Work Backwards: Then-When-Given

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The Behaviour Specification Handbook

Effective Behaviour Specification Steps

Work Backwards: Then-When-Given

Consider writing the Gherkin steps in reverse order. Write the “Then” steps first, followed by the “When” and finally elaborate on the “Given” steps.

The wording in the “Then” steps (and also some of the other steps) typically overlaps with part of the Behaviour Specification Description that already has been written. Starting with “Then” and copying and pasting the relevant text from the Behaviour Specification Description is a great way to focus on the goal and kick-start the process of specifying that particular behaviour. Sometimes doing this feels too easy, but it is a sound approach — and no one ever suggested that writing the steps has to be difficult!

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