Learning Acceptance Testing via Balloon Game

During an agile refresher course that I conducted , I used the balloon game(Thanks to Tastycupcakes) to let the team understand concept Acceptance testing Criteria and the game went well and feedback that I got was it was nice to teach the acceptance criteria through such games.

 How the Game was played? 

  • Time: 5 minutes 
  • Ingredients: 50 balloons (only 30 were used J)
  • Permanent Markers/Sketch pens
  • Number of team members: 16 


Before I displayed the ppt to explain the team about the acceptance criteria that the team should concentrate while developing/ testing a story , I decided to play this game.

I started this way, it’s really boring to stare at the ppt’s for a long time . So Lets Play a game!!! 

I showed the team a balloon which I had already filled with air, with a face drawn on it. I told the team , You’ve got 1 minute to fill air and draw some faces on the balloon. The moment I completed my statement, the team did not even bother to listen anything further. They just started doing their home work. I was just giving the countdown in between the speed up the team’s action. After 1 minute I shouted Time Over
Time Over still some team was doing their job tirelessly.

Then I went to each team to see their product with a small box in my hand, saying that I will accept your balloons only if it fits into the box and only if it has round eyes, equilateral triangle as nose and a semi circle as mouth. The team was really angry on me , since I rejected most of their work product.

The discussions that rose were … Ohh!! It’s really unfair, and you did not say all these Acceptance criteria in the beginning.

Then I said, I though you know that …They said you should have told that …The argument went on for few seconds.

Then I explained my acceptance criteria and played the game , this time the team were able to produce some good work product and most of the balloons and its drawing were as required and hence they were accepted. 

Team Learning’s:

Never start a user story on assumption basis.

Always ask the Product owner about the Acceptance criteria.

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