made her point.
Since then, with practice, I've gotten better at defining completion criteria and recognizing when "done" is not clearly specified. I've also discovered that poor communication about completion criteria is often the root cause of disagreements related to task definition, project definition, and whether or not requirements have been satisfied. Take a moment and think about a current task you are doing or someone is doing for you. Now answer these questions:
- How will you know the task is done?
- What work products will the task create?
- What standards apply to the work products to assure they meet requirements?
- Where will those work products be when the task is complete?
If you and someone else familiar with the task answered those questions independently, would you come up with similar answers? If not, prepare to discuss DONE-done.
Getting good at defining completion criteria isn't magic, though it sometimes seems that way. Pulling a rabbit from a hat is applause-worthy, but asking, "How will we know this is complete?" can save a project.