All You Should Know About DoD And Why it Can Save Your Life

DoD is a must in leansourcing.

When you work on a project with external team - doing things is not enough. Things have to be done your way.

What is DoD?

Definition of done is a set of rules that have to be met until a team member can mark particular tasks as finished. Implementing DoD ensures that things are done your way.

How it looks

Let's get practical. This what a simple DoD could look like:

In STARTUP_NAME each done task:

  • has acceptance criteria
  • has a series of automated tests, testing acceptance criteria and those tests pass
  • other developer has performed a code review against acceptance criteria
  • was deployed to production environment, where it was tested manually against acceptance criteria.

As you can see, having acceptance criteria are the most important part because developing right acceptance criteria results in software working exactly in the way you predicted.

Example acceptance criteria for particular tasks could look like this:

  • Register Form should be validated by e-mail format, VATID uniqueness and name consisting of at least 2 parts
  • After registration, the USER receives an e-mail from Mandrill
  • Landing page should tell the user what this product is, for whom it is, and allow users to enter their e-mail addresses

Further adjustments

The given example is a good starting point for a Startup working with an external provider. For your particular software, more checkpoints could be considered like:

  • The done feature has to be reviewed by a GFX / UX Designer in terms of usability and graphic design structure.
  • The done feature has to be checked out on staging environment.
  • The done feature has to be working when 1k users perform it at the same time.

But be careful to keep it simple.

How to start using it

To make sure that these rules are followed, it is a good idea to include DoD rules in your contract with the software provider. It is also advised to print it and put it on the wall in your office.

It's easier to do when your DoD is simple and short.