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Understanding the Definition of Done

Defining the "Definition of Done"

The Definition of Done (DoD) is a clear and concise list of requirements that a software product must adhere to for it to be considered complete. It ensures that all stakeholders have a mutual understanding of what "done" means in the context of a project.

Why is DoD Crucial?

Without a clear DoD, teams risk misalignment on project expectations. It helps in ensuring:

  • Consistency: All features meet the same quality standards.
  • Transparency: Everyone knows when a task is genuinely complete.
  • Quality: Reduces the risk of overlooked tasks or shortcuts.

Good vs. Bad Examples

Good Example: "Code has been reviewed by at least two team members, all tests pass, and the feature has been documented."

Bad Example: "Code seems good and works on my machine."

While the first example provides a clear, measurable set of criteria, the latter is subjective and doesn't ensure that the code meets team or project standards.


A robust Definition of Done is a cornerstone of high-quality software production. By setting clear, shared expectations, teams can operate with more consistency, transparency, and trust, ensuring that the final product aligns with stakeholder expectations and maintains high standards of quality.