Way of Working.

Acceptance Criteria

Acceptance criteria are written against every individual ticket in a project. The acceptance criteria live up to their name, as they are used as the criteria which must be met in order for a ticket to be considered complete in development.


At the start of each iteration, during the planning session, the Product manager writes a list of criteria against each ticket. Depending on the size and complexity of each ticket, the list may be small or large. What is important is that the PM is directly involved with the writing of this criteria, as this is what determines whether a ticket is done or not. If they wish to change the ticket once the criteria are agreed upon, then it must be submitted as a change request (rather than the ticket being considered incomplete).

Occasionally, a need will arise where the criteria may need to get changed. For example, the developers may discover that a certain point may be incredibly complex and will blow out the estimated time. In these cases, the PM should be contacted and informed of this issue, and it is up to them around how they wish to proceed. They could either chose to remove the point altogether, alter it slightly so it is less complex, or leave it in and accept the longer ticket length. If either of the first two options is chosen, then it may be entered as a ticket of its own in the project backlog so it can be addressed later.

During an iteration, the developers should consult with this list before and after they have finished developing and use it as a list of the requirements that they should build to. Anyone who tests the ticket will also make use of the list. A ticket cannot be considered done until all items have been checked off.

acceptance criteria.png

Last updated: 21 November 2019


Related articles