Degrees of Done: The Difference Between Developed, Deployed, and Decommissioned

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 - 06:26

What is done? If the question involves software, the answer depends on your area of responsibility. A developer may define done as the moment the application works the very first time. An operations engineer may define done as the moment it's launched to a customer and currently available. The business may define done as the last moment in time the last end-user is still alive and using the application.

The challenge with the question is that we all have a different definition of what the finish line looks like. And without a common agreement on which degree of done that we're talking about, tension will mount. A developer pulling last minute heroics to ship a buggy-but-kinda-working feature may set the business up with an unrealistic expectation of the lifetime cost of maintaining that feature, particularly when end-users depend on it. On the flip side, a business that doesn't explicitly state these expectations up front may unknowingly set a developer up for failure because their estimates may not account for the life cycle beyond the initial development.

We can all benefit by understanding these different degrees of done, and making sure we're all on the same page as to which version we're referencing each time we use it.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this, can I ask you for a favor?

I would like the opportunity to connect with you on an ongoing basis with the intention that I continue to provide you with valuable information and insights to help transform your life personally and professionally. To that end, it would mean a lot to me if you performed one or more of the following.

  1. Sign up for my newsletter to get new articles sent right to your inbox.
  2. Buy my book, Winning the Lottery Within.
  3. Follow me on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn. Don't forget to say hi!
  4. Contact me to setup a free, 15-minute consultation.
  5. Share this article with anyone that might benefit from it.

Thanks again for your time and attention! It means the world to me to know that you gave me this opportunity to connect with you.

About Rick Manelius

Quick Stats: Chief Product Officer of DRUD Tech. Author of Winning the Lottery Within. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.