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On the importance of done


A presentation on what "done" means at The Economist online

A presentation on what "done" means at The Economist online

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  • Stranger in a Strange Land : Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience.
  • We prioritize our work based on perceived ROI
  • How we get stuff DONE and release it every week, coordinating the efforts of three teams in three locations running different sprint schedules using Bazaar and Launchpad
  • Verified: Human (manual) tests performed; passing (i.e. story meets "how to demo" description)
  • Validated: Accepted by the Product Owner (according to "how to demo" description); feature can be used as intended Feature is ready to be released into the live environment (i.e. no further development work required)


  • 1. On the importance of Done
    • Ezra Gildesgame, Rob Purdie
    20 25 aug 13:30
  • 2. Who are we?
    • Ezra Gildesgame, GVS
        • @ezrabg
    • Rob Purdie, The Economist online
        • @robpurdie
  • 3. Why are we here?
    • To share how three teams at The Economist online, in three locations, all working on the same codebase, make incremental improvements to the site, released every Tuesday
  • 4. Session outline
    • Background / preamble (10 mins)
    • What Done means (10 mins)
    • Why Done is important; the value of Done (10 mins)
    • How we get stuff Done (15 mins)
    • Questions (15 mins)
  • 5. Background / preamble
    • We've been doing Scrum for 2 years now
    • Started when we decided to move to Drupal
    • We are moving to Drupal incrementally and iteratively
  • 6. Background / preamble
    • Incrementally means bit-by-bit, released as soon as bits are Done
    • Iteratively means improving each bit as it is implemented
  • 7. Background / preamble
    • We've taken this approach in order to benefit from Drupal sooner
    • To maximize benefit-sooner, we always implement /release the increment with the highest business value / ROI next
    • This approach has introduced short-term complexity – but it's been worth it
  • 8. Background / preamble
    • The important things to grok here are:
        • Small bits
        • Business value / ROI
        • Done
  • 9. Background / preamble
    • Small bits:
        • We deliver increments of working software that can be used by our customers at the end of every timeboxed iteration
  • 10. Background / preamble
    • Benefit / ROI:
        • Increments of software are implemented and delivered in order of business value
  • 11. Background / preamble
    • Done:
        • Increments of software have value only IF and WHEN they are Done
  • 12. Background / preamble
    • In this session we want to talk about:
        • What Done means
        • Why Done is important / the value of Done
        • How we get stuff Done
  • 13. What Done means
    • There is no concept of partial completion in Scrum
    • Work is either 0% complete or 100% complete
    • Done means potentially shippable
    • Done means usable by the customer
  • 14. What Done means
    • Given this, and given we work in short, timeboxed iterations, we deliver "thin vertical slices" of functionality
    • These are (usually) specified as user stories
    • User stories have corresponding acceptance criteria
  • 15. What Done means
    • It's important to have a shared definition of Done, especially when working on projects involving multiple teams
  • 16. What Done means
    • For us, a story is Done when it has been:
        • Implemented
        • Verified
        • Validated
  • 17. What Done means
    • Implemented:
        • Code developed
        • Peer reviewed and refactored
        • Tested
        • Bug free – all known bugs resolved
        • Documented
  • 18. What Done means
    • Verified:
        • Human (manual) tests performed; passing
  • 19. What Done means
    • Validated:
        • Accepted by the Product Owner; feature can be used as intended
        • Feature is ready to be released into the live environment
  • 20. Why Done is important
    • Focusing on Done increases productivity
    • Small bits Done and delivered means business value sooner
    • Small bits Done results in more feedback sooner
  • 21. Why Done is important
    • Done provides ability to stop even successful projects and still benefit
    • There are accounting benefits too!
  • 22. How we get stuff Done
    • We use Bazaar for source control
    • We use Launchpad to manage the workflow around branching and merging
    • We create "feature branches" for each story
  • 23. How we get stuff Done
    • We use Hudson and EC2 to create "human test instances" for each story
    • We have adopted core committer model for merge proposal approvals
  • 24. How we get stuff Done
  • 25. Thank you! / Questions
    • ?
  • 26.
    • http://cph2010.drupal.org/node/add/eval/15068