Michał Wesołowski

99 test balloons

by .  
30 +


Defining acceptance criteria is not the same as writing

tests, only to be applied after something is produced. They can be used as requirements,

as tests, and as a target for developers.

Automating acceptance tests (or executable requirements)

can be very useful, as demonstrated by the test harnesses produced during the game.

The investment in creating and automating acceptance

tests is worthwhile and has a high return.




    Start by showing the teams a balloon that you would like created (or draw one).

    Test Balloon with Acceptance Criteria

    Test Balloon with Acceptance Criteria

    The balloon has a face made up of two round eyes, a triangular nose, and a semi

    circle mouth. Without any further instructions, tell the teams that they have 2

    minutes to create as many of the balloons as possible, then have them bring the

    balloons up to be ‘accepted’. Eliminate any balloons that do not meet your criteria

    of ~10 inches wide, ~2 inch eyes, ~1 inch gap between eyes, ~1.5 inch high nose,

    and ~4.5 inch wide mouth. Very few teams will have balloons that meet the criteria.

    As you reject their work (waste), ask the teams if they’ve ever had a similar experience

    in software development. Before the second round, give the teams 2 minutes to discuss

    how they can improve for the next iteration. They should start asking more questions

    about the acceptance criteria, which you will happily offer. When round 2 starts,

    the teams will now apply the acceptance criteria to their work and some will even

    start building ‘test harnesses’ (e.g. paper templates for face, quick ways to measure

    balloon width, etc.) . The results should be better in round 2. Discuss how they

    changed the way they worked and what improvements they would make the next time.

    If needed, play one more round. This time, every team should be using a test harness

    and should therefore be producing balloons with much more efficiency and quality.


    Comments (0) 

    Please Log in or Sign up for FREE SessionLab account to continue.