September 9, 2010

Are We There Yet? Doneness Criteria & Agile Development

In the Are We There Yet? Doneness Criteria eBook, I talked about how to define Done for your team and how a one size fits all approach is next to impossible given the variation across organizations and projects. However, I did promise some actionable ways of determining what “Done” means for your organization or project. In the eBook, I covered how to identify waste while defining done. I also proposed the following scenario: [caption id="attachment_5088" align="alignnone" width="493" caption="Definition of Done with Impediment"][/caption] In the above scenario, I discussed how to use the Five Whys to determine the root cause of the identified impediment, but did not go into what happens next. Your response might have been, “great, I’ve identified an impediment and have an idea about root cause, but I’ve still got to continue the project.” So now what? If you’re using a traditional Scrum board, at minimum your board looks something like this: [caption id="attachment_5092" align="alignnone" width="320" caption="Scrum Board without Impediment"][/caption] A board with an impediment will look something like this: [caption id="attachment_5094" align="alignnone" width="430" caption="Scrum Board with Organization Impediment"][/caption] You can see how easily a Scrum board can be updated to reflect impediments. Anyone passing by this board can see that a story must make a pit stop at “Ready for QA” on its way to “Done”. This gives the team the opportunity to move forward with the project while the Scrum Master removes this impediment.  As a side benefit, because the board should be located in a highly visible space, it will raise awareness to all the stakeholders and may expedite the time to resolution.