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Demystify Agile Terminology
and Learn Something New

In the fast-paced world of Agile, navigating through a sea of jargon and approaches can be bewildering. That's why it's crucial to demystify Agile terminology. This glossary aims to provide clarity, ensuring that when we use common terms, we're all on the same page. By delving into this resource, you'll not only unravel the complexities but also embark on a learning journey, gaining a solid grasp of Agile concepts and approaches. Let's bridge the communication gap and empower our teams with a shared language for success.

Agile Terminology & Glossary

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1-2-4-All

wuhn-too-fohr-awl
a facilitation technique: Reflect individually, share in pairs, discuss in groups, share with everyone.

16th Minute

sik-stenth min-it
the minute after Daily Scrum where teams handle impediments or collaboration not requiring everyone.

3 Amigos Meeting

THREE uh-MEE-gohs MEE-ting
a collaborative meeting with a product owner, developer, and tester to align on user story understanding.

3 Cs

THREE-seez
an agile acronym representing the card, conversation, and confirmation elements needed for good stories.

5 whys

fahyv WAHZ
a problem-solving technique that involves asking "Why?" five times to identify the root cause of an issue,

A

Agile Approach

aj-uhl uh-prohch
a way of managing work aligning with the Agile Manifesto's values and principles.

Agile Framework

aj-uhl fraym-wurk
a process outline that aligns with the Agile Manifesto but leaves room for customization.

Agile Principles

aj-uhl prin-suh-puhls
twelve guiding statements outlined in the Agile Manifesto aimed at improving software development.

Agile Triangle

A-jyle TRY-an-guhl
a graphical representation of the interplay between scope, time, and cost in agile approaches.

Asynchronous Daily Scrum

ey-sing-kruh-nuhs DEY-lee skruhm
a Daily Scrum ran through adhoc messaging that does not require the team to be available simultaneously

Agile Methodology

aj-uhl muh-thod-ol-uh-jee
an approach to software development fulfilling the agile principles and values in the Agile Manifesto.

B

Backlog Grooming

bak-lawg groo-ming
a now outdated term (see Backlog Refinement) for activities that keep the Product Backlog maintained.

Backlog Refinement

bak-lawg ri-fahyn-muhnt
a recurring activity that keeps the Product Backlog maintained and gets PBIs ready for Sprint Planning.

Batch Size

BATCH SY-zuh
the number of items processed together in a single operation.

Bonus Fries

BOH-nuhs FRYZ
unseen surplus fries hidden at the fast-food bag's bottom, surprising nutrition after the meal seems done.

Bottleneck

BOT-l-nek
a point in a process where work items accumulate or slow down, causing a backlog.

Bug

buhg
an unexpected behavior identified after a user story has been complted and accepted by the Product Owner.

Business Stakeholders

BIZ-niss STAYK-hohl-durz
internal, usually non-technical individuals with an interest in a project or product.

Business Value

BIZ-ness VAL-yoo
an indicator of the benefits expected to be gained by a proposed change.

C

Cadence

KAY-dens
a structured rhythm that guides event scheduling to ensure consistent delivery and progress.

Capacity-Driven Planning

kuh-PAS-i-tee-DRIV-en PLAN-ing
a method of planning a Sprint based on the available capacity of the team.

Co-Located

koh-loh-kay-ted
teams sharing the same physical workspace for seamless collaboration and communication.

Commitment

kuh-mit-muhnt
the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.

Continuous Delivery

kən-TIN-yoo-us dih-LIV-uh-ree
the ability to get changes of all types into the hands of users, safely and quickly in a sustainable way.

Courage

kuh-rij
the ability to face difficulty in spite of your fears

D

Daily Scrum

DAY-lee SKRUHM
a 15-minute event for the Developers to communicate, identify impediments, and make quick decisions.

Definition of Done

dee-fuh-NISH-uhn uhv duhn
an agreement clearly stating what is required for a piece of work to be categorically classified as ‘done’

Definition of Ready

DEF-i-NISH-un uhv RED-ee
a commonly used technique to determine when a user story or task is considered ready for implementation.

Development Team

dih-VEL-op-muhnt teem
an empowered, self-managing team that delivers working software in increments.

Done Increment

DUHN IN-kruh-muhnt
an increment that meets the team's predefined Definition of Done (DoD).

Defect

DEE-fekt
a problem occurring in a Sprint and preventing a user story from meeting it's definition of done.

E

Effort

EH-fert
the amount of work or resources expended to accomplish a task or achieve a goal.

Empirical Process Control

em-PEER-i-kuhl PRO-ses kuhn-TROHL
an approach in which decision-making is based on real-time feedback and empirical evidence.

Empiricism

ehm-PEER-uh-siz-uhm
a manner of working that values experience and bases decisions on factual evidence.

Epic

EH-pik
a large, significant body of work that can be broken down into smaller work items for implementation.

eXtreme Programming

iks-TREEM PROH-gram-ing
an agile software development approach emphasizing collaboration, adaptability, and frequent releases.

F

Feature Complete

FEE-chur kuhm-PLEET
all planned features implemented; product ready for testing and quality assurance.

Fitness Criteria

FIT-ness KRY-teer-ee-uh
metrics that measure how well a product or service meets the expectations of a customer

Flow

FLOH
the movement of potential value through a given process.

Flow Metrics

FLOH MEH-triks
metrics tracking work flow and efficiency, revealing insights into productivity and bottlenecks.

Focus

FOH-kuhs
to concentrate attention or effort

Forecast

FOR-kast
an estimate of achievable work based on past performance and factors, without commitment.

Functional Spike

FUHNK-shuh-nl SPYK
research task focused on understanding the customer's need or usability.

G

Gemba Walk

GEM-ba WAWK
a lean practice where leaders observe work on-site to inform decisions.

Given-When-Then

GIV-uhn WEN THEN
a structured format for expressing scenarios in behavior-driven development (BDD).

Gold-Plating

GOHLD-PLAY-ting
adding unnecessary features beyond requirements, causing complexity and wasted effort.

Golden Story

GOHL-dun STOHR-ee
a benchmark story for estimating others.

Growth Mindset

GROHTH MIN-set
the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through dedication, learning, and resilience.

H

Hardening Sprint

HARD-ning SPRINT
a short development phase focusing on stabilizing and preparing software for release.

High-Performing Team

HIGH per-FORM-ing TEEM
a team with diverse skills and shared commitment that achieves superior results through collaboration.

HiPPO

HIH-poh
the Highest Paid Person's Opinion, referring to decisions based on those opinions rather than evidence.

Hyperactive Hive Mind

HY-per-AK-tiv HYV MYND
a state in which constant digital communication and collaboration lead to decision fatigue within a group.

Hypothesis-driven Development

HY-poth-uh-sis DRIV-uhn dih-VEL-uhp-muhnt
A development approach where features are treated as hypotheses, aiming to validate assumptions.

I

Ideal Days

ahy-DEEL deyz
a unit for estimating work based on uninterrupted completion time and immediate resource availability.

Impediment

im-PED-uh-munt
an obstacle that hinders developers from working to their forecasted progress.

Increment

IN-kruh-muhnt
a small, functional addition to a product, typically developed during a single iteration or Sprint.

Incremental Development

in-kruh-men-tl dih-vel-up-muhnt
improving the product through small, independent, mostly polished pieces.

Intraspective

in-truh-SPEK-tiv
a mid-sprint retrospective aimed at learning from critical issues, fostering prompt improvements.

Iterative Development

ih-tuh-reh-tiv dih-vel-up-muhnt
improving the product through repeated cycles of testing and refinement.

J

Job Rotation

JOB roh-TEY-shun
a practice where employees move between roles, fostering skill development and business understanding.

Journey Mapping

JUR-nee MAP-ing
a visualization technique that illustrates the experience of a user across a product, service, or brand.

Just-In-Time

JUST in TIME
a strategy emphasizing producing items or completing tasks precisely when needed, reducing waste.

K

Kaizen

KY-zuhn
improvement in Japanese; an approach that makes small, continuous enhancements to improve over time.

Kanban

KAHN bahn
a strategy for optimizing the flow of value through a process that uses a visual, WIP limited pull system.

L

Last Responsible Moment

LAST rih-SPON-suh-buhl MOH-muhnt
the point in time where a decision must be made to retain options while having adequate information.

Little's Law

LI-tuhlz LAW
a description of the Mathematical relationship between work in progress, lead time, and throughput.

M

N

Nexus

NEK-sus'
scaling framework for multiple Scrum teams.

O

Openness

OH-puhn-niss
the acceptance of or receptiveness to change or new ideas.

P

Philosophical Razor

fuh-LAH-suh-fuh-kul REY-zuhr
a principle suggesting favoring the simplest explanation

Post-Mortem

post-MOR-tuhm
a retrospective analysis or review conducted after a project or event to assess outcomes.

Potentially Releasable

puh-TEN-shuh-lee ri-LEE-zuh-buhl
a product increment meeting release criteria that might be strategically held by the Product Owner.

Potentially Shippable

puh-TEN-shuh-lee SHIP-uh-buhl
a product increment meeting release criteria that might be strategically held by the Product Owner.

Product Backlog

proh-duhkt bak-lawg
an emergent, ordered list of what is needed to improve the product.

Product Backlog Item

proh-dukt bak-lawg ahy-tuhm
a single item in the product backlog representing work to be performed (i.e., user story, bug, task).

Product Increment

PROD-uhkt IN-kruh-muhnt
a concrete stepping stone toward the Product Goal.

Product Owner

proh-duhkt oh-ner
a single Scrum Team member accountable for effective Product Backlog management and value maximization.

Psychological Safety

sy-KAH-loh-jih-kuhl SAYF-tee
a team environment where members feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable.

Pull System

PULL SIS-tem
a method where work is pulled only when there is capacity, avoiding overburdening.

Push System

PUSH SIS-tem
a method where work is pushed irrespective of capacity, leading to potential overburdening.

Q

Quality Code

KWOL-uh-tee KODE
the degree to which software code conforms to best practices, readability, and performance standards.

R

Release

rih-LEES
the act of making something available or distributing it.

Release Sprint

ree-LEES SPRINT
an anti-pattern where a Sprint is dedicated to releasing previously built but unreleased value.

ROAM Risk Management

ROHM Risk MAN-ij-muhnt
a collaborative, lightweight risk management technique built on a visual, pull-based model.

S

Scrum

SKRUHM
a framework that helps people generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems.

Scrum Master

SKRUHM MAS-tur
a member of a Scrum team accountable for the team's effectiveness.

Scrum Team

SKRUHM teem
a small, autonomous team that works together to achieve sprint goals using Scrum framework.

Service Level Expectation

SER-vis LEH-vuhl eks-pek-TAY-shun
a forecast for the number of days it will take to complete a work item once it has started.

SLE

ess-el-ee
an acronym for Service Level Expectation.

SME

ESS-EMM-EE
an acronym for Service Matter Expert.

Sprint Backlog

sprint BAK-lawg
a plan by and for the Developers that covers the why, what, and how of delivering the next increment.

Sprint End

sprint end
the culmination of a sprint, involves reviewing completed work and seeking of process improvements.

Sprint Planning

sprint PLAN-ing
an event where the Scrum Team plans the work to be done in the upcoming Sprint.

Sprint Review

sprint ree-vyoo
a Scrum event aiming to inspect the outcome of the Sprint and determine future adaptations.

Stakeholder

STAYK-hohl-der
someone with an interest or involvement in a project or product.

Story Point

STOR-ee poynt
a unit of measure for expressing the overall size of a user story

T

Team Ability

teem uh-BIL-i-tee
the collective skill, competency, and effectiveness of a team in achieving goals.

Test-Driven Development

test-drih-vuhn dih-vel-up-muhnt
a development practice focused on quality and comprehension that requires writing tests before code.

U

User Story

YOO-zer STOHR-ee
a short, simple description of a feature told from a user's perspective.

V

Value-Driven

VAL-yoo DRIV-en
guided by the pursuit and delivery of value, often in terms of customer needs or business objectives.

W

Walking Skeleton

waw-king SKEL-uh-tun
a minimal implementation of a system to validate the architecture and framework.

Waterfall

WAW-ter-fawl
a linear and sequential approach to project management, with distinct phases progressing in a cascade.

Whole Team

hohl teem
a team-based approach where every member shares equal responsibility for project quality and success.

WIP Limit

WIP LIM-it
the maximum number of work items allowed in a specific context of a process to optimize flow.

X

XP

eks-PEE
an abbreviation of Extreme Programming, an agile software development approach.

Y

YAGNI

YAG-nee
an accronym for You Aren't Gonna Need It; a principle emphasizing avoiding unnecessary features.

Z

Zombie Scrum

ZOM-bee skruhm
a state where Scrum ceremonies are conducted mechanically without enthusiasm or genuine collaboration.
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