Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Updating Definition of Done for Continuous Delivery and DevOps

Agile brought us the idea of the "definition of done" - basically team members must have a shared understanding of what it means for work to be complete (see scrumguides for a good explanation).

But how does Continuous Delivery and DevOps change this?  Now that we've brought the scope of agile out to the last mile, now that we're including operations in the picture?

The "Continuous Delivery" book says: "done" meaning released into production is the ideal situation for a software development project" (page 27)

Steve Ropa on April 30, 2015 says that "no story is done until the code has been written, and the peer review has happened, the tests are all passing, and the hooks for monitoring, performance evaluation and health checks are in as well", "you have to be prepared for when the code meets the real world", and "you have to find out before the customer does if something is not working right".

He suggests expanding stories to incorporate DevOps in their definition of DONE:

  1. Requirements that enable you to understand how the code is doing after deployment. 
  2. Estimations based on what it means to have the code in a state that will be successful post-deployment. 
  3. Everyone is a developer/tester/operations.

Rex Morrow on May 1, 2015 says we need to update it to also include database changes.

Kris Buytaert on May 2, 2015 says he already updated it in 2013 to mean it's not done until the app is decommissioned (or all end-users are in their graves).

Matthias Marschall has a good definition of what "done" is not:

  • For developers, committing a piece of code is far from being done. It needs to work in all kinds of weird use cases. And it’s not only QA’s job to find all the bugs. Good developers want to ensure that the new features are not only coded, but tested and ultimately released to their users. Only then the task is really Done.
  • For sysadmins, having a nice script on your own box is not enough. Every sysadmin needs to make sure it’s possible to re-create each part of the infrastructure at any time. When that slick, new script is under version control, written in a way others can understand and modify it, is their task really Done.

Essentially, it's up to each agile team to come up with the definition that makes sense for them.  And we need to include Operations in the picture.  Our Definition of Done needs to incorporate a feedback loop from production.