Definition of Ready or Done ?

When is a project or a substantial task actually ready or done? This is a question often asked by a team of developers who itch to code and designers who are very pleased with tweaking tiny bits of their amazing visual designs.

© Adjoa Wadee, 2o17.

When do we actually know when a task is “done” or “ready” to be released and shipped to customers ? I assume we all know a thing or two about agile — an iterative approach to software delivery that builds software incrementally from start to finish. The contradiction here is, from start to finish. As a project approaches the “finish” state, what/who will tell us that is finally completed as a project.

For the past couple of months I’ve been part of a very creative and ambitious team of developers and designers working on something very interesting (I cannot say what). Working with this team has been great so far and I’m very pleased to be on this project. We work using Scrum. There is a scrum board, scrum poker, user stories, tasks and all the celebratory events that comes with it and what not. However, there seems to be something missing which is in the process of being addressed now. I noticed the questions: “When is it done?” or “when is it ready?” or even “who actually says it’s done?” came up a lot.

To be honest I cannot tell you the answer right away. My intention with this post is to start a brief research to take a deeper look into what is considered done in a project and what makes a project ready. I do not intend to base this research on the current project but a general perspective. I will share useful materials to give insights as well as my personal experience on a team that’s in the process of defining ready and done.

I believe sharing this knowledge is useful to me as an individual. Not only that, but I will be able to gather and research on this topic in a more structural way.

But hey, I’m still researching on this topic, in fact I just started, so please feel free to share with me any thoughts, recommended books, blogs and useful materials.