Establishing an upfront, common understanding of “done” that suits the unique dynamics of each development project can be one of the most critical activities for Agile teams. With a consistent meaning of done, agreed to by the whole team, velocity or throughput becomes more stable – allowing your team to make and meet commitments, establish priorities and plan iterations.

We recently hosted a webinar entitled “Defining Done: Creating Velocity without Debt,” to discuss how a common definition of done lays the foundation for focusing on business value while avoiding technical debt. Although we enlisted Rally’s expert coaches to answer the hundreds of questions that pored in from over 2,200 people around the world who joined in, we wanted to spend some more time providing in-depth answers to a few of the questions we received. Below is a video with answers to some of the tough questions about the definition of done:

I also put together a presentation that goes into more depth about what your team can learn from burndown charts.

We hope these resources help you come up with a definition of done that suits your unique team and project. Have more questions? Feel free to post them in the comments section below – we’re always thrilled to continue these discussions with the Agile community.

Zach Nies is a CTO at Rally Software and a proud member of the Boulder/Denver Agile community for the last ten years.

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