You can’t know if you’re ready to release unless you know what done means.
When you use release criteria to know when a project is done, you have taken potentially hidden decisions and made them public and clear. Make your release criteria objective and measurable, so everyone on the project knows what they’re working towards. Use the criteria as you progress through the project and up to the final release. Then you can say ‘Release it!’ with pride. — Johanna Rothman
The quote above is from a fantastic white paper on the subject of release criteria. It’s an easy, accessible read and I recommend it if you’re looking to tighten up the way you make decisions for software product releases and projects in general.
This episode explores the benefits for setting and agreeing to criteria before making decisions.
The mindmap below outlines the points in this episode.
A good example of establishing release criteria is the process I kicked off in the Fedora Project back in 2009.