Check out our glossary of common product management, product marketing, and agile development terms and definitions.
An A/B test is an essential comparative process used to identify which version of two items is most effective, such as PPC ads, landing pages, and more.
Acceptance criteria are a set of targets that must be met in order to successfully finalize and complete the user story.
An acceptance test is conducted by the customer or the end-user to evaluate if a software solution meets requirements.
Adaptive software development embodies the principle that continuous adaptation of the process to the work at hand is the normal way to work.
An affinity diagram is an organizational tool used to consolidate large volumes of information or data according to their similarities, or affinities.
Affinity Grouping is a collaborative tool used for gathering qualitative data and sorting it based on shared themes. The process also involves prioritizing the groups formed and agreeing on actions that should be taken based on the results.
The Agile methodology is a set of values and principles, promoting iterative ways of working, where teams progress in “sprints”. This enables more effective prioritization and, if done well, also increases user satisfaction.
Agile Frameworks are the different variations and approaches used by development teams based on the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto.
The Agile Manifesto is a document setting out the key values and principles behind the Agile philosophy, helping software developers work more efficiently and effectively.
There are 12 agile principles included in The Agile Manifesto, originated by software developers to prioritize individual interactions, customer collaboration, and flexibility.
With agile transformation, an organization restructures and redefines itself to align with the agile methodology, affecting the business as a whole.
The Agile Values are the four core values of the Agile Manifesto, a guide designed to help software development teams work more efficiently and collaboratively.
An alpha test is a form of acceptance testing used to identify all possible issues and defects of a software system before it is released to actual end-users.
The back end of a website is everything that goes on behind the scenes, from servers to databases — and much more.
A backlog is a prioritized list of all smaller tasks to be completed for a larger development project. It usually includes user stories, bug fixes, and product updates.
Backlog grooming gives product teams the opportunity to review and prioritize their outstanding user stories, typically in preparation for the next sprint.
A bill of materials is an exhaustive list of the components, parts, and raw materials required for manufacturing a product.
Brand equity is the value of a brand in the eyes of the customer. A brand can have a positive or negative brand equity depending on how it is perceived, and this can have a positive or negative impact on a business’s commercial value.
A brand extension strategy is the use of one’s current brand name and brand recognition to enter into a new product class.
Brand recognition is the degree to which a company’s brand is familiar, liked, and trusted by consumers. Good brand recognition offers many advantages to companies including helping to build and maintain healthy market share and profitability.
A Break-Even Point is the point at which total revenue matches the total cost for a particular venture. At the Break-Even Point, an organization has recouped its costs but not yet made any profit.
A burndown chart is a visual representation of the amount of work that has been completed and outstanding work in a sprint.
Business agility takes the principles of agile development and uses them across an entire organization, increasing adaptability to market changes, challenge or opportunities. An agile business also fosters greater creativity, innovation, and collaboration.
Business Intelligence refers to the uncovering, interpreting and application of relevant data and information to help businesses make better decisions.
A business plan is a strategic document which details the business model and key tactics for a growing business or startup. It is especially important during the tricky first few years, or whilst seeking external investment.
Business transformation is the process of redesigning, restructuring, or expanding a business to adapt to relevant internal or external changes.
Buy-a-Feature is a gamified approach to prioritizing a product’s development. Teams work directly with a group of customers or stakeholders to learn which features they value most as a collective.
A buyer persona is a functional tool that helps businesses maximize their customer experiences by creating products based on a concrete understanding of the people buying (but not necessarily using) them.
Product cannibalization is when a company has several products that compete with one another within the same market.
Cash flow shows how much cash is moving in and out of your business every month. As they say: “Cash is King”. So being aware of your cash flow is crucial to the running of a successful business.
Often referred to as a cash budget or a cash flow, the cash flow budget allows a company to keep on top of cash income and outgoings over time.
Channels of Distribution (or a distribution channel) are channels of businesses or intermediaries which a product or service travels through before reaching the final customer.
Churn is the percentage of customers that stop using your business during a given time frame.
Click-through rate is the percentage of an advert or listing impressions that result in a user clicking through to the site.
Co-branding is a form of partnership, where two companies or brands share their brand names, logos, etc., on one project, one product, or one piece of software.
Competitive advantage is what makes a customer choose your business over another one. By understanding, and promoting, a competitive advantage, companies can win a greater amount of market share.
Competitive analysis is the process of identifying competitors and evaluating their strategies in order to determine their weaknesses and strengths.
A concept review is a discussion where you evaluate different or competing concepts and decide which ones you're going to invest in and see through to completion.
Continuous Delivery (CD) is defined as the ability to deliver product updates to customers as quickly and frequently as possible.
Continuous deployment is an agile production method, designed to fast-track products to market.
Continuous integration is an engineering process where code is subjected to automated testing, several times a day, to identify bugs or errors.
Conversion rate refers to the percentage of website visitors that complete a specific action.
The Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) is how much it costs to produce a finished product for the market. Put simply: it is the cost of making the goods a company sells, including the cost of materials, production time and labor.
Cost of sales (also known as cost of goods sold) refers to the cost required to manufacture or purchase a product that is then sold to a customer.
A cross-functional team unites people with diverse skills from across a company, specializing in different functional areas such as design or product management.
Crystal is an agile methodology for software development. It focuses on people and communications over processes and tools and is uniquely flexible around team types, criticality and project priority.
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is a metric used to convey how much money a business needs to spend to win a new customer.
A customer advisory board is a group of customers brought together by a business to provide expert advice and share insights about its products and services.
Customer empathy is the ability to see the world through your user’s eyes. This understanding helps you see where your product fits into their lifestyle, and where it can really add value.
A customer journey map outlines each step, across all touchpoints, that a user takes to interact with or buy from your product, service or brand. Customer journey maps can increase empathy with users and reveal areas for added value.
Customer success is a relationship-focused business strategy. Its primary focus is to help a customer achieve their goals when using a product or service — and to do so in an engaging, satisfying way.
The DACI Decision-Making Framework is a model designed to make group decision making faster and more effective by assigning specific roles to team members. These roles establish clear responsibilities and help avoid unhealthy disagreements.
A DEEP backlog is one possible outcome of a backlog grooming session. The acronym that describes effective backlogs, and stands for: Detailed Appropriately, Emergent, Estimates and Prioritized.
A data product manager is an emerging role in product development. A data PM is responsible for championing data-driven insights in design, and actively leveraging the flow of data, too.
In reference to the Scrum agile framework, the definition of done (DoD) describes predefined demands a certain output must meet when being delivered. It is used to establish a common understanding on the product’s level of integrity to ensure quality.
In the Scrum agile framework, the definition of ready (DoR) marks the completeness of preliminary actions for a task or project to be processed.
A dependency describes the relationship among activities and specifies the particular order in which they need to be performed.
A design concept establishes the core idea of driving the design and development of a product. It outlines what a product is, who it’s for, and how it works.
Design ops applies to the process of organizing and optimizing a design team’s workflow, structure, and processes to maximize its value to a company as a whole.
Design Thinking is a user-centric approach to innovation and problem solving. Focused on empathizing with users, Design Thinking is concerned with developing meaningful products that keep users’ genuine wants and needs at heart.
Digital transformation refers to the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business to redesign processes and products for the digital age.
Disciplined Agile (DA) is a process decision toolkit, bringing together elements from Scrum, eXtreme Programming, Kanban and, of course, agile development. As such, DA helps teams streamline their internal processes and achieve greater business agility.
Divergent thinking, often referred to as lateral thinking, is the process of creating multiple, unique ideas or solutions to a problem that you are trying to solve.
Dual-track agile is a form of agile development, in which the work of a product development team is separated across a discovery track and delivery track.
Dynamic Systems Development Method an agile iterative approach to software development that considers not just the lifecycle of a project, but also the wider business impact it will have.
Economies of scale are the potential cost savings that can be made by producing goods or services in higher volumes, spreading fixed costs over a great volume.
The Eisenhower Matrix is a productivity tool for organizing your tasks by urgency and importance. Created by President Dwight Eisenhower, it's a great way to better understand where your time is going versus where it should be going.
End-to-end has several definitions, but most simply refer to the entire product journey, from initial conception to market launch and beyond.
An engineering backlog shows which work items are being completed by the engineering team in the current sprint.
Enterprise Architecture Planning (EAP) is a process by which organizations define how IT and information will be used in a business to achieve its goals.
An enterprise architecture roadmap is a high-level overview of the direction a company's IT plans and projects will take over time.
An epic refers to a grouping of user stories (or development tasks) which together make it possible to achieve a product theme. The theme > epic > story structure is a popular method in agile development.
Evaluating ideas and opportunities is a crucial process to determine which business concepts have value — and which don’t.
eXtreme Programming (XP) is a set of strictly defined engineering practices, that aim to not only promote the principles of agile development but also to improve the quality of life for the development team.
The Fatal 2% Rule states that if a company or venture can achieve 2% of total market share it will be successful, but failing to achieve 2% will be fatal.
A feature audit provides businesses with a quick snapshot of their product's feature usage. Using a graph that plots customer activity on two axes, they outline how features are performing.
Feature bloat relates to products carrying excessive features, perhaps becoming overloaded to a point that core functions are impaired.
Feature Driven Development (FDD) is an iterative agile model used to incrementally develop features into a complete product. It focuses on building software by breaking it into small components, rapidly developed in repetitive cycles.
Features are the defining attributes of a product that make it valuable to customers and distinguish it from the rest of the market.
A FAB analysis describes the features, advantages and benefits of a product, and how they work together to help differentiate a product within the market.
First Mover Advantage refers to the competitive edge a business earns by being the first to launch with a certain product or service.
First-mover disadvantage refers to the challenges a business encounters by being the first to market with a new product or service.
Freemium is a business model many SaaS companies leverage. They offer two core versions of a product: free and paid, though the latter may consist of multiple packages tailored to different users.
The front end of a website is everything the user either sees or interacts with when they visit the website. It is responsible for the look and feel of a website.
A fundamentally new product is a breakthrough that delivers functionality and a user experience unlike any other product currently available. This may hinge on the technology utilized, the business model, or both.
Instead of getting involved in sales or design, startups first need to “get out of the building” and meet potential customers to better understand their market.
Growth Product Management involves identifying opportunities to increase an existing product’s value and encourage greater adoption among target users. It does so by finding new ways to empower customers to solve problems.
Guerrilla marketing is a form of promotion that relies on unconventional, and surprising, methods to create impactful, memorable marketing campaigns.
Hard skills are teachable abilities or skill sets that are required for a particular occupation. This could be a full understanding of the Adobe Suite, coding ability, SEO or bookkeeping.
The ICE Scoring Model is an agile prioritization tool, assessing projects, ideas and features via three set measurements: Impact, Confidence and Ease
Potential business opportunities are built on good ideas, but not all good ideas translate into valuable opportunities. Understanding this difference is key to making the right decisions.
Ideation involves generating ideas through group brainstorming sessions, which may include sketching and roleplay.
Implicit requirements are those features of a product or app which are so fundamental that they don’t need to be explicitly specified during development.
An Incremental Product is one which has been developed over time via a series of small upgrades or improvements. This process is known as incremental product innovation.
Intuitive design is that which is accessible, user friendly, familiar and — crucially — tailored to its core users. Research, data-driven design, and an in-depth understanding of user needs are key.
An iteration is the specific time period set aside for the development of a product or software.
Iterative testing is the process of making small changes to products, based on insights gained from previous changes. Iterative testing is a valuable tool for SaaS and tech-based companies.
Jobs To Be Done framework directs product teams to focus on the ‘job’ that a user wants to do with the product. It emphasizes developing a deep understanding of the target user’s pain points, and their end goal, to maximize a product’s value.
A Kanban board is a visualization tool allowing teams to optimize their workflow, completing tasks with increased productivity and efficiency.
The Kano Model is a framework that product teams can use to prioritize features, by organizing them across five categories based on the value and satisfaction they deliver to a user.
A KPI, or Key Performance Indicator, is a measurable value which aligns directly to an overall goal or objective of the business. KPIs are used to evaluate how well a company and its employees are achieving their targets.
Lean Software Development is an agile framework, intended to optimize development time, use of resources, and focus on the minimum viable needs of a product.
Lifetime Value (LTV) is a monetary amount representing the estimated revenue a customer will bring in across their entire time as a customer.
Market Development Strategy refers to a strategy in which companies introduce their product or solution to new audiences, outside of their current markets.
Market penetration strategy is used by companies or organizations to launch or grow their presence and customer base within one of their already existing markets, or an existing market where a similar product or offer already exists.
A market segmentation breaks down a company’s target audience by certain attributes, to allow more targeted marketing and product development.
Market share is the percentage of a certain market that an individual company’s sales are responsible for. Market share is used to give you an idea of how large, powerful or important your business is within its particular sector.
Market validation is the process of verifying a product of concept with a target market, usually via interviews.
A Marketing Audit takes a comprehensive look at all strategies, processes, and tools of an organization’s marketing environment, and helps to develop successful ways of working in the future.
A marketing cost analysis is a way of assessing the full costs associated with any new marketing campaign. It is designed to provide a comprehensive breakdown of all the costs associated with a new marketing campaign.
The marketing mix is an umbrella term for all of the tactics or actions a company can employ to drive sales and increase awareness of its brand.
A marketing plan is a document that defines a marketing strategy for a company in order to reach their targeted audience.
A mind map is a brainstorming tool which allows you to explore a central idea, and all of its related topics, in a non-linear way.
The term MVE: Minimum Viable Experience refers to how a customer feels when they interact with a brand’s MVP (Minimum Viable Product).
Launching with a minimum viable product (MVP) allows teams to test a product’s core concept and functionality in a realistic setting, receiving user feedback and improving iteratively when needed.
A mission statement is a clear definition of a business, its goals, its ethos, its reasons for being and its primary customers.
MoSCoW Prioritization is a method for organizing project requirements based on their priority level. “MoSCoW” is an acronym for Must-Have, Should-Have, Could-Have, and Won't-Have.
Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) is a vital element of any business that relies on a subscription model, and an incredibly important metric to allow subscription businesses to prosper.
Needfinding is the process of discovery prior to product development. Developed by Robert McKim at Stanford University in the 1970s, it focuses on customer needs rather than customer wants.
Net Promoter Score is a metric that gauges customer loyalty and satisfaction simply by asking customers how likely they are to recommend your product or service on a simple scale.
Objectives and Key Results, also known as OKR, is a goal-setting framework used in businesses to align individual performance with overall goals in a measurable way.
Operating expenses are costs that are incurred by the day-to-day operations of a business. For example, overheads (rent, utilities, office supplies) and payroll.
An opportunity cost is the inevitable loss of profit, growth or other value, which must be spent in order to focus on an activity. Despite its name, opportunity cost is not necessarily a bad thing.
Opportunity Scoring is a prioritization method, based on user-assigned importance and satisfaction ratings. Product teams can use opportunity scoring to refocus product roadmaps, improving the value of the product overall.
Pageviews is the number of times an individual web page has been loaded or reloaded.
Pair programming involves two programmers sharing a single workstation. One programmer focuses on coding, whilst the other reviews and assesses the work.
The payback period refers to the length of time a business expects to wait before the initial investments in a product or project are recovered.
Penetration pricing refers to setting a low initial cost for a new product or service. Usually, this is done by businesses to gain market share quickly or get new customers to purchase.
Personalization is the act of tailoring a service or a product to accommodate a specific individual or group.
Price elasticity of demand relates to the way in which demand for a product changes based on price adjustments. Certain products are inelastic, as a change in price leads to little or no change in demand.
Product analytics is essential for developing a comprehensive understanding of how users engage with products. This feedback is often more accurate than other forms of user input as it tracks actual user behavior rather than relying on qualitative remarks.
A product backlog is a list of all the tasks known to be needed in the product. It serves as an authoritative source for what the team should be working on right now.
A product description sheet defines the scope of a product in specific terms. The document is used during the planning phase to create a clear idea of what the final product should look like, and is then passed on to the development team for execution.
A product designer (sometimes known as an experience designer, user interface designer, interaction designer, information architect, etc.) takes responsibility for a product’s overall user experience.
Product differentiation is how a business distinguishes a service or product from others that are available in the same category.
Product discovery is the customer-centric process of determining whether or not a product or feature should be developed. It requires in-depth customer knowledge, to identify and validate which user problem(s) a build could solve.
A product disruptor is an innovation that adds new value to a business, by future-proofing against market threats, competitor rivalry or customer behavior change.
Product enablement increases awareness and understanding of a business’s product(s) across the entire organization, with the aim of making each and every employee higher performing.
Product excellence refers to a framework for developing a product or feature based on a deep understanding of user needs. Product excellence enables businesses to innovate more efficiently, enabling them to get the right products to market quickly.
The product lifecycle is the journey each product takes from the inception of an idea all the way through to a product’s retirement.
A product manager is responsible for the success of a product. The product manager has profound knowledge on the developed product and everything that goes with it.
Product ops, referring to product operations, supports a cross-functional product team to constantly ensure and improve their efficiency.
The product owner (PO) represents next to the ScrumMaster and the development team a key player in a Scrum team.
A product requirements document (PRD) is a detailed outline of all functionalities a software product must fulfill when being delivered.
Product requirements management refers to the process of collecting, analyzing, tracking, and prioritizing product requirements. These requirements are usually communicated later on to key stakeholders.
Product roadmaps the vision and strategic objectives for a product over time. They give development teams and stakeholders a ‘single source of truth’ that captures all the steps needed to deliver against objectives.
A product spec provides teams with critical information to guide them as they bring products to market, covering such contextual details as the target audience, user goals, and intended outcomes.
A product strategy is your business’s goal(s) for a product and the in-depth process for achieving success
A product vision aims to describe the future state of a product. It is the core essence of the product.Ideally, the product vision will serve as a guide for the stakeholders, as it will remind them of the general direction the product should be taking
Product-market fit refers to the way in which a brand’s product is capable of satisfying the current market, by supplying enough units of a high-enough quality to meet demand.
A program manager’s essential objective is to reconcile multiple projects and teams by coordinating them and giving strategic guidance to the company’s project managers.
A project manager is responsible for the execution of a project from start to finish. A project manager is often the bridge between the team, deliverables and upper management.
A project roadmap is a visual overview capturing all critical elements of a project, from kickoff to final delivery.
Prototypes offer teams a valuable opportunity to conduct in-depth testing on products and concepts during the development process.
Rapid Application Development (RAD) is an adaptive software development approach where a software prototype is rapidly updated based on user feedback and iteratively delivered until it meets all client requirements.
Experiments are launched rapidly to discover new ideas. This allows product development teams to build less and learn more.
Rapid prototyping is a key part of product development, leveraging functional prototypes for in-depth testing of core design elements (size, function, etc.) and overall user experience.
A release demo shows the work, and the progress of a project, at the end of each iteration.
A retrospective is a team meeting held after a product has shipped. Its primary goal is to discuss what happened during the product development cycle, providing valuable lessons for the future.
Return on Investment is a key business metric that measures the profitability of investments or marketing activities by weighing the size of the upfront cost against the net profits it produced.
Return on Sales is a ratio businesses use to calculate their operational efficiency. As a result, they can identify where improvements are needed to reduce operating expenses and boost revenue.
Return visitors are users who have visited a certain website before, in the last two years.
A roadmap is a high-level strategic overview of a significant business initiative. Roadmaps are typically used to manage the development of a new product or the execution of a company-wide project.
The SWOT analysis framework assessing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to business, their rivals, or their project planning. SWOT is an acronym for these four factors.
A sales forecast is a business’s estimation of a product’s future sales. This helps companies make well-informed decisions related to resources, workforces, and more.
An agile framework designed to help scale agile practices for larger organizations with multiple teams working on multifaceted projects.
Scope creep describes the tendency for projects to gradually expand, and take on a different scope of activity or output than was initially planned.
Being a Scrum Master is a professional occupation and originates from a designated role in the Scrum framework. A Scrum Master is responsible for delegating and supervising agile software development activities based on the ideas and methods of Scrum.
The Scrum meeting is executed daily, usually performed as a stand-up meeting. Participants include all Scrum team members, such as product owner, Scrum Master and development team.
Seed capital is a relatively small investment that contributed to a startup at the very earliest stage of the venture.
Shipping products is part of an iterative workflow, in which an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is released to gather valuable feedback. This information inspires future updates to improve the product and deliver a better user experience.
The Six Thinking Hats is a method used to make creative discussions more productive. It's based on the work of Dr. Edward de Bono, a widely respected psychologist and author.
Soft skills are personal attributes that enhance our ability to perform our professional roles. Problem-solving, communication, and emotional intelligence are some of the most sought after soft skills.
A sprint is a fixed length of time allocated to a team to complete specific tasks and achieve goals.
A sprint backlog is the list of items selected from the product backlog to deliver during the current sprint. Crucially, this should also contain a solid plan for delivering the product increments to meet the sprint goals.
The sprint goal is a clear, simple objective to be completed during a single sprint or iteration.
In a sprint planning meeting, the Scrum team will prioritize which items from the product backlog should be delivered during the current sprint.
The Stage-Gate model is a process used to structure the product development cycle into a series of stages and gates. Each stage represents a milestone, and a gate separates each stage, where teams decide if and how to move forward.
A standup is a short daily meeting designed to share progress amongst the team and encourage good communication.
Story mapping is the visualization of a user’s journey with your product, breaking each step down into user stories. This exercise can help you see clearly which features and functionalities are essential for your MVP.
A Story Point is a unit of measure used in the agile development process to express an estimate of the overall effort that will be required to fully implement a product backlog item.
Success factors are all of the different internal and external influences which can impact the potential success of a business.
Success requirements are the factors that influence whether or not a SaaS business is successful in achieving its strategic and financial goals.
Sunk cost is money that has been spent and cannot be recovered. Whilst it sounds damaging, sunk costs are unavoidable in business. Anything from buying office equipment, to researching a new feature that goes on to flop, can result in sunk cost.
A theme in product management is a simple way to convey a product’s value, comprising multiple features or initiatives which contribute to this overall objective.
Total addressable market refers to the maximum possible revenue a product or service could generate if it was able to activate every single relevant customer.
Traffic, often referred to as ‘website traffic’ is a measure of many visitors, or visits, a website gets.
Whilst the role of a UX Designer may vary from business to business, you can think of them as an advocate users — it is the UX Designer’s job to ensure the best possible user experience, in everything from purchase to packaging.
A unique selling point (USP) is the key reason a customer should choose your brand, product or service — it’s what separates you from your competition.
In usability testing, qualitative data is gathered from users on specific parts of your service or process. This data is used to improve the user experience, with the ultimate goal of retaining loyal customers.
User Experience (UX) refers to the total, end-to-end experience of using a product or service. UX Designers use first-hand research to analyze every touchpoint and interaction, seeking to reduce friction and improve user satisfaction.
User flow is the path taken by a prototypical user on a website or app to complete a task. Understanding user flow helps teams build more intuitive products.
User interface (UI) is any method or means by which the end-user of a product interacts with, or controls, a product, software or hardware device. User interface is designed to allow humans to control machines effectively and efficiently
A user persona is a semi-fictional character created to represent different customer types that use a company’s products or services.
User research includes qualitative and quantitative means of gathering user feedback on your product or service, to guarantee what you build is not only user-centric but has the best chance of commercial success.
A user story is a well-formed, short and simple description of a software requirement from the perspective of an end-user.
Value versus Complexity is a prioritization framework assessing ideas by how valuable they are to the business and user, against how complex they will be to achieve.
Value Versus Effort is a prioritization model used to identify which features add the most value, while requiring the least effort. This helps teams to cut out anything that needs a lot of work, for little reward.
Pageviews, registered users and app downloads are all vanity metrics. Whilst these figures are exciting at first, they are not useful in measuring true commercial impact and success.
Velocity is a measure of the speed at which an agile team completes work items. By analyzing Velocity, teams can estimate how much work they can complete in future iterations.
Waterfall software development breaks work into consecutive stages, that each happens one after the other until the completion of the project.
Website metrics are a variety of measurements made on a given website in order to better track its performance and statistics.
Website traffic is a term used for the number of visits a website receives. There are different ways to measure and increase traffic, to achieve better brand visibility and drive conversions.
Weighted scoring is a framework designed to help teams prioritize outstanding tasks by assigning a numeric value to each based on cost-benefit analysis.
The Weighted Shortest Job First prioritization framework looks at the cost of delaying a project against the amount of time or effort required to complete it.
“What, Not How” is a method that emphasizes the importance of what an application will do, rather than how it will work. This helps clarify a product’s purpose, speeds up planning, and simplifies decision-making during development.
A wireframe is a simple representation of a web page or application’s layout, serving as a visual prototype to illustrate the product’s various UI elements.