We recently attempted to release a new product and when we got near the end we found that many of the stories were not really complete. The developer had called them complete, but there were bits and pieces hanging around that were really required if we were to release the product to customers.
This begs the question of when is done really done. The answer in the agile world is that a story is not complete unless it is releasable (I hear the term â€œpotentially releasableâ€? sometimes to mean it could be released if we wanted to). It is a very difficult requirement to put to the delivery team, but a story isnâ€™t complete until it is releasable to a customer; and this includes from a QA and technical writing perspective as well, not just from the developers. The entire delivery team for that story must agree that they would be glad, in fact proud, to have that story delivered to a customer for real-world use.
It may not be easy, but we have to hold ourselves to this standard in the agile world or we accumulate â€œtechnical garbageâ€? that eventually either overloads us or completely surprises us when we do go to release a product.
So be diligent and make sure that done is really done.
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