Appendix C: A Glossary of Terms for Adaptive/Agile Project Management

A3: A four-step approach to problem solving and continuous improvement. Using an A3-sized sheet of paper (European, similar to 8'/2 x 11 in U.S.) to document information, (1) assess the current situation, (2) perform a root cause analysis, (3) determine the end goal and (4) document the corrective action(s). This method is widely used in Lean manufacturing.

Acceptance Criteria: A set of predefined requirements that must be met in order to mark a user story complete.

Adaptive Management: Includes the basic tenets of agile project management and quantitative performance measurement. Under adaptive management, organizations or teams learn continuously learn and apply learning quickly to current work efforts. An adaptive approach often utilizes iterative development cycles.

Agile: An umbrella term for a set of methods and practices based on the values and principles in the “Agile Manifesto”. Agile is not a specific tool, but a mindset with various frameworks such as Scrum, Lean, Kanban, etc. prescribing a process for implementing an agile philosophy.

Agile Coach: Individual who can train, mentor and guide organizations and teams through a transformation where agile methods and practices are used.

Agile Methods: Various methodologies, techniques, and frameworks for conducting work in an agile fashion, with the goal of delivering value early and incrementally. A partial list includes: Acceptance Test-Driven Development xTreme Programming

Lean Software Development

Disciplined Agile (DA)

Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)

Feature Driven Development

Hoshin Kanri

Test Driven Development

Behavior-Driven Development (BDD)


SAFe® (Scaled Agile Framework)


Agile Life Cycle: An iterative and incremental approach to identify, create, and/or refine work required to support frequent delivery of finished work.

Agile Manifesto: Values and principles documented in 2001 depicting a culture that is not documentation- driven with heavyweight software development process, but rather a culture promoting organizational models based on people and collaboration.

Agile Principles: Included in the “Agile Manifesto”, Values and Principles on developing software and by doing so, helping others. These Principles, developed for the software industry, are now often placed into wider use in a variety of application areas.

Agile Release Train (ART): A SAFe® concept of a long-lived team of Agile teams, which, along with other stakeholders, incrementally develops, delivers, and where applicable operates, one or more solutions in a value stream.

Automated Testing Software Technique: Technique in which teams use software tools to run detailed testing scripts to test software.

Backlog: See Product Backlog

Backlog Refinement: 'Ute progressive elaboration of project requirements and/or the ongoing activity in which the team collaboratively reviews, updates, and write requirements to satisfy the need of the customer request.

Benefits: Advantages, products and services available to the organization that add value to the enterprise. Benefits are both tangible and intangible.

Blended Agile: Two or more work management frameworks, methods, elements, or practices used together such as Scrum practiced in combination with XP and Kanban Method. This term also refers to using both Agile and traditional waterfall methodologies.

Blocker: See Impediment

Burndown Chart: A graphical representation of the work versus the time remaining in a defined time period.

Burnup Chart: A graphical representation of the work completed toward the release of a product. Similar to the Cumulative Flow Diagram.

Business Case: A business justification for approving and funding a work effort.

Business Requirements Document (BRD): Documented listing of all requirements for a specific work effort or product.

Cadence: A measured sequence of work execution sequences. Similar to Timebox.

Collaborative Decision Making: Gathering data/facts and coming together to present information to bring the team together to decision. Teams are often empowered to make certain level of decisions and/or a decision maker is in the team and works with members to make final decision.

Co-located: Team members are located in same location to work on common work effort.

Communications Management: The process of planning, collecting, storing, and updating information related to the work effort. This is process is practiced continuously as the work effort progresses. The goal is to provide access to pertinent artifacts for all affected and interested in the work effort. A cadence of providing transparency into the work progress and resulting benefits value to stakeholders is established and regularly maintained.

Consequence: The effect, result, or outcome of something occurring earlier.

Continuous Delivery: The practice of delivering feature increments immediately to customers.

Continuous Integration: A practice in which each team member’s work products are frequently integrated and validated with one another.

Cost Management: The way in which work effort costs are regularly captured and managed to a budget.

Cost Performance: Measurement of budgeted work costs against targeted organizational value add benefits.

Cross-Functional Team: A team consisting of various skill sets and expertise required to deliver incremental product functionality and benefits.

Cumulative Workflow Diagram (CFD): A diagram showing the count of backlog items and progression to completion. It visualizes the number of backlog items, how many of the backlog items are in progress and how many are completed. The graph consists of bands representing backlog, work in progress and completed work. It immediately highlights spikes or low amounts of work in progress. The ideal diagram is evenly rising with bands staying even except for the completed tasks band, which should continuously grow. See also Burn up Chart.

Daily Scrum: A timeboxed team meeting when each team member provides a) progress since the last meeting, b) what is the intended work to complete until the next meeting and c) calls out any work blockers present or anticipated. Commonly referred to as daily standups.

Daily Stand-up: See Daily Scrum

Defect: A testing scenario where a (multiple) product or deliverable function does not meet the expected result.

Definition of Done (DoD): Tie team’s agreed upon definition and condition when a deliverable is ready for customer use.

Definition of Ready (DoR): Hie team’s agreed upon criteria or condition when a task, story card or backlog item has all the information required begin working on it.

Epic: Large bodies of work that can be broken down into a number of smaller tasks (called stories). Epics are containers for initiatives of significant size to fulfill a Theme that creates the most value for the organization. Epics are of sufficient investment size that they require a business case such as the Epic Brief and budgetary endorsement before execution. Epics are typically 3-9 months in duration.

Epic Brief: A lightweight business case used for budgetary endorsement.

Feasibility Study: An assessment of the practicality of a proposed product or work effort.

Feature: Decomposition of an Epic that contains functionality that delivers business value.

Flow Master: Hie coach for a service-related team working in a continuous flow or Kanban work management approach. Equivalent to Scrum Master.

FSNP (Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing): The cycles of team development, especially with changing memberships.

Framework: A work approach or methodology to plan, develop, test and deliver work.

Functional Requirement: A required behavior for a product or service to defined by the business owner(s).

Functional Specification: A specified function in a system or service that is required for the product to perform. Normally documented in a functional specifications document.

Grooming backlog: Regular review by the product owner and team of the backlog remaining. Story cards are prioritized, resulting in work items at the top of the backlog will be the next items to be worked.

Hybrid Approach: A work management approach that combines agile and waterfall methodologies to deliver a final product and/or service. Typically, the traditional waterfall phases are followed through Design, and where agile (Scrum) development is practiced, reverting back to traditional waterfall methodologies in the testing phase.

Impediment: A condition preventing the team or team member from achieving planned work. See also blocker.

Impediment Log: A log of impediments

Increment: Hie total of all product backlog items completed in a sprint including what was completed in previous sprints.

Integration Management: Coordination of any work still required, after individual team members working on separate components, to deliver a product for release.

Integrated Testing: Most common in software development efforts but also should be considered in process development. Hiis tests or evaluates the compliance of a process or component with specified functional requirements.

Iteration: A defined development cycle producing work that delivers value.

Iteration Planning: Planning meeting for team members to plan and agree on the stories or backlog items they are confident they can complete within the designated sprint.

Kaizen Event: Planned meeting where brainstorming takes place to improve an existing process resulting in implementing a solution.

Kanban Board: A visualization tool that manages work through a defined workflow where controls are in place at each process to limit work in process. A Kanban board can be a physical board with sticky notes or managed via Kanban software.

Kanban Method: A visual method to manage work. Backlog, work in process and completed work is visually tracked to provide a quick picture of progress. This method pulls work when the team has capacity.

Large Scale Scrum (LSS or Less): A framework for scaling Agile development to more than one team using the 10 Less principles to create a multi-team scrum.

Lifecycle: Tlie duration of a product from ideal through retirement of the product. Mobbing: A practice where multiple team members focus on problem solving a specified issue or work problem. Usually a driver and navigator leads the team through the process.

Minimally Viable Product (MVP): Aversion of a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide feedback for future product development.

Organizational Bias: Organizational core values or culture that influences decision making, i.e. speed to market rather than best in class, quality rather than quantity, etc.

Organizational Change Management (OCM): A framework for managing the people side effects of change within an organization. These changes usually result from new business processes, significant organizational structure changes and/or cultural changes. Intentional focused efforts to influence behavior and ways of thinking to align and promote new processes and organizational changes; it is a structured approach to transition from the current state to future state. OCM is a strategic component and should be addressed at the enterprise, portfolio, program and project levels and included in business cases and backlog work.

Pair Programing: Two developers work side-by-side on one item, i.e. sharing a workstation, or one writes code and the other tests, etc.

Pair Work: Two developers working on the same work item. Similar to Pair Programming. Also called pairing.

Personas: A representative fictional user is developed to represent a category or set of like end users with same functional requirements, roles, etc.

Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA): A continuous cycle of planning, doing, checking and acting used in problem solve and managing work.

Probability: Hie likelihood of something happening.

Procurement Management: The creation of relationships with outside vendors and suppliers for goods and services needed to complete a project and management of that relationship.

Product: A product is anything that can be offered to a market that might satisfy a want or need.

Product/Sprint Backlog: A list of the new features, changes to existing features, bug fixes, infrastructure changes or other activities that a team may deliver in order to achieve a specific outcome.

Product Backlog: A prioritized list of product requirements that a Product Owner and Team maintains for a product.

Product Demo: A demonstration of how a product or software works.

Product Owner: One person responsible and accountable for an end product or service.

Product Release Roadmap: Visualizes the high-level strategic initiatives along with major bodies of work that will be completed to achieve success in the product imitative.

Progressive Elaboration: A process where a high-level plan is understood and where the first phases are planned in detail and the latter phases are planned in more detail as the project progresses.

Project Management Office (PMO): A specific department or team where proj-ect/product work governance, methodology and performance metrics are standardized for enterprise use.

Project Visioning: A product vision describes the purpose of a product, the intention with which the product is being created and what it aims to achieve for customers and users.

Quality Management: A Process which ensures all the activities are efficient and effective with respect to the product objectives and project performance.

Requirement: Conditions or tasks that must be completed to ensure the success or completion of the project.

Resource Management: Acquiring, allocating and managing the resources in a product effort.

Retrospective: A regular occurring workshop in which participants explore their work and results in order to improve both process and product.

Risk Assessment: An effort of identifying and analyzing potential (future) events that may impact product work success.

Risk Management: The process of identifying, analyzing and then responding to any risk that arises over the life cycle of a project or product effort.

Rolling Wave Planning: A method in which detailed work tasks are identified to define scope, timeline and budget in the early phases of a project and/or product or service. The remaining project work is planned at a high-level. Work is planned in waves; the initial phase or sprints will be detailed out and one phase is completed, the next phase will be further detailed.

Rules of Engagement: Set of guidelines the self-organized team agrees to work within to complete agreed upon work.

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe): A framework combining Lean and Scrum principles to manage large scale development framework using three primary bodies of knowledge: Agile development, Lean Product development and Systems thinking.

Schedule Management: Method to manage and control the work required to deliver desired work.

Scope Management: Approach in which a benefit(s) to the organization is defined by an organizational customer and making sure the benefit yields the expected value. The approach collaborates with the customer in delivering the expected value.

Scrum: A set of values, principles and practices framework used mostly in technology and software development with reliance on cross-functional teams. Short cycle of feedback, continuous improvement, rapid adaption to change and accelerated delivery of working product. It is a widely used Agile development framework.

Scrum Board: A visual representation “board” made up of horizontal swim lanes to manage backlog, work in progress and completed work. Typically there are four columns: Stories, To Do, In progress, and Done are used. Work is planned and track for each Sprint.

Scrum Master: The team role responsible for ensuring the team is operating within the agile values and principles. Some of the responsibilities are clearing obstacles, establishing an environment where the team can be effective. See Also Flow Master.

Scrum of Scrums: Large scale scaling of Scrum for multiple teams working on the same product. A daily scrum is help with team leads from all the teams. The meeting topics are same as team scrums: completions, next steps and impediments. Interdependencies, integration of products and product delivery are the focus.

Scrum Team: Cross-functional team of developers, scrum master and product owner.

Self-Organizing Team: A team of multi-functional members empowered and responsible for delivery of a specific product. This team does not depend on a manager to assign work but rather works together to manage the associated responsibilities and timeline.

Servant Leadership: A leader whose main goal to serve their team choosing to focus on enablement, empowerment and empathy for their team instead of accruing power within the organization.

Service Request Manager: The person responsible for prioritizing service requests in a Kanban environment. Equivalent to product owner in a Scrum approach.

Smoke Testing: Informal spot tests to critical functions during the development cycle to ensure they are working as required.

Sponsor: Hie person responsible for providing work efforts with resources and budget and enabling the work team for success.

Sprint: A defined work period in Scrum.

Sprint Backlog: The comprehensive list of work items prioritized by the Product owner and identified by the team to be completed within specified sprints. Sprint Planning: A scheduled event where team members meet and collaborate in planning the work for the most current sprint.

Stakeholder: An individual who will be affected by the outcome of the work effort. Stakeholder Management: An approach to provide required transparency and regular updates to stakeholders. A best practice to managing stakeholders is to understand each stakeholder’s needs in receiving updates and how they are affected by the outcome of the work effort.

Stakeholder Matrix: Documented stakeholder information regarding interest and reporting needs.

Story: Documented requirements for a specific body of work. Often called user stories. Hie stories include perspective of the end-user.

Story Point: Used for story estimations, the team defines a story point as a measurement of time.

Swarming: A method where all team members focus on resolving an impediment. Theme: Derived that are specific business goals that span the organization that are decomposed into Epics.

Timebox: A defined time bucket. Also see Cadence.

Unit Testing: Developer testing of his work to ensure product is working. This is done before system and integration testing.

User Story: A short description of a feature or function of the product.

User Story Mapping: Mapping user stories to provide a high-level visualization how the features work together.

Value Stream: A documented value of the products or services to be delivered. Artifacts within the business architecture allow a business to specify the value proposition derived by an external (e.g., customer) or internal stakeholder. A value stream depicts the stakeholders who initiate or are involved in the value stream, the stages that create specific value items, and the value proposition derived from the value stream. The value stream is depicted as an end-to-end collection of value-adding activities that create an overall result for a customer, stakeholder, or end-user.

Value Stream Mapping: Document the current state and design a future state for the flow of information or materials required to produce a product or service for a customer.

Velocity: The amount of work a team gets through in a set amount of time. Velocity can be measured in person-hours, number of tasks, story points, or whatever other unit of measurement to be used for estimating work.

Versions: A set of deliverables grouped for release to the market regardless of Sprint Scheduling.

Weighted Smallest Job First (WSJF): A tool used in the SAFe® to help teams prioritize a list of initiatives.

Workflow: A sequenced path outlining tasks required from start to finish.

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