User Story Acceptance

The writing of stories in agile sometimes causes confusion for those who haven’t written stories previously.  Assuming you manage to get over the story hurdle, and followed the advice/template from Mike Cohn and co., you’ll then move onto the next hurdle, story acceptance criteria.  Acceptance provides the details on what must pass before the story is said to be “Done”.   Acceptance comes in a few flavors:  scenario and criteria/tests.  Acceptance criteria/test are basically scripts, where as criteria state the boundary of the story.  Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) has in recent years become the tool of choice for acceptance tests, allowing text to be written in a business-readable domain-specific language and serves as documentation, automated tests and development-aid – see Cucumber.

Unfortunately, given the above, there is still a problem as to who should write the acceptance tests.  Exploring UX Techniques and Practices (Agile 2012) offers a view, which is probably worth reading in conjunction with Gokjo’s posting – How to implement UI testing without shooting yourself in the foot.
Net out, if you can write a well framed story following the story template, add appropriate acceptance criteria and tests, then you should be in a better place to capture the Product Owners requirements, and ensure stories can be tests, and thus marked “done”.

~ by mdavey on August 21, 2012.

3 Responses to “User Story Acceptance”

  1. “there is still a problem as to who should write the acceptance tests.”

    How about the product owner (provided they have the proper UX focus) writes the acceptance criteria?

  2. If you’re new to BDD, get the devs to write the scenarios down after having a conversation, then show them to the product owner. This way, if there’s a misunderstanding, the product owner will be able to spot it and have another conversation. The devs will also get a chance to practice using the language of the business, which makes them more likely to carry it into their code.

    Most teams who let the PO write the scenarios down forget to have the conversation, IME.

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