NOV. 3 – 8, 2019


We went from Quality to DoD. Then this happened.

Awareness of the different understandings of quality that stakeholders have is essential to define a working Definition of Done from product, process and technical perspective.

What would you do when you learn that concerns exist about the quality of a product that is delivered? I started by asking what those concerns are, what was at the basis of those concerns, and ‘what is meant by quality?!’. Finding the answers to this last question and converting these into a Definition of Done was the main goal of the project I recently worked on.

The meaning of quality is ambiguous as it depends on context. Context differs from person to person, from time to time and from place to place. This means that if we want to deliver quality we need to understand our differences.

Together with a colleague I have conducted interviews with a range of stakeholders of the project we have been working on to gain insight in their understanding of quality. From these interviews we could distill three aspects of quality: product, process and technical. We also found that while many stakeholders recognized all aspects, some stakeholders preferred to focus on just one or two aspects.

We identified limited and comprehensive definitions of product quality in use. Examples are:

•Product quality is delivered when the product supports the user in their work and the user feels supported by the product.

•Product quality is delivered when the product adheres to the requirements set by the users.

Though these two definitions are related, they may lead to conflicts between stakeholders as they result in different expectations.

Process and technical quality were defined by the stakeholders from a practical perspective. This resulted in a set of characteristics of process or technical quality.

We used these different definitions to define a standard Definition of Done This definition formed the basis of user story specific definitions incorporating the three quality aspect.

In this talk will highlight the different definitions of quality I came and across. I will elaborate on their consequences for the Definition of Done we have defined and the visible improvements we achieved using this definition.

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