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14 Examples of Acceptance Criteria

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Acceptance criteria are conditions that are used to determine if work has been completed to requirements. They are defined by stakeholders such as sponsors, customers, operations teams and subject matter experts. Acceptance criteria are designed to be unambiguous such that stakeholders can't reject work on an arbitrary basis. The following are illustrative examples of acceptance criteria.


Observable behavior of a system or tool that can be tested by using it. For example, "a user is able to view a complete history of their orders."

Business Rules

Business rules are often phrased as if ... then statements. For example, "if the user gets their password wrong three times then they are locked out of the system for 30 minutes."

Process Flow

Specifications of steps in a process including automated steps and human tasks. For example, "when the customer submits an application an approval task is created in the sales system."


Specifications for a calculation that may include business rules, algorithms and formulas. For example, "if the customer account is less than one year old, 10 points is added to the risk score."


Details of how events are generated and handled. For example, "if a customer doesn't purchase an item within 10 minutes of adding it to their cart, the marketing system is notified."


Validation of user input. For example, "if the customer adds a product to their cart that can't be shipped to their default shipping location, present a warning message that states ..."


Capturing aspects of a product that make it pleasing and productive to use. For example, "by default, all sounds are disabled."

Look & Feel

Expectations for look and feel that give designers enough flexibility to make things look good. For example, "the site is compliant with our brand style guide."


Expectations for implementation that give architects, designers, engineers, subject matter experts and other implementors flexibility to do their job. For example, "the software will pass security review and testing processes as defined by the Chief Information Security Officer."


Performance requirements such as "the system will have a page load time of less than 3 seconds with 1000 concurrent users."


Definitions of internal controls. For example, "the system will log all requests with a user id."


Operations requirements such as "the platform will integrate with the autoscaling API and automatically request resources as required to to handle workloads."


Expectations for quality such as "the device will continue to operate normally after being dropped 22 times from a height of 6 feet onto concrete."


Constraints on materials such as "all ingredients will be certified organic."
Overview: Acceptance Criteria Examples
Conditions that are used to determine if work has been completed to requirements.
Related Concepts


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Conformance Quality
Cost Of Poor Quality
Credence Quality
Critical To Customer
Critical To Quality
Customer Satisfaction
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Defect Density
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Quality Management
Quality Metrics
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Quality Requirements
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Acceptance Testing
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