Glossary of Agile Terminology

There are quite a number of agile methods that are being used around the world in many different types of environments. This glossary provides a quick-reference translation between the various terms used in these methods. I have also included terms that may come from other non-agile disciplines that are strongly related.

If you are using terminology in an agile environment that is different from the terms listed here, please add your comment and I will update this list. In particular, I am looking for people with practical experience with DSDM and FDD to contribute their expertise.

Glossary of Equivalent and Related Agile Terms

Self-Organizing Team: Chickens and Pigs (Scrum), Whole Team (Extreme Programming), Cross-Functional Team (business management), Real Team (The Wisdom of Teams).

Deliver Frequently: Sprint (Scrum), Iteration (Extreme Programming), Timeboxing (generic), Time Value of Money (accounting).

Plan to Learn: Inspect and Adapt (Scrum), Kaizen (Lean), Double-Loop Learning (Organizational Learning), Adaptive Planning (generic).

Communicate Powerfully: Visibility (Scrum), Whole Team and Team Room (Extreme Programming), War Room (business management).

Test Everything: Canary in the Coal Mine (Scrum), Test-Driven Development (Extreme Programming), Defects per Opportunities (Six-Sigma).

Process Facilitator: ScrumMaster (Scrum), Coach, Lean Six-Sigma Black-Belt, Agile Project Manager

Queue Master: Customer (Extreme Programming), Customer Proxy, Product Owner (Scrum), Business Analyst, Product Manager

Work Queue: Product Backlog (Scrum), Stories (Extreme Programming), Business Requirements, To-Do List, Project list + Tickler (Getting Things Done)

Task List: Sprint Backlog (Scrum), Work Breakdown, Components, Tasks, Context lists + Next Actions (Getting Things Done)

Test-Driven Work: Test-Driven Design/Development, Test-First Development (Extreme Programming)

Retrospective: Reflection Meeting, Post-Mortem, Debrief, Weekly Review (Getting Things Done)

Team Status Meeting: Daily Scrum (Scrum), Daily Stand-up (Extreme Programming), Daily Reviews (Getting Things Done)

Record of Obstacles: Meta-Backlog (Scrum), Open Loops (Getting Things Done)

Work Period: Day (Scrum, Extreme Programming).

Measure Value: Measuring Results (Scrum), ROI (business management), Economic Driver (Good to Great), Running Tested Features (Extreme Programming).

Clear the Path: Removing Obstacles (Scrum), Stopping the Line (Lean), Collect to have “mind like water” (Getting Things Done).

Agile Methods and Other Disciplines Included

Extreme Programming (XP)
Lean Software Development

Where I Need More Help!

The following disciplines need better representation in this glossary. Please help out!

* Project Management Institute’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK)
* Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
* Crystal Clear
* Rational Unified Process (RUP)
* Lean Manufacturing
* Personal Software Process (PSP)
* Feature Driven Development (FDD)
* Getting Things Done (book)
* Others?

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