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Rachel, While distinguishing between "acceptance criteria" and "acceptance tests" is logical and probably fine at a local team level, the most credible resources on User Stories do not make that distinction. You mentioned Mike Cohn's book, but he also refers to the "acceptance criteria" you speak of as "acceptance tests". Further, in Ron Jeffries(the co-inventor of user stories) 3 c's article: He refers to "defining" the acceptance tests vs. "implementing" the acceptance tests. I sometimes refer to "creating" the Story Tests vs. "executing" or "automating the story tests." Further, I would worry that "criteria" would take the focus off of a test strategy and might lead us back to "the system shall" style prose requirements. Again, though, I think it is perfectly fine for any team to set up whatever terminology they like. I personally prefer to use industry standard terminology (when it exists formally or by consensus) when I can because I think it helps the global Agile community. In this case, IMO, Ron and Mike's terminology of "Acceptance Tests" is the consenus standard.
Toggle Commented Jun 7, 2012 on When To Write Story Tests at Agile Coaching
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Jun 7, 2012