Recently some of the teams I’m coaching found it difficult to distinguish between acceptance criteria for user stories and the definition of done. Here’s my attempt to make the distinction clear:
- For a user story or feature to be “potentially shippable” it needs to meet the expectations of the Product Owner and be of the agreed quality.
- The Product Owner’s expectations are phrased as acceptance test criteria. Acceptance test criteria are conditions of satisfaction specific for each individual user story. (For more on acceptance criteria read “On Acceptance Criteria”).
- The user story’s (internal) quality is defined in the “Done” statement. The “Done” statement is applicable to all user stories in the project.
Here’s an example:
“As a music lover I want to be able to pay for my album by VISA card”