Acceptance Criteria

Table of Content

What Are Acceptance Criteria?

Acceptance criteria are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound requirements that a product or system must meet to be accepted by a customer. They are usually written as part of a specification document.

These are the different types of acceptance criteria:

  • Scenario-oriented: These focus on the specific steps or actions that need to be taken for a User Story or requirement to be considered complete.
  • Rule-oriented: Specific, unambiguous statements of what must be true for a given requirement to be considered satisfactory. They define the boundaries within which a requirement is deemed acceptable and help ensure that all requirements are understood in the same way.
  • Custom formats: Vary depending on the project.

Some example acceptance criteria for a web application might include:

  • The application must load within three seconds on a broadband connection.
  • The user interface must be easy to use and navigate.
  • The application must correctly handle 500 simultaneous users.

Why Are Acceptance Criteria Important?

Agile teams need to have acceptance criteria to ensure that every product iteration will meet customer expectations. These give team members an apparent knowledge of what has to be done to approve a product increment. Furthermore, these criteria help ensure that the product’s enhancement is genuinely valuable to the client.

Teams and stakeholders should agree upon the acceptance criteria, which must be clear and concise. Additionally, they should be testable, which means they can be validated through a series of tests.

For example, suppose a software’s acceptance criterion is its capacity to handle a certain number of transactions per second. In that case, the team should be able to validate this by running a load test.

If the product passes the acceptance criteria, the team can consider it ready for release. However, if it does not meet the acceptance criteria, the team will need to fix its issues and conduct re-testing.

It is also important to consider defining the acceptance criteria early in the development process, so that everyone involved is on the same page about what's expected of the product. This helps avoid confusion and ensures that everyone works towards a common goal.

How Can GoRetro Help Your Team With Acceptance Criteria?

If you're having problems defining your acceptance criteria, GoRetro is here to help. Our team can assist you in developing an excellent set of acceptance criteria to help your team move forward with confidence.

GoRetro is an intuitive online retrospective tool that aids various businesses in their product development. Our pre-defined templates and unlimited collaborative and customizable boards make it easy for you to get started quickly, no matter where you are in the development process. 


Acceptance criteria are specific requirements that a product or system must meet to be accepted by the customer or user. Setting these for your business upgrades the quality and efficiency of your work and ensures that everyone is on the same page.

Many elements can be included in an acceptance criteria document, but it will always depend on the project at hand. The key is to make sure that the criteria are clear and can be objectively measured.

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