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An Agile Approach to Acceptance Driven Development

05.31.2013
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An Agile Approach to Acceptance Driven Development from Susan Windsor on Vimeo.

My views on Acceptance Driven Development have been formed over many years of delivering bespoke software solutions. For example, I spent ten years working on high risk, bleeding edge technology solutions under fixed price contracts. This does focus the mind on what has to be done to both manage customer expectations and get paid whilst still making a profit!

In an environment where we use a traditional delivery model; when utilisation drives commercial behaviour, when purchasing departments push for a lower prices, and a premium is charged for specification changes, we shouldn’t be surprised when timescales and costs increase.

Acceptance Driven Development makes total sense for organisations wishing to take both a professional approach to software delivery and adopt collaborative working relationships with their customers.
So, whether you’re looking at Acceptance Driven Development from a supplier or customer perspective, it brings significant benefits in terms of delivering value (as well as working software) within a predicted timescale and cost because it’s a natural and effective control mechanism.

Acceptance Driven isn’t a new concept but it does fit neatly within an Agile environment. The use of Business Stories to example features in requirements removes ambiguities and gaps in requirements thus improving understanding and supporting collaborative working. The structure of Business Stories is complimentary to the structure of test cases, so creating Acceptance Criteria prior to development commencing has never been easier!

This video explores how Acceptance Driven Development can be implemented within an Agile environment, using Business Stories whilst supporting both Agile and Structured development.