Friday, August 24, 2018

Getting to done, even in Agile!




Now we're getting somewhere! No less an Agile/Scrum eminence than Mike Cohn -- author of some really good books and articles -- has come out with a newsletter on -- are you ready for this? -- what's the meaning of DONE in Agile.

His acronym, a bit a poor choice to my mind, is "DoD"... definition of done. But, there you have it... perhaps a new GAAP "generally accepted agile practice" for agile-done

In the past, my "definition of done", as it were, has been these three questions:
  1. Is it done when the money or schedule runs out?
  2. Is it done when the sponsor or product manager says it's done?
  3. Is it done when Best Value* has been delivered?
    * The most … and the most affordable … scope within the constraints of time and money
If you can't read my bias into these questions, I line up firmly on #3.

Cohn instructs us differently
A typical DoD would be something similar to:
  • The code is well written. (That is, we’re happy with it and don’t feel like it immediately needs to be rewritten.)
  • The code is checked in. (Kind of an “of course” statement, but still worth calling out.)
  • The code was either pair programmed or peer reviewed.
  • The code comes with tests at all appropriate levels. (That is, unit, service and user interface.)
  • The feature the code implements has been documented in any end-user documentation such as manuals or help systems. 
Cohn hastens to add:

"I am most definitely not saying they code something in a first sprint and test it in a second sprint. “Done” still means tested, but it may mean tested to different—but appropriate—levels."
Now, I find this quite practical.. Indeed, most of Cohn's stuff is very practical and reflects the way projects really work. In other words his theory is tested in the crucible of a trying to make money or fulfill a mission by writing software. How swell for us who read Cohn!



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