Acceptance Planning in Project Management

Acceptance Planning in Project Management
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  • 0:04 What Is Acceptance Planning?
  • 0:54 Deliverables
  • 1:30 Criteria
  • 2:38 Acceptance Testing
  • 4:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: LeRon Haire
In this lesson, you'll explore the components of an acceptance plan and discover why it is an important element in the planning process. You'll also learn how to create an acceptance plan for a given project.

What Is Acceptance Planning?

Imagine that you run your own IT company and you're working with a software company that wants to upgrade their technology and equipment. As the owner of the company, it's your duty to make sure that your client, the software company, accepts what you have produced for them as satisfactory work. This is accomplished through an acceptance plan, which is an agreement between a client and the manager of a project that states the tasks that needed to be completed and the criteria that must be met to get final approval or acceptance from the client at the end of the project.

In our IT example, the acceptance plan would be an agreement between your IT company and the software company. In this lesson, we'll explore the components of an acceptance plan, including project deliverables, criteria, and standards for the project, and acceptance test activities.


First off, the term deliverables can be defined as a product or service, either tangible or intangible, that is going to be the result of a project and will be provided to the customers. Typically, deliverables are things such as memos, reports, or things that are directly related to the project at hand.

In our IT example, there are several things that may be considered deliverables, including a proposed budget, new computers, new routers, and even a training program designed to educate users. Simply put, the deliverables are the results that the customer is interested in seeing.


If the deliverables of an acceptance plan are designed to show a customer the results of the project, then the criteria is used to show exactly how the deliverables are to be met. It's for this reason that the criteria of an acceptance plan must be met before the deliverables of a project are to be accepted. The criteria portion of the acceptance plan outlines the particular circumstances that the customer will choose to accept the final project and is often viewed as a standard. These circumstances may typically include instructions as to how the requirements will be performed.

Using our IT example, let's take a look at some of the criteria that may be used for a project:

  1. System backup settings have been tested and have passed.
  2. An authentic IT interruption plan has been implemented for situations in which there are software emergencies and there are no IT staff members immediately available to assist.
  3. Software privacy and intrusion protection has been implemented and passed testing with a satisfactory grade.

These types of criteria are used to show exactly how your IT company will go about making sure that the deliverables will be met.

Acceptance Testing

Acceptance testing can be defined as a group of activities or procedures in place to determine if certain requirements have been satisfied. Acceptance testing is an important part of acceptance planning because it allows the client to successfully demonstrate that they have the ability to meet the requirements for the project manager. These tests are useful because they help to identify a problem, provide a summary of how complete the system is, and they capture the user requirements in a method that can be measured. Let's look at some of the different types of acceptance testing.

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