[BEGIN DISCLAIMER] This concept is not mine and I take no shame in having “borrowed” it because it works good enough to get a gig managing lighting on a Christian Bale movie. I first heard it referred to several months ago in an EMC training session that had veered off topic into deep Agile waters. James Shore uses it in his book “The Art of Agile Development” and I’ve seen postings online referring to Mike Cohn using it in his training classes. [END DISCLAIMER]
While it isn’t mine, it is something I’m using with increasing frequency on my projects and it has proven to be incredibly helpful in communicating with both the clients and the guys doing the development work on my projects. Here is a basic rundown of how “Done Done” works.
1. Developer says the work on given backlog item is “Done”.
2. PM tells Client that Developer is “Done” working on the item.
3. Client checks to see “Done” work, finds out that it has not been implemented.
4. Client fills bag with oranges, which are then forcefully and repeatedly applied to the stomach of the PM. (According to the late great Jim Thompson, a bag of oranges to the gut provide massive bruising without too much internal bleeding... if you do it right. If you don't... bad things.)
5. PM, doubled over with pain, questions Developer and determines that, from the Dev’s standpoint, “Done” meant he/she/it was no longer working on said item.
So, how do you protect yourself from ending up like Lillie in The Grifters?
Implement “Done Done”, which works like this: You bring all team members into a room and explain that all work will henceforth be categorized as existing in one of the following states:
1. Not Done – No one is doing anything at all with this right now.
2. In Process – Someone is doing something about this.
3. Done – Someone feels that they have completed working on something and has implemented it in a way that can be shown to someone who will have something to say about it.
4. Done Done – Work has been completed, implemented, checked, confirmed and approved. And throughout the valley, there is much rejoicing at the verified completion this amazing item.
In the Wild
On my current project, we have “Done”, which means the Devs declared, (usually at some point after 2 AM) that they had completed their work on said item. “Done Done” means that they have not only “Done” the work, but they have shown it to Damon. (Damon is the guy on the client side that we’ve designated as the Zuul of “Done Done”.) So, without Damon’s blessing, they are forbidden from declaring anything to be “Done Done”, unless they want to experience the bag of oranges.
Steering Clear of Bobo Justus
If you happen to be suffering from repeated encounters with the aforementioned bag of oranges, then I’d highly recommending giving “Done Done” a try.