agile > chapter 2 launch and planning > 11 done and ready

Done and Ready

It is important that we have definitions for done and ready for the various entities we manage in agile. These entities include requirements, sprints and the project itself.

Defining done

If we fail to have this definition, we may very well do much more work than is required to deliver business value or even fail to meet the more important requirements of the project.

  1. Done for requirements If we do not define when a requirement is considered to be finished then the result is that we may do insufficient work or even more work than is required to deliver business value to the customer. It is necessary for us to define a clear indicator for when the work done is complete - we need to be able to say "yes" instead of "yes but..." when asked if the webpage is complete or the lab guide is ready to be used.

The definition of done should not be ambiguous. "The login page must load in 1 second" is a better definition than "the login page must run faster".

  1. Done for sprints We say that a sprint is "done" when all of the requirements (and the associated work) for that sprint are done. We do not change the length of a sprint if the requirements cannot be fulfilled. We can simply transfer the implementation of requirements to a future sprint.

  2. Done for the project A project is complete ("done") when all of the requirements in the project backlog have been completed. This includes the functional and non-requirements within the backlog.

Defining ready

Once we have defined when the work will stop for requirements, sprints and by extension the project, we can now define what it will take for us to start the work. This is the idea behind having definitions for "ready".

  1. Ready for requirements The functional and non-functional requirements must be defined. Acceptance criteria must also be defined. The product that will be displayed in the "demo" is clear to the team.

  2. Ready for the sprint The sprint backlog must be reordered according to priority. The team must also allocate work to its members.

  3. Ready for the project The product owner must be identified and a project facilitator must be assigned.The stack of requirements in the project backlog must be prioritized. The definition of done for the sprints must be known.