Gartner Research

Avoid Chaos in Agile Development by Defining "Done"

Published: 28 January 2014

ID: G00259136

Analyst(s): Nathan Wilson


Agile projects are tracked based on the completion of user stories or use cases. IT leaders need to insist that agile teams come to a complete and consistent understanding of what needs to be done to complete a story; this is necessary to avoid chaotic and untrackable projects.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges


  • Is It Done Yet?


  • Define What It Means for a Story to Be Done
    • Why Define the Completion of a Story?
    • Define Completion of an Iteration
    • Define Completion of a Project
    • How to Define Done
  • Do Not Track Partially Complete Work
    • Apply Done at the Story Level
    • Make Sure the Definition of Done Is Comprehensive
  • Keep the Definition of Done as Light as Possible
    • Continuously Streamline
    • Simplify by Changing Artifacts
    • Simplify by Removing Artifacts
  • Defining Done Is Foundational to Agile Project Success

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