Setting the Bar for Software Success
Software development projects succeed or fail based on the ability of a development team to meet their clients’ documented and perceived acceptance criteria. Acceptance criteria define the boundaries of a user story in Agile development, verify that the functionality meets user needs and expectations, and are used to confirm when a story is completed and working as intended.
- Define the system behavior
- Ensure features work as expected
- Help the team gauge the amount of work needed to complete a story
- Guide development and QA testing
By including acceptance criteria as part of your requirements documentation, you greatly enhance the likelihood of a successful project.
Why Acceptance Criteria?
It’s common for stakeholders, project owners, and end users to have a hard time defining acceptance criteria at the start of a project. Conversely, once the solution is delivered, they seem to have no problem defining what is missing or wrong. Projects that kick off with incorrect or missing acceptance criteria often face low customer satisfaction levels, missed delivery dates, and development cost overruns as these criteria are uncovered throughout the development process. That’s why it’s critical to define criteria before any development work begins accurately.