Acceptance by PO

After the formal acceptance of a User Story[1] it is ready to be released directly or as part of an Epic[2] release.


In order to deliver awesome software at the end of each sprint, the work of the development team must be accepted by the Product Owner during the sprint. If this is postponed till the Sprint Review, there will be no time left to fix any reasons for rejection.

Prepare for success

For the Development Team: deliver story by story, not a big bunch at the end of the sprint. For the Product Owner[3]: be available for testing, feedback & acceptance.


After the manual test (by Product Owner or stakeholder), Product Owner verifies that the goal of the user story was reached, and then Accepts the story (in PivotalTracker). If not, Reject the story, document the reason, and talk to the developer/team.

Definition of Done[4]

  • User Story or bugfix accepted in PivotalTracker
  • User story can directly be released to production or later as part of an epic or release set.

Real Life Example

On the second day of a sprint, one of the developers finished the first story of the sprint, and immediately had it tested by the appointed stakeholder. No issues were found, testing the happy flow and a number of alternative scenarios (unhappy flows). After that, the Product Owner was notified that the story was ready for acceptance. The Product Owner read the remarks of the tester, checked the happy flow for himself, and accepted the story in PivotalTracker. Great start of the sprint!


  1. User Story - A user story describes a functional goal from the perspective of an end-user. Who wants to do what with the product, and why?
  2. Epic - An epic is a means to describe a larger user goal or business goal, that will be further developed in multiple user stories. Linking the user stories to the epic, gives insight in the context and progress of the epic. Epics are used to make a high level planning.
  3. Product Owner - The Product Owner plays a crucial role in the development of a great software product. He or she is responsilble for maintaining the Product Backlog.
  4. Definition of Done - A shared understanding of expectations that the Increment must live up to in order to be releasable into production. Managed by the Development Team.