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Manage It! by Johanna Rothman

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Define Release Criteria

Release criteria tell you what done means (Release Criteria: Is This Software Done? [Rot02] and Roundtable on Project Management: A SHAPE Forum Dialogue [BWB01]). Some project managers release software when some senior manager says so, when the testers “approve” it, or when people feel it is right. The problem is everyone has a different opinion of what done means.

Release criteria are not about shifting blame from one group to another; they exist to provide some objective measurement about when a product is ready to release. Release criteria allows the sponsor/customer to make a reasonable business decision about the quality and risks of the product.

When you develop release criteria, first decide what’s critically ...

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