We’ve pulled together a collection of Agile terms to help you to understand new terminology.

Sprint Backlog

Sprint Backlog

Blockers

impediments stopping the team from completing their work.

Sprint Planning Meeting

Sprint Planning Meeting

Bottleneck

Typical examples of bottlenecks within software development are, developed work awaiting for testing, analysed stories waiting for development, tested word waiting for deployment. This queued work vastly impedes predictability making forecasts of completion dates highly inaccurate.

Branching

Branching Branching, in revision control and software configuration management, is the duplication of an object under revision control (such as a source code file or a directory tree) so that modifications can happen in parallel along both branches.

Sprint Review

Sprint Review

Breaking the Build

Breaking the Build Breaking the build is about introducing regressions into the source tree that forces developers to not be able to work at all or to duplicate existing work to restore functionality.

Story Points

Story Points Story Points –  story points (aka complexity points) are a relative measure of size for a set of stories (or work). The ultimate aim of using points is to simply validate if the story has been broken down enough.

Build – Measure – Learn

Build – Measure – Learn The Build–Measure–Learn loop emphasizes speed as a critical ingredient to product development. A team or company’s effectiveness is determined by its ability to ideate, quickly build a minimum viable product of that idea, measure its effectiveness in the market, and learn from that experiment. In other words, it’s a learning

Sustainable Pace

Sustainable Pace

Build Process

Build Process The process of converting source code files into standalone software artifact(s) that can be run on a computer.

System Architect

System Architect

Burndown Chart

Burndown Chart A burn down chart is a graphical representation of work left to do versus time. The outstanding work (or backlog) is often on the vertical axis, with time along the horizontal. That is, it is a run chart of outstanding work. It is useful for predicting when all of the work will be

Systemic Flow

Systemic Flow

Burnup Chart

A burn up chart, or burnup chart, tracks project progress, including changes in scope to enable the chart audience to predict completion dates or time.

Business Value

Business Value Any form of benefit can be traced back to three core value statements – to make money, to save money, to protect money.

Systems Thinking

Systems Thinking

Cadence

Cadence By definition is a noun that represents the flow or rhythm of events and the pattern in which something is experienced.

Task

Task

Capacity

Capacity In the context of Agile, capacity refers to the balance of team throughput to demand.

Task Board

Task Board Task Board – are visual communication and planning tools that are extremely useful for teams working in co-located environments.

Certified ScrumMaster

Certified ScrumMaster As defined by the Scrum Alliance, a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is someone who has been taught (by a Certified Scrum Trainer) the Scrum terminology, practices, and principles that will enable them to fulfill the role of ScrumMaster or Scrum team member.

Technical Debt

Technical Debt Technical debt is a concept in programming that reflects the extra development work that arises when code that is easy to implement in the short run is used instead of applying the best overall solution. Technical debt can be compared to monetary debt. If technical debt is not repaid, it can accumulate ‘interest’,

Code Quality

Code Quality In the context of software engineering, software quality refers to two related but distinct notions that exist wherever quality is defined in a business context: Software functional quality reflects how well it complies with or conforms to a given design, based on functional requirements or specifications. That attribute can also be described as

Test Automation

Test Automation

Code Smell

Code Smell Code smell, also known as bad smell, in computer programming code, refers to any symptom in the source code of a program that possibly indicates a deeper problem. According to Martin Fowler, “a code smell is a surface indication that usually corresponds to a deeper problem in the system”.

Test-Driven Development (TDD)

Test-Driven Development (TDD)

Throughput

Throughput

Colocation

Colocation When developers, testers, product owner, business analysts or anyone else required to enable a team to create value without depending upon another team, sit together to tap into the benefits of ambient knowledge transfer and rapid face to face communication.

Timebox

Timebox

Complexity Points

Complexity Points Complexity points (aka story points) are a relative measure of a set of stories (or work). The ultimate aim of using points is to simply validate if the story has been broken down enough.

Unit Testing

Unit Testing

Complexity Thinking

Complexity Thinking Complexity theory refers to a study of complex system or complex systems for organisations, the application of complexity theory to strategy

User Acceptance Tests

User Acceptance Tests

User Experience (UX)

User Experience (UX)

Continuous Delivery

Continuous Delivery Continuous delivery (CD) is a software engineering approach in which teams produce software in short cycles, ensuring that the software can be reliably released at any time.

User Roles

User Roles

Continuous Deployment

Continuous Deployment Continuous deployment is a devops techniques used to reduce the amount of time it takes to get written code safely into a production environment.

User story

User story User story – simple, brief and concise statements, used to describe customer software requirements, from a particular user’s perspective.

Continuous Improvement

Continuous Improvement Continuous improvement is the idea that doing a lessons learned at the end of a project is too late. In continuous improvement you look at your ways of working frequently throughout your project and course correct where necessary.

Value

Value

Continuous Integration

Continuous Integration In software engineering, continuous integration (CI) is the practice of merging all developer working copies to a shared mainline several times a day. Grady Booch first named and proposed CI in his 1991 method, although he did not advocate integrating several times a day. Extreme programming (XP) adopted the concept of CI and

Vanity Metric

Vanity Metric

Cross-Functional Team

Cross-Functional Team When developers, testers, product owner, business analysts or anyone else required to enable a team to create value without depending upon another team come together as a formed team.

Velocity

Velocity

Crystal

Crystal An Agile development methodology created by Alistair Cockburn.

Wireframing

Wireframing

Daily Scrum

Daily Scrum A very short and concise daily team meeting where the team gather around the board to discuss the flow of work through the team. The objective of the meeting is to remove impediments or blockers preventing the team from making progress. The meeting is conducted standing up to keep the meeting short.

Work in Progress (WIP)

Work in Progress (WIP)

Daily Stand up

Daily Stand up A daily meeting which is designed to be quick (5-15minutes) and participants stand up for the duration.  Each team member quickly covers their progress, planned work and any blockers to delivery.

XP Practices

XP Practices XP Practices – the set of development practices, including pair-programming, test-first, or test-driven development (TDD) and continuous refactoring.

Definition of Done

Definition of Done Each team creates their own definition of done. The definition of done describes at what point a story (or piece of work) should be considered done. A simple example is: Done means when a story has been designed, developed, tested, defects resolved, and customer has signed it off.

Demo (Demonstration)

Demo (Demonstration) The demo (aka showcase) is a critical feedback loop within Agile software development. You should aim to demo software as often as possible to find out if you’ve developed the right solution and developed it to the right level of quality.

Design Pattern

Design Pattern In software engineering, a software design pattern is a general reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem within a given context in software design.

Developers & Testers

Developers & Testers In Agile software development we aim to fuse developers and testers together to enable rapid feedback on developed software.

DevOps

DevOps DevOps (a clipped compound of “software DEVelopment” and “information technology OPerationS”) is a term used to refer to a set of practices that emphasize the collaboration and communication of both software developers and information technology (IT) professionals while automating the process of software delivery and infrastructure changes.

Discovery

Discovery The first phase in the development of an Agile IS project where service user’s needs are researched, what should be measured is established and technological or policy-related constraints are explored.

Distributed Development Team

Distributed Development Team A distributed development team works across multiple business worksites or locations. Team members may not see each other face to face, but they are all working collaboratively toward the outcome of the project.

Domain Model

Domain Model In software engineering, a domain model is a conceptual model of the domain that incorporates both behavior and data.

Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)

Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) Dynamic systems development method (DSDM) is an agile project delivery framework, primarily used as a software development method. First released in 1994, DSDM originally sought to provide some discipline to the rapid application development (RAD) method.

Enterprise Architect

Enterprise Architect Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is a visual modeling and design tool based on the OMG UML. The platform supports: the design and construction of software systems; modeling business processes; and modeling industry based domains.

Epic

Epic A very large user story that is eventually broken down into smaller stories

Exponential Scale

Exponential Scale 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 – a common story point scale used as a relative measure of a set of stories (or work). The ultimate aim of using points is to simply validate if the story has been broken down enough.

Extreme Programming (XP)

Extreme Programming (XP) Extreme programming (XP) is a software development methodology which is intended to improve software quality and responsiveness to changing customer requirements.

Epic Stories

Epic Stories  

Estimation

Estimation

Fail-Fast

Fail-Fast

Feature

Feature

Feature Teams

Feature Teams

Feature-based Planning

Feature-based Planning

Fibonacci Scale

Fibonacci Scale 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 – a common story point scale used as a relative measure of a set of stories (or work). The ultimate aim of using points is to simply validate if the story has been broken down enough.

Flow

Flow

Hypothesis driven development

Hypothesis driven development

Impediment

Impediment

Inspect and Adapt

Inspect and Adapt Empirical software process has empirical focus. It requires the use of agile approach to understand how to improve the software product, software development process and software management.

Integration Hell

Integration Hell

INVEST (acronym)

INVEST (acronym)

Iteration

Iteration another word for Sprint. (see sprint).

Iteration Execution

Iteration Execution

Iteration Plan

Iteration Plan

Iteration Retrospective

Iteration Retrospective

JIT Inventory

JIT Inventory

Kaizen

Kaizen

Kanban

Kanban A work management method which focuses on work visualisation to identify bottlenecks, limiting work in progress to go faster, and focuses on end-to-end delivery

Kano Analysis

Kano Analysis

Lean

Lean

Lean Software Development

Lean Software Development

Little's Law

Little’s Law

Lunar Logic Scale

Lunar Logic Scale A relative scale consisting of 1, TFB (too flipping big), NFC (no flipping clue). The point of this scale is to encourage the team to break down stories to a level of granularity that all stories are of a similar size.

Minimum Marketable Feature

Minimum Marketable Feature

Minimum Marketable Product (MMP)

Minimum Marketable Product (MMP)

Minimum Viable Feature

Minimum Viable Feature Is a feature which has just enough functionality to test the assumptions and validity of the feature.

minimum viable product (MVP)

minimum viable product (MVP) minimum viable product (MVP) – is a product which has just enough features to more features which increase costs and risk in the case where the product fails, for example due to incorrect assumptions.

MoSCoW

MoSCoW

Nonfunctional Requirements (NFRs)

Nonfunctional Requirements (NFRs)

Pair Programming

Pair Programming Pair Programming – Pair programming is an agile software development technique in which two programmers work together at one workstation. One, the driver, writes code while the other, the observer or navigator, reviews each line of code as it is typed in. The two programmers switch roles frequently.

Persona

Persona

Planning Game

Planning Game

Planning Poker

Planning Poker

Portfolio Backlog

Portfolio Backlog

Portfolio Metrics

Portfolio Metrics

Product Backlog

Product Backlog Product Backlog – a prioritised list of epics, stories, and tasks that are waiting to be worked on

Product Management

Product Management

Product Owner

Product Owner Product Owner – person whom holds the vision for the product and is responsible for maintaining, prioritising and updating the product backlog.

Product Vision

Product Vision

Program Backlog

Program Backlog

Program Epics

Program Epics

Program Portfolio Management

Program Portfolio Management

Prototyping

Prototyping

Rapid Application Development (RAD)

Rapid Application Development (RAD)

Rational Unified Process

Rational Unified Process

Refactoring

Refactoring

Regression Test

Regression Test

Release Plan

Release Plan

Acceptance Testing

In engineering and its various sub-disciplines, acceptance testing is a test conducted to determine if the requirements of a specification or contract are met. It may involve chemical tests, physical tests, or performance tests.

Release Planning

Release Planning

Adaptive Planning

Empirical planning instead of deterministic planning; which means measure and predict, instead of plan and promise

Retrospective

Retrospective Retrospective – the final team meeting in the sprint which is used to determine what went well, what didn’t go well and how the team can improve.  The focus is on performance and improvement. Similar to a lessons learned but run every two weeks instead of right at the end of the project or

Agile

an alternative to traditional sequential project management approaches.  Agile methodologies are undertaken in incremental, iterative phases, with emphasis on team collaboration, continuous planning, testing and integration.

Road map

Road map

Scrum

Scrum

Agile Development Practices

Agile software development describes a set of principles for software development under which requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing cross-functional teams. It advocates adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, and continuous improvement, and it encourages rapid and flexible response to change. These principles support the definition and continuing evolution of many

Scrum of Scrums

Scrum of Scrums

Agile Manifesto

The term agile was first coined for this in 2001, in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development (Agile Manifesto). Http://agilemanifesto.org

Scrum Team

Scrum Team

Agile Project Management

Agile Project Management describes a set of principles for software development under which requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing cross-functional teams. It advocates adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, and continuous improvement, and it encourages rapid and flexible response to change. These principles support the definition and continuing evolution of many

ScrumMaster

ScrumMaster

Agile Software Development

Agile software development describes a set of principles for software development under which requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing cross-functional teams. It advocates adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, and continuous improvement, and it encourages rapid and flexible response to change. These principles support the definition and continuing evolution of many

Self-Organising

Self-Organising

Alpha

a phase in the delivery of an Agile IS project where solutions are prototyped for user’s needs. Testing with a small group of users or stakeholders is undertaken and early feedback about the design of the service is collated.

Shared Resources

Shared Resources

Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)

Application lifecycle management (ALM) is the product lifecycle management (governance, development, and maintenance) of computer programs. It encompasses requirements management, software architecture, computer programming, software testing, software maintenance, change management, continuous integration, project management, and release management.

Show and Tell / Showcase

Show and Tell / Showcase Show and Tell / Showcase – a demonstration event for the team to present work completed during the sprint.  The product owner reviews the work completed to date and stakeholders provide feedback.

Backlog

The backlog comprises an ordered list of requirements that a team maintains for a product. It consists of features, bug fixes, non-functional requirements, etc.—whatever must be done to successfully deliver a viable product.

Backlog Grooming

backlog grooming is a collaborative effort involving the Product Owner, Development Team (BA’s, Dev’s, Testers), whereby they review the prioritised backlog, make adjustments to priorities, elaborate any detail where needed, and remove stories no longer required.

Software Quality

Software Quality

Backlog Item

A backlog item is any item that requires future work. Examples include, stories, technical spikes, design spikes, incidents, Business As Usual requests (BAU), Technical Debt, plus many others.

Spike

Spike Spike – a short, time-boxed piece of research, usually technical, on a single story that is intended to provide just enough information that the team can estimate the size of the story or de-risk it.

Beta

a phase in the delivery of an Agile IS project where development against the demands of a live environment is undertaken and a version to test in public is released.

Sprint

Sprint Sprint– a time boxed period during which specific work is completed and made ready to review.  These usually take place over a period of 1-2 weeks.

Big Visible Charts

how we visualise the world dominates how we perceive the world. Therefore, it’s really important that teams are surrounded by big information radiators to act as amplified platforms for communication.