Product Quality Improvement Via Defnition of Done (DoD) and Tech Debt reduction

Product quality plays a key strategic role in any organization success. Organizations have tried and tested many tools, techniques, methodologies or mechanisms to achieve best possible quality while trying to meet time to market demands. Agile methods have gained prominent attention of CXO as a strategic piece for IT and Business alignment. Many organizations have embraced agile journey in recent years and have reported noticeable improvement in product quality, customer satisfaction, early value delivery (Time to market) and increased people engagement at workplace.

One of the magical factor driving product quality improvement in Agile Scrum is Definition of Done( DoD). A well thought and implemented DoD keeping Tech Debt as a reference would result in significant improvement of Product Quality.
This paper provides summary of our experience of implementation of DoD, Tech Debt reduction strategy and magnificent results we observed in an enterprise level large complex legacy system.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

We will have sesison divided in to 3 sections

  • Product Quality and Challenges
  • Tech Debt Reduction
  • Magic of DoD

This session is driven by our practical experience and also gaining some input and thoughts from industry and agile experts and practitioners. We’ll touch upon our journey as from where we started, what all challenges we have seen and overcome to reach to a point where we are right now and how this helping our team. What is the magic happening behind the scenes to create a Driving High Performance Culture and Values. We’ll like to engage audience and help them to understand how to define a right set for doneness. We have some exercises as well for the audience to help them
in future practice.

Learning Outcome

This session will be helping audience to understand the power of definition of done. What makes of a right set DoD. How to achieve a meaningful Definition of Done. Why we need it at the first place and what difference it will bring in a short run or long run. During our research we found most of the organizations would settle for very light, easy go and low risk driven approach for DoDto begin with and continuously evolve/ update to cater growing needed. Very few organisations would take a highly risk driven, detailed and aggressive approach for DoD and continuously evolve/
update based on needs. We deployed second approach in order to address challenges we discussed in introduction section. We knew that its tough journey but at the end it was worth and fruitful. We derived detailed parameters from sources like organization QMS mandates ( Like ISO ), Product release milestone checklists, Quality Strategy documents. It was based on zero defect ideal solution centric and hence it was very stringent. Purpose of achieving best product results was driving us in such a direction that we didn’t pay much attention for any constraints like skill, cost, time or technology. It was decided to have scrum team members doing both development and testing. Hence QA team was not in picture and DoD implementation is owned by individual scrum teams. ( We don’t have SQA and PM functions). We made a rule such that any exceptions at each sprint level has to be approved by Senior Executive leadership team (like Senior VP of Engineering and Product Management). This created a sense of criticality, urgency and attitude of paying attention to details at each small steps of Sprint.

Target Audience

Any Agile Practitioner

Prerequisite

Basics of Agile and Scrum.

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