software application may require passing unit tests, integrating with existing systems, and receiving user approval.


Definitions of done are not one-size-fits-all. Depending on the task or product, it may need to be adjusted over time. For example, the DoD for a simple bug fix may differ from that for a complex new feature. The definition of done may also need to be updated as the organization's processes and practices evolve.


As part of the review process, the DoD also plays an important role. To determine if a product or task meets the definition of done, it is reviewed against that definition. The work may need to be redone or modified to meet the required standards.


The Definition of Done is an integral part of agile development methodologies. In this way, all stakeholders understand what is expected, and the quality of the work is consistently high. The goal should be specific, measurable, and verifiable and may need to be adjusted over time. During the review process against the DoD, the work is ensured that it meets the established criteria and is continually improved.


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