Thinking out loud… indexso i thought i would share my thoughts on a model for getting things done !

Throughout agile are ideas of estimation, of best guesses over what Done means, whether building software or writing a blog it seems done remain ever elusive until we get to the point of being done, the feeling of success, or failure that leads us to say, its done, what next?

What is the definition of done, my Dad always says, ‘it’ll be done when its done’, and there’s a lot of sense in that, we just don’t know until we get there, our needs change, resources change, goals change along the way so logically it is impossible to define done until the implied ending is reached, whether that’s because its fulfilling our needs, or we decide to follow another path because we give up reaching a viable solution with our current approach.

Despite this elusive journey, can we break it down and get a good guess of the size and complexity and importance of getting what ever our goal might be ‘done’

Fueled by conversation my mind has contemplated what Done looks like.. in software we have MoSCoW, but it doesn’t quite stick, and doesn’t gel with the essence of done, its a good way to look at how important things are but its pretty factual and i like emotive, because i think the feeling of done is just that, a feeling.

So here’s some ideas for the definition of DONE, and what it might look like if we visually look at breaking the idea down into more detail that we so we can gain a bit of perspective of what Done might look like


D .. What’s desirable
O – what’s optional
N – what’s necessary
E – what’s essential

Desirable – what is the desired outcome, what’s the ‘in a perfect world’ vision for this thing you want to get done
Optional – what options are there in fulfilling your desirable done
Necessary – to do a good job what are the things that are necessary to be ‘good enough’
Essential – what are the core things i must get done in order to solve the problem at hand

or if you want to look at it more logically in terms of breaking down what your solution looks like

D – what are the desirable options – what would the perfect product look like
O – what are just optional things that would be great but really just build on an already functional solution
N – what bits are necessary to ensure success and add value
E – what are the things that make it viable and without them the solution wont work

somewhere along the way of doing is where you will feel the satisfaction of being DONE, and i hope this posts helps to bring some perspective to you on where that might happen!  Post it out your thoughts as you work through DONE and then group them, consider what levels of done are possible, and then do them!!

Lets take this blog post as an example .. what happens if i apply the model

What can I get done in the 1-2 hours I have..

what do i imagine when i use DONE to map my ideas

Desirable – to share my thinking on my blog and get some positive feedback
Optional – pretty pictures, perfect punctuation
Necessary – to write some detailed content and get it out there
Essential – to put my idea out there

or if i view it as a product

Desirable – a good blog post in 2 hours
Optional – looks great
Necessary – readable layout
Essential – great content

I have 2 hours to write this blog, what reasonably can i achieve?

desirable – a good blog post
optional – an example
necessary – a picture
essential – 500 formatted words

If you like this model, do feel free to use it and share ‘Definition of DONE’ with others, I would appreciate it if you would also reference its source as here :o)

Map your own Definition of Done