Add a micro demo to your definition of done!

Our product team, 15 people today, works by using the Scrum methodology and eXtreme Programming practices.

The Definition Of Done (DOD) is a checklist which determines whether a product backlog item is complete or not.

The team defines the items of the DOD and engages to respect it.

This list is regularly discussed and evolves by removing or adding items.

Why the DOD is so important? because …

One year ago, we’ve added a new item in the DOD, the “micro demo” which has quickly become a game changer.

Back in the day, the issue was the following : the sprint review arrived, the team demonstrated the features developed and we always found several glitches (label not explicit, small details on the UI, etc).

For each glitch, we created a new story card, in other terms to finish in the next sprint what should have been done in the previous one.

Another option for the product owner is to reject the story, but most of the time, the glitch was not related to a clear expectation so the tech team was not fully responsible of it.

Most of these “glitch” story cards were done in few hours max and are closed in the first day of the iteration.

We discussed and decided to add an item in our checklist, the tech team now has a “micro demo” to the product owner for each story.

The micro demo occurs during the sprint once the code and tests have been written, even before to merge it to the codebase.

This demo allows to discuss on small details and give the possibility to the developer to fix them before the end of the sprint.

This change brought another big improvement for us, we’re doing forecasting on the amount of story cards that we’re able to release in a minor version.

To make this indicator reliable, we need to have an average size for a story card without too much disparity between sizes.

The cards that are too big are splitted into medium cards and the “micro demo” helped us to make disappear the very small cards.

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