Typically, new Scrum teams draft up a Definition of Done as an exhaustive check-list of all the activities they do in order to mark an item as "Done". But is that the intention?
What "Done" actually meansThe simplest Definition of "Done" is simply: "Done". This means that there is no more work to do. This assumes that the team is truly multi-skilled and can do all the work across the entire Order-to-Cash cycle of their product. For many teams, this is usually not the case. They leave items of work open that they can not do.
Abuse of "Done"
- Unit Testing
- Deployment to Staging
- Functional Testing
- Integration Testing
- System Testing
- Exploratory Testing
- All Tests Passed
This Definition of Done gives the PO and/or business stakeholders a sense that the developers are doing a lot of work on even the most miniscule backlog item.
We are not looking for a list of Work Done. We are not looking for effort justification! We are looking for ways of achieving the same goal with less work! A DoD might actually "lock in" a process which makes it impossible to eliminate unnecessary steps.
Living in a "Done" bubble
The team has no autonomy to deliver real customer value - a clear violation of the 1st Agile Principle, and they might not even see how far away they really are from customer value.
From a business side, this is even more scary: The team produces a "Done" product and has no control over how much cost will still be incurred before there is any Return on Investment.
Fixing the Problem: DoND
- B2B Interface Specification (done by Architecture Group)
- Configuration (done by Configuration Management Group)
- B2B Testing (done by offshore Testing Group)
- Deployment to Production (done by SysOps)
- Data Migrations (done by SysOps)
- Customer Feedback (done by Customer Service Group)
Eliminate the DoNDA DoND not only contains risk, cost and value delay, but also organizational complexity. A DoND is a clear list of impediments which Scrum Master and the organization's management must eliminate. A stratetic plan how to empty out the DoND and give the word "Done" it's intended meaning can only be implemented with the support of upper management.
Instead, create a DoND as the list of items the team still needs to gain control over to get things Done.
Once this list is empty, your DoD will be very concise: "Done".