Agile Glossary



Acceptance Criteria

A part of the Confirmation criteria ,which presents a user side perspective of when can the team mark a Product Backlog Item complete. This may include positive and negative workflows and any related constraints


A broad level term used for principles and values as described in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development , the Frameworks and practices which use Agile principles

Agile Coach

A permanent or contract role in many organizations tasked with advising teams and organization on adopting Agile principles and practices

Agile Framework

A framework which uses Manifesto for Agile Software Development and Agile principles to provide best practices for its reference area or domain

Agile Manifesto

see Manifesto for Agile Software Development

Agile Philosophy

See Agile

Agile Principles

12 principles formulated alongside the Manifesto for Agile Software Development by the authors which form the basis of the manifesto itself

Agile Unified Process (AUP)

An Agile Framework. A lightweight iterative version of Rational Unified Process developed by Scott Ambler. Deprecated in 2006


Battlefield Agility

An Agile framework based on Kargil War which provides best practices for support & maintenance teams and dynamic changing work environments



See Continuous Deployment and Continuous Integration


See Agile Coach

Confirmation Criteria

A checklist prepared by Product Owner and Developers describing the work items they need to complete before they can mark a Backlog Item complete

Continuous Deployment

A practice first used by Kent Beck for his teams in late 90s and later made popular by Martin Fowler, Jez Humble and David Farley and others where teams continuously deploy software into production through overnight or frequent automated deployments

Continuous Integration

Continuous Integration is a software engineering best practice, where the developers frequently merge their working copies of code into main trunk, several times a day. The term was coined by Grady Booch and refined by Kent Beck, Martin Fowler, Jez Humble, David Farley, and others. Kent Beck and Ron Jefferies adopted it as one of the core 12 practices of Extreme programming

Cross-functional team

A property of a Scrum team, where members of the team have all the skills necessary to create value every sprint. This may include people who are specialists in their role and/or multi-skilled team members


An Agile Framework created by Dr. Alistair Cockburn in 1991 for IBM. The variants include Crystal Clear, Crystal Yellow, Crystal Red, Crystal Maroon and Crystal Diamond for different team sizes

Cycle Time

Cycle time is a metric to measure the total time elapsed for a task on the Kanban board as it moves from In-progress to Done. It typically includes the actual time spent in each swim lane and wait time


Daily Scrum

A Scrum Event. Daily Scrum is a 15-minute event for the Developers of the Scrum Team. Usually, it is held at the same time and place every working day of the Sprint. The purpose of the Daily Scrum is to inspect progress toward the Sprint Goal and adapt the Sprint Backlog as necessary, adjusting the upcoming planned work.

Daily Stand-up

As per Extreme Programming, A Daily stand up meeting held every morning is used to communicate problems, solutions, and promote team focus. Everyone stands up in a circle to avoid long discussions. During a stand up meeting developers report at least three things; what was accomplished yesterday, what will be attempted today, and what problems are causing delays.

Definition of Done

A part of the Confirmation criteria ,which presents a Developers perspective of when can they mark a Product Backlog Item complete. This includes the tasks that needed to be completed by them , so that the backlog item is in a shippable state when it meets the quality measures required for the product

Definition of Ready

Considered an Anti-pattern of Scrum, It is a checklist for the Product Owner to ensure that the Product Backlog Item is in a good shape and has the necessary information before handing it over to the team for estimation and implementation


An accountability in Scrum, It is a cross-functional team of professionals/ technical experts assembled together to implement a solution to the product goal presented to them


First used and created by Patrick Debois at the DevOps Days conference in Ghent, Belgium, DevOps is a set of cultural and technical Agile practices and tools which aim to bring Development and IT Operations together to ensure speed and flexibility in Software deliveries


It is an extended sets of practices and principles to DevOps which includes focus on integrating Application Security along with Development and IT operations

Development Team

see Developers. Deprecated in Scrum Guide 2020

Done Criteria

see Definition of Done


Enabler Item

A type of Product Backlog Item. It may include the activities needed to provide future business functionality, including exploration, architecture, infrastructure, compliance, trainings and other activities which the developers need to work upon. A SAFe best practices

Empirical Process

A process relying on observation and experiments. Originated from the works of philosopher Kanada and Vaishaeshika school of Philosophy between 600-200 BCE


see Empirical Process


A very large requirement which may be completed over multiple sprints or iterations. It can include more than one User story, Enabler Item or non-functional Product Backlog Item

Extreme Programming

An Agile framework which provides best practices for Software Development and Engineering. Created by Kent Beck in the 90s



A person who plans, guides and manages a group event to meet its goals

Feature Driven Development (FDD)

An Agile framework which provides best practices for listing, planning, design, and building of features. Created by Jeff de Luca based on works by Peter Coad in 90s

Fibonacci series

essentially Pingala series .Christened after Italian mathematician Fibonacci based on his book ‘Liber Abaci


A collection of best practices for a work area or domain




A management system based on Agile principles which allows team to manage themselves with no hierarchy and evolve their structures and processes in a self-managed way. Created by Brian Robertson in 2007



see Potentially Shippable Increment

INVEST principle

An acronym for characteristics of a good User Story namely Independent. Negotiable, Valuable, Estimatable, Sized Appropriately and Testable


An Extreme Programming concept. A timebox of 1 to 3 weeks where the team produces production quality software




A Japanese term meaning signboard or billboard. It is a task scheduling system developed at Toyota by Taiichi Ohno and later formed part of broader Lean Philosophy and Toyota Production System. It has also been adopted as an Agile framework to track and optimize workflows across the system being built


Large Scale Scrum

An Agile Framework developed by Craig Larman and Bas Vodde which contains best practices for managing and coordinating work of large teams (upto 8 Scrum teams)

Lean Canvas

Is a business plan template created by Ash Maurya that helps to deconstruct an idea into key business elements. Adopted from the Business Canvas model created by Alexander Osterwalder

Lean Philosophy

A set of values , principles and frameworks emanating from automotive industry which focuses on eliminating waste continuously, short delivery cycles and automation. Some of the prominent frameworks using this philosophy include Toyota Production System(TPS), Kanban, Six Sigma and Theory of Constraints


An acronym for Large Scale Scrum

LeSS Huge

A version of Large Scale Scrum which includes additional roles like Area Product Owner

Lightweight Methods

A set of easy to use software development methods primary developed in 1990s with minimal rules and practices. Some of the examples include Adaptive Software Development (Jim Highsmith), Crystal (by Alistair Cockburn), Extreme Programming (by Kent Beck, Ron Jefferies and Martin Fowler), Scrum and Feature Driven Development (by Jeff de Luca and Peter Coad)


Manifesto for Agile Software Development

It is a declaration/ resolution adopted at the end of Light Weight Methods conference on 13th February 2001 by the 17 participants of the conference. The Manifesto contains the core values , principles and cultural aspects required to delivering good products to customers by operating in an environment that treats people as the most important foundation of software development



An Agile Framework created and propagated by focusing on large scale software deliveries. It uses Scrum as its base


Open Space

A facilitated meeting conducted using the rules of Open Space Technology

Open Space Agility

An Open Space Technology based meta-framework created by Daniel Mezick which provides best practices for rapid and lasting Agile adoption

Open Space Technology

A facilitation technique created by Harrison Owen to create inspired meetings and events. In Open Space meetings, events and organizations, participants create and manage their own agenda of parallel working sessions around a central theme of strategic importance. The size of an Open Space meeting can vary from 5 participants to 2000+ participants


Pair Programming

An Extreme Programming practice in which software is built by two programmers, sitting side by side, at the same machine. This practice ensures that all production code is reviewed by at least one other programmer, and results in better design, better testing, and better code.

Pingala series

A series based on laghu and guru swaras of Vedas (knows as Chandah) discovered by Indian mathematician, Acharya Pingala. The series typically is a progressive some of the previous two numbers like 0,1,2,3,5,8,13,21 etc.

Planning Poker

A relative comparison based estimation and planning technique for user stories created by Mike Cohn where the team members estimate the story points through by voting, debate and consensus. It often uses Pingala series (Fibonacci series) and is practices using printed or virtual cards representing the numbers in the Pingala system


See Project Platoon

Potentially Shippable Increment (PSI)

A feature, functionality or work item of a product which helps the team move towards Product Goal. Multiple PSI might be created by Developers during a Sprint and are presented cumulatively during the Sprint Review. A PSI should be usable to create value for the users and customers


A series of interdependent steps which converts a given input into a defined output

Process Framework

A collection of guidelines and best practices for a specific area of work. Examples include CMMi, ITIL, Scrum, ISO 9001 and other such bodies of work

Product Backlog

An emergent, ordered list of work items needed to improve the product. It is the single source of work undertaken by the Scrum Team. A Scrum Artefact

Product Backlog Item (PBI)

A unit of work which is part of the product backlog and enables the team to move towards the Product Goal. It can be a User story, Enabler and/or a bug. It is typically worked upon by multiple Developers. A Scrum Artefact

Product Goal

Represents the future state of the product and is characterized as the long term objective for a Scrum Team. A Scrum Team typically works on one Product Goal at a time

Product Owner

An accountability in Scrum, It is the person accountable for maximizing the value of the product resulting from the work of the Scrum Team. PO is also responsible for effective Product Backlog management

Project Commander

A role in Battlefield Agility that is responsible to provide the overall direction to the team towards their goal. A servant leader

Project Platoon

A role in Battlefield Agility that includes 5-15 troops who are experts in their areas of work



Recce Party

A role in Battlefield Agility that is a small team of SMEs/Architects etc. who have expertise in the product/ development area and look into the overall architecture, design and development aspects of the product under consideration



An acronym for Scaled Agile Framework

Scaled Agile Framework

An Agile Framework created by Dean Leffingwell which contains best practices for large teams and is based on Lean Philosophy Agile and Devops principles


Scrum is a lightweight framework co-created and maintained by Dr. Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber that helps people, teams and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems. It contains best practices for team collaboration in accordance with the Agile principles

Scrum Accountabilities

The members/ division of a Scrum Team each one of which has a specific duty to fulfil towards the Scrum team so that it can achieve it Product Goal. Product Owner, ScrumMaster and Developers are the three accountabilities of Scrum Team members

Scrum Artefacts (also Scrum Artifacts)

A body of work which creates value for the customer or users. Each artefact contains a commitment to ensure it provides information that enhances transparency and focus against which progress can be measured. The three Scrum Artefacts are Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog and PSI

Scrum Ceremonies

see Scrum Events. Deprecated in the 2017 Scrum Guide

Scrum Event

A planned timebox in Scrum which has a specific duration, input and output. The five events in Scrum are the Sprint, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective.

Scrum Guide

An online resource for definition of Scrum maintained by Ken Schwaber and Dr. Jeff Sutherland since 2010

Scrum Master (also ScrumMaster)

An accountability in Scrum, It is the person accountable for helping everyone understand Scrum theory and practice. They are also responsible for Scrum Team‘s effectiveness

Sprint Planning

A Scrum Event. It takes place on the first day of the Sprint and this is where the Scrum Team forecasts the work it can deliver in the Sprint. The output from this event is the Sprint Backlog. This event is time-boxed to eight hours for a one month long sprint

Scrum Roles

see Scrum roles. Deprecated in the 2020 Scrum Guide

Scrum Team

A team of cross-functional set of professionals assembled together to focus on delivering a specific Product Goal. Includes Product Owner, ScrumMaster and Developers. The team is typically is sized to less than ten. An element of Scrum

Scrum Values

The governing morals and beliefs of a Scrum Team. They give direction to the Scrum Team with regard to their work, actions, and behavior. The five Scrum Values are Commitment, Focus, Openness, Respect, and Courage

Sector Commander

A role in Battlefield Agility that is hands-on with the Project Platoon while executing a Project and is responsible for coordinating with other Sector Commanders and Project Platoons


A task/timebox aimed at answering a question or gathering information, rather than at producing shippable product. An Extreme Programming concept

Spotify Model

A set of Agile practices adopted by Spotify through early 2000s which emphasizes on team autonomy and collaboration


A timebox and a Scrum Event. All the work necessary to achieve the Product Goal, including Sprint Planning, Daily Scrums, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective, happen within Sprints. The Scrum Team produces at least one Potentially Shippable Increment every sprint to create value for the customers and users

Sprint Backlog

Composed of the Sprint Goal (why), the set of Product Backlog items selected for the Sprint (what), as well as an actionable plan for delivering the Increment. A Scrum Artefact

Sprint Capacity

The net amount of time available to Scrum team members to work on Product Backlog Items in a Sprint to complete the Sprint Backlog. It is typically calculated as a sum of gross time per sprint- distractions (Food, Emails, Internet, Communication, non-product documentation etc.)

Sprint Goal

The single objective for the Sprint. Although the Sprint Goal is a commitment by the Developers, it provides flexibility in terms of the exact work needed to achieve it. A Scrum Artefact

Sprint Retrospective

A Scrum Event. It takes place on the last day of the Sprint and this is where the Scrum Team plans ways to increase quality and effectiveness and identifies improvement areas including but not limited to individuals, interactions, processes, tools, and their Definition of Done. This event is time-boxed to three hours for a one month long sprint

Sprint Review

A Scrum Event. It takes place on the last day of the Sprint and this is where the Scrum Team and stakeholders inspect the outcome of the Sprint and determine future adaptations. The Scrum Team presents the results of their work to key stakeholders and progress toward the Product Goal is discussed.. This event is time-boxed to four hours for a one month long sprint

Sprint Velocity

see Velocity


A role in Spotify Model of Scaling Agility. A self organizing team have all the skills and tools needed to design, develop, test, and release to production. They decide their own way of working

Stand-up Meeting

See Daily Stand-Up

Story points

A unit of measure proposed by Mike Cohn to relatively estimate the scope and complexity of a User Story or any other piece of work as compared to other Product Backlog Items

Swim Lane

Horizontal lines that split a Kanban board into multiple sections. Used to visually separate various work types


Toyota Production System

A production control system created and sustained at Toyota Motor Corporation that focuses on continuous elimination of waste and increasing efficieny throughout the product life cycle. Is also the basis for Lean Philosophy and Kanban


See Toyota Production System


A role in Spotify Model that is a collection of squads that work in related areas. Should not exceed 100 team members


User Story (pl. User Stories)

A desired behavior of the system explained from an end user’s perspective. It is written in the format as if a user is telling a story about a product behavior. It typically represents a functional Product Backlog Item. The contributors to this concept of Extreme Programming are Kent Beck, Martin Fowler, Rachel Davies, Mike Cohn, Jeff Patton and others


Value Driven Behavior Management

A change management framework which focus on creating value for individuals which can influence and have to adopt the change


See Value Driven Behavior Management


The average of amount of work the Scrum Team has been able to complete in past 5-8 sprints. It can be measured in tasks, User stories or Story points

Vendor Management Manifesto

A guideline document that defines guiding principles around the Customer-Supplier working environment with regards to working on Scrum projects. Key contributors to the Manifesto are Amit Kulkarni, Gaurav Rastogi, Carlos Martin, Jeyaprakash Rajaram (JP),Anand Sulur Murugan and Subrahmaniam SRV (Subbu)


Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF)

A scheduling algorithm first proposed by Don Reinertsen, which uses Cost of Delay and Duration as the factors to determine the priority order of Backlog Items. Adopted as the primary way of prioritization in Scaled Agile Framework




Suggest to Add/ Update a term in the Glossary

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