Agile tasks lists, what does “done” mean in Agile?

Agile Task

Figure 1.1 Agile Task.Admin (2013). Retrieved from

So far we discussed until Agile Sprint Retrospective. Now lets discuss Agile Tasks Lists. A task communicates the need to do some work. Each team member can define tasks to represent the work that they need to accomplish. For example, a developer can define development tasks to implement user stories. (admin, 2013)

A tester can define test tasks to assign the job of writing and running test cases. A task can also be used to signal regressions or to suggest that exploratory testing should be performed. Also, a team member can define a task to represent generic work for the project.

A task list consists of various tasks. A task can be associated with A User Story or A Bug. A task can be explained better by adding hyperlinks, attachments explaining the task to it.(admin , 2013)


Figure 1.2 A Tasks List in Agile.Microsoft (2013). Retrieved from

Lets look at a sample Agile Task List. Here, the tasks have been associated with product backlog items.For each product backlog item, tasks will be listed. For each such task, task owner will be associated.(admin, 2013)

My Experiment with Agile Tasks Lists: Let me give you an example where I could make use of Agile Tasks List. Recently, during my internship I was working on an encryption related project wherein I was supposed to develop AES-128 encryption algorithm. So I decided to make use of Agile Tasks Lists. Following is the task list I came up with. (Waters, 2007)

  • Read and understand how AES works : 1 Day
  • Chop down the implementation into encryption and decryption algorithm implementation :  3 Days
  • Develop each module :  5 Days
  • Test with plain text and cipher text : 5 days
  • For each of the items on this list I was the owner. With the help of this list I could manage my time wisely and could come up with a viable solution for my project. (Waters, 2007)

Now let’s look at a typical task life workflow. Typical workflow progression is explained below.

Task State Diagram

Figure 1.3 Task Work Flow.Waters (2007). Retrieved from

  • A team member creates a task in the Active state with a default reason of New.
  • A team member changes the state from Active to Closed indicating that the task has been completed.
  • A team member determines that the task is not relevant and changes the state from Active to Closed.
  • A team member determines that the task was closed in error and reactivates the task, changing the state from Closed to Active.Active :The task remains in the active state as long as it is being implemented. The team member who has been assigned the task tracks the level of effort of the task by updating it with Completed and Remaining hours. From Active to Closed: When you close the task, you must specify the reason for closing it.(Waters, 2007)

Done means DONE!: In agile development, “done” should really mean “DONE!”[3]. Features developed within an iteration (Sprint in Scrum), should be 100% complete by the end of the Sprint. So, in agile development, make sure that each feature is fully developed, tested, styled, and accepted by the product owner before counting it as “DONE!”. And if there’s any doubt about what activities should or should not be completed within the Sprint for each feature, “DONE!” should mean the feature can actually be shipped. (Waters, 2007)

Admin (2013). Responsive Business Service. Retrieved from

Microsoft (2013). Microsoft Developer Network. Retrieved from

Waters, K(2007). Agile Principle 7 : Done Means Done. Retrieved from


2 thoughts on “Agile tasks lists, what does “done” mean in Agile?

  1. Very impressive blog and gives full justice to the concept. I liked the way you started this blog, keeping the connection with last blog. Your blog has clearly listed what does “done” mean in agile. Although, this term is very confusing to understand but your blog did clear many doubts that I had.It clearly states that when a particular feature is fully developed, tested and is being accepted by the owner, only then that feature is said to be “done”.A great insight about how product delivery occurs in Agile. over all a great job DONE!!

    Liked by 1 person

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