As part of presenting each desired feature, the XP Customer defines one or more automated acceptance tests to show that the feature is working. The team builds these tests and uses them to prove to themselves, and to the customer, that the feature is implemented correctly. Automation is important because in the press of time, manual tests are skipped. That’s like turning off your lights when the night gets darkest.
The best XP teams treat their customer tests the same way they do programmer tests: once the test runs, the team keeps it running correctly thereafter. This means that the system only improves, always notching forward, never backsliding.
For more information, review the XP archetype.
(Source: Ron Jeffries)