Practical advice: get the definition of done


It seems too easy to answer the question "Have you done it or not?", but you certainly know the situation when electronics or software development projects have difficulties with the definition of done.

The definition of done is a set of criteria that allow you to understand whether the purpose of one particular task was achieved. "Done" has nothing to do with any reworks such as "it is nothing, it won’t take long, we’ll do it later" (like on this scrum board above).

It is important to come to the same understanding of the project completion by both parties: the business that sets the tasks or problems, and the engineering team that solves them. This common understanding is your basis for the right models of interaction.

Project managers at Promwad use mixed development models for our clients' projects: waterfall model for hardware and enclosure design and such agile models as kanban and scrum for software development.

When our clients ask why we use waterfall but not agile for hardware development, we explain that:

  1. As a rule, all the requirements to hardware are known at the beginning of the project.
  2. Changes in hardware are expensive (unlike in software development).
  3. Agile models in hardware will create a very long design-prototypes cycle.

So we all should remember that "done" means to get a result which is consistent with your business goals. We wish you successful projects in electronics design and software development so that your scrum board will never look like this picture above. :-)