I'm trying to influence our UAT folks to document software acceptance criteria in a more constructive manner. I realize that a lot of acceptance criteria is project related but I'm looking for advice and EXAMPLES of good boilerplate examples of acceptance criteria that would work to instruct others irrespective of projects?
Re: Acceptance Criteria???
If I understand your post correctly then what you are looking for is a basic template of criteria that you can apply to the end or start of a given project phase.
I say the start or end of a given project phase as the success of an acceptence criteria or Entry Criteria is often only as successful as the preceding Exit Criteria (if there is one) from the previous phase or task.
You mention the word influence in your post - which is the right starting point to improve any serious Quality Assurance awareness in projects. I have listed a number of basic points that people should at least think about in terms of Entry and Exit criteria.
All points assume that some sort of entry/exit criteria exist.
1. Do people understand their own exit criteria ?
2. Do people understand the importance of their deliverables to the next phase / task ?
3. Do the people understand their own entry critiera ?
4. Do they understand what they can expect to be delivered and when it is delivered do they know how to measure it to see if it meets/passes their entry criteria.
5. Are Entry and Exit criteria aligned between related phases/tasks so expectations are already their prior to receipt or delivery of deliverables.
On a lower level - you need to define the criteria from exit to entry and entry to exit. This tasks is not for the faint hearted and neither should you tackle this alone. The analysis of what a process NEEDS in order to achieve its own goals and exit criteria should be reflected in its entry criteria i.e. what do I need to deliver a successful delivery.
The example I have used in recent workshops is the amazing sandwich makers which basically sets up a production line in a make believe sandwich shop and has a different person making/preparing a different part of the sandwich. The point that is made is that if the Bread Cutter fails to deliver his product then the Sandwich Filler cannot perform his task and so on and so on. This might seem simplistic but it certainly gets the point accross to business users.
I have mentioned a few key areas - I have quite a lot of material on these areas - If you direct more specific questions and detail you requirements I would be more than happy to try to furnish you with some answers/help.