Acceptance Criteria

Introduction :

A criteria is a benchmark, upon which a team relies for assessing progress of a subject in consideration. Acceptance criteria represents a condition that states whether the specified requirements are fulfilled or not. It is an evaluation technique that helps to determine the intended product is working as expected. Acceptance criteria adds a level of certainty to what the team is intending to build.

Now once the team has validated the criteria, the same is taken forward as an input to the next subsequent levels of software development. Acceptance criteria has emerged as a measurement criteria for assessing the functioning and thus verifying and validating the results.

Typically, an acceptance criteria is written in a very simple language, which could be easily understood by the users.

Let us take an example of a situation, where the customer requirements are like - "i should be able to search the name of a book along with its details with the help of a universal search option on the front page of my library management system". Considering the above option, the acceptance criteria could be set as follows :

  • Search by the name of a book only.
  • Search by the publisher name, that shows all books belonging to the same category.
  • Restrict the search with the name of a website.

Acceptance Criteria Specifications :

What must an acceptance criteria include?
  • The impact of a specific scenario on other aspects of the application.
  • All negative consequences of implementing a functionality.
  • List the concerns related to user interface.
  • Functional and non-functional use cases.
  • Issues regarding performance and specify guidelines to be followed.
  • What does the system supposed to do?
  • End-to-End user flow.

Benefits of acceptance criteria :

  • It helps the team to analyse the various aspects of the application, and think from an end-user perspective.
  • An acceptance criteria enables the testers to write test cases with precision, without much complexity involved in it.
  • Removes unnecessary or irrelevant information.

Creating Acceptance Criteria :

An acceptance criteria is the one which is comprised of three parts :

  • Input - An input may be something like entering a value or clicking on some button to trigger some action.
  • Process- The task of evaluating computation. This is just to analyse whether our intended purpose is solved the way it should.
  • Outcome - Outcome is the final result. The outcome of acceptance criteria should be tested with least complexity. An acceptance criteria makes the task of finding out risks easier.

Conclusion :

To get positive results, we must think of a way that is best to serve the desired objectives. An acceptance criteria is simply a way of defining what are the tasks to be attained and the subsequent activities that need to be performed post the validation. Acceptance criteria defines a set of parameters that helps the team to work within a boundary to achieve the expected outcome.