I've being recently interviewed for a DevOps position. One of the questions I was asked was:

What is your definition of "done" in the DevOps context?

The question is rather broad, but, as I understand, the answer has to cover Automated builds & tests as well as Continuous Integration & Deployment & Delivery. I am looking for general principles and ideas that can be used to define "Done".

4 Answers 4


Instead of Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery, I would define the definition of done as "Active Continuous Improvement at all levels of the organisation".

The other topics like automated builds, CI/CD, etc... these are just milestones and most definitely not the ultimate goal for the organisation in its DevOps efforts.

It does look like it might be "finished all DevOps" once you have an automated system with continuous integration. But in fact, even should you reach this stage, you will find plenty more to do.

Getting to a state where most people in the organization are constantly looking to continuously improve is extremely hard. Inertia often gets in the way, both existing inertia, and new inertia once some improvements were accomplished.

There is a lot to learn from Lean and from Theory of Constraints in this aspect. Both bodies of knowledge focus on the process of continuous/ongoing improvement and how to establish this process in an organization.

  • I like this definition! DevOps is never actually "done", it is a continuous and active process. Thanks!
    – alecxe
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 17:46
  • 1
    Asking when DevOps is done is like asking when a man is done with thinking. The answer is the same. When it's all over. Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 4:45

Prior to DevOps, an Agile team's definition of "done" typically meant is was "done" for the sprint (and accepted by the product-owner at or before the end of the sprint). In reality, there might be subsequent levels of testing/delivery/release-engineering before it was actually released & deployed.

From a DevOps perspective, the common saying is "Done means deployed" - the corresponding story or feature wouldn't go to the "done" column of the board until it was deployed to production environment.


DevOps is a continuous improvement in delivery cycles and meeting customer needs with top quality , less time and security without compromise on cost and performance. And of-course repeat the cycles with feedback from customers.

Ideally there is NO getting it all "Done" on DevOps. This question is rather a tricky one because its similar to asking

When are you done with development or sales of a software in a Software company?

Ans: Obviously once the company shuts down or you get kicked out !

Similarly there is no Done for DevOps culture. Of course there are deliverable and mile stones which one needs to complete like automating mundane repeated tasks , CICD pipelines etc

A very good explanation for DevOps given by IBM DevOps head.



Scrum teams use definition of “done” to assess when work is complete on the product increment.

As per scrum guide when a product backlog item or an increment is described as “done”, everyone must understand what "done" means. Although this varies significantly per scrum team, members must have a shared understanding of what it means for work to be complete, to ensure transparency.

Daniel Gullo, Founder and Principal at Apple Brook Consulting, Certified Scrum Coach and Certified Scrum Trainer, shares his views on usage of definition of “done” in his recent blog. He says that there are different contexts of “done,” which can be applied at the story level, epic level, release level, product level, and so on.

Daneil says that there are different perspectives of “done”.

The word “done” is often used to mean “complete” as in the Development Team saying: “We are done with this story.” It is also used to indicate “acceptance” as in the Product Owner saying “This story is done.” I typically teach and coach it this way: Don’t say “done.” Instead, use “complete” and “accepted” for more specific indications of status.

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