In “What is a baseline“, we saw that it is a cross-product of what-to-test and test-for-what.
Baseline= what-to-test X test-for-what
Our objective in creating a baseline is to provide a ‘crisp clarity of start point for evaluation’. So what is crisp clarity and therefore a good baseline?
The shaded portion in the picture alongside is what we termed as the Baseline.
A clear articulation of what the yellow portion is what the good baseline , an articulation of the testable cleanliness criteria. And this is termed Acceptance Criteria in the Agile context. Testable implies being precise/objective ensuring no ambiguity in the expectations.
Remember Needs and Expectations, Needs are ‘What-to-test’ (the EUTs) whilst Expectations are ‘Test-for-what’. Hence a clear statement of the criteria for each of the expectations for each EUT of the SUT is what the good baseline . During the construction of the ‘Baseline’, it is possible that some of ‘yellow-portions’ are unclear. What HBT enables you is to ensure that you identify the appropriate cleanliness criteria (aka Expectations) and ask questions to clarify these to make them testable. In real life the expectations may be initially vague and become clearer, but at least it is unclear now rather than be ignorant of the lack of clarity.