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The Definition of Done

Posted August 5, 2014, By Henco Meyer, Project Manager

Over the last few years as a project manager I have been hounded by the following question:
 

  Is it done?

 
From both clients and work colleagues. It never stopped to amaze me what power this 3 worded question really has, what it means to different parties in the conversation, or how it can change one’s mood for good or for bad.
 

  What is the 'Definition of Done'?

Even more importantly what is your 'DoD'? 

 
The real power of the word 'done' lies in the context of the question - or task - that needed to be performed. For a developer, 'done' might mean he/she completed all of the Jira tickets assigned. For the project manager, it may mean that the sprint is completed and on-time. For producers it might mean that something has gone live. So will the answer ultimately always depend on to whom you pose the question? Or should 'done' always be defined at the start of a project?

  "Yes, but... IS IT DONE?"


This simple question also has the power to offend, and take on an accusatory tone; suggesting that completion should have already been reached when perhaps it hasn't. In a team environment, the word 'done' is a powerful and emotive thing, so consider carefully what you are asking when posing this question, and your motives for asking it.
 
In contrast, however, this little word can be such a celebratory one; bringing such a sense of joy when projects are complete and declared "DONE!". After all the blood, sweat and tears this is the ultimate reward and what we are all constantly striving for. There is nothing better than to share this with your family whether it is at home or the one at work.
 

  My DoD as Project Manager?


When the i's are dotted, the t's are crossed, and (most importantly) when the client is happy. It's not difficult.


  Managing Director's DoD?


When we've been paid.
 


What is yours?

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