Cult of Done

I came across Bret Pettis' Cult of Done Manifesto several years ago and fell in love with it.

You need to check it out at that link and ponder the graphic he includes, but I'll give you his twelve points here:

The Cult of Done Manifesto
  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you're doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you're doing even if you don't and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you're done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more.
These are consistent with Agile and Lean Startup principles.  When I came across this, I introduced it to the development teams I was working with at the time and we adopted the first point in our daily standups.

Each team member succinctly began his report to the team by stating which state s/he was in at that point.  "Not knowing" was a way to ask others on the team for help.  "Action" indicated s/he was making progress on a story and expected to finish it soon.  "Completion" indicated s/he accomplished what s/he had set out to do the previous day and was ready to pull another story in or available to swarm on something with others to get it to Done.

It was a fun and non-threatening way to get developers to crystallize their thinking and summarize it for the team.  Too often, a developer provides a lengthy, too-detailed description of what s/he did the previous day and what s/he's planning to do that day.  The rest of the team tune him/her out and the PO or SM is left not really knowing if the team member is in good shape or is stuck on something.


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