Agile Glossary

Given – When – Then

What is Given – When – Then?

The Given-When-Then formula is a template intended to guide the writing of acceptance tests for a User Story:

  • (Given) some context
  • (When) some action is carried out
  • (Then) a particular set of observable consequences should obtain

An example:

  • Given my bank account is in credit, and I made no withdrawals recently,
  • When I attempt to withdraw an amount less than my card’s limit,
  • Then the withdrawal should be complete without errors or warnings

Tools such as JBehave, RSpec, or Cucumber encourage the use of this template, though it can also be used purely as a heuristic irrespective of any tool.

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Additional Agile Glossary Terms

An acceptance test is a formal description of the behavior of a software product, generally expressed as an example or a usage scenario. A number of different notations and approaches have been proposed for such examples or scenarios.
Test-driven development (TDD) is a style of programming where coding, testing, and design are tightly interwoven. Benefits include reduction in defect rates.
The team meets regularly to reflect on the most significant events that occurred since the previous such meeting, and identify opportunities for improvement.
A product backlog is a list of the new features, changes to existing features, bug fixes, infrastructure changes or other activities that a team may deliver in order to achieve a specific outcome.
An acceptance test is a formal description of the behavior of a software product, generally expressed as an example or a usage scenario. A number of different notations and approaches have been proposed for such examples or scenarios.
Test-driven development (TDD) is a style of programming where coding, testing, and design are tightly interwoven. Benefits include reduction in defect rates.
The team meets regularly to reflect on the most significant events that occurred since the previous such meeting, and identify opportunities for improvement.

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