Definition of DONE

Throughout agile are ideas of estimation, of best guesses over what Definition of 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, ‘it’ll be done when its done’, and there’s a lot of sense in that, we just don’t know what done looks like until we get there, our needs change, resources change, goals change along the way so logically it is impossible to define done upfront, but the more we do the closer we get to understanding what done is, and at what point we are ‘satisfied’ with the outcome.

If we visually break the ideas for solutions down into more detail, we so we can gain a bit of perspective of what Done might look like. How satisfied do we want to be, how complete must it be and then we can begin to define the options from a Minimum Viable solution to the most Desirable solution.


  • Desirable
  • Optional
  • Necessary
  • Essential

Use post it notes to map out all the elements a solution could include, create a grid and map each post it note into the grid based on whether it is a desirable, optional, necessary or essential element of the solution.

Revisit this grid regularly to review and reclassify as time progresses

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