Defining Your Definition of Done

The success of your team and the release depends on everyone getting their individual parts done in time. But how do you define being “done”? What indicates a finished task and differentiates it from a half-baked one?

It is all about having a clear definition of done established and agreed upon within the team from the onset of the project. Check out my article published at https://blog.gurock.com/definition-of-done/ – Here I talk about some good ways to define your Definition-Of-Done –

Brainstorm with your team

The person who is going to work on each task is obviously the best person to comment on how and when it will be closed. So, the first step would be to discuss and list the obvious things these people deem would need to be done in order to be able to say that their task is done. Sometimes, you may be surprised how different these “obvious” points may be for different team members.

For instance, Tester 1 may say that after executing tests on their user story, they also spend an hour doing exploratory testing before completing their testing tasks, while Tester 2 did not consider that as part of the task. They completed the test execution task once done with scripted tests and later, if time permitted, would perform some exploratory tests.

By doing this exercise you are baselining your expectations from each task, independent of its owners.

Consider quality goals

If you are seeking to come up with a definition of done, there is probably an area you are trying to improve and some quality goals you are trying to achieve, so consider them now. Think of what seem to be your team’s problem areas, or the source of their delays at the end. Now add a part of those quality goals in the relevant tasks.

For example, let’s say your builds seem to fail too often, and that leads to a lot of rework and retesting within the sprint. After some analysis, you found that the build failed because of developers checking in buggy code, mostly lacking integration tests.

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Understanding Burnout Symptoms in Tech Workers

Work in the tech industry is very demanding. We pointed out before in our article entitled ‘Mental Health for People in Tech’ that this industry is characterized not only by long work hours, but also high stress and great pressure to perform well — all of which can adversely impact your mental health. Not only that, but they can also cause burnout, which is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a syndrome caused by chronic and unmanaged workplace stress. Sadly, we often fail to recognize when we are suffering from it.

That said, this article will help you identify burnout symptoms so you can understand this syndrome better for yourself and for those around you who might be experiencing it too.

The Symptoms

The following are some warning signs of burnout:

Irritability and indifference

Tech Republic notes in an article on burnout warning signs that being irritable and indifferent are telltale signs of burnout. Granted, getting irritated is a normal reaction — but if it happens more than usual or if you end up snapping at someone for the smallest reason, you’re likely burned out. The same holds true when both your attention to detail and job interest wane. This increasing detachment is one of the three dimensions of burnout, according to the WHO.

Exhaustion

It’s normal to feel tired at the end of your work shift, but if you feel drained just hours (or even minutes) after starting work, then you’re probably burned out. This energy depletion is yet another dimension of burnout, and it can be exacerbated by the long hours expected of you.

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