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Glossary: Agile development

Hand-picked agile development terms, definitions, and frequently asked questions. Each agile development term is defined and explained simply by our research team.

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Acceptance Criteria

Acceptance criteria are a set of targets that must be met in order to successfully finalize and complete the user story.

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Acceptance Test

An acceptance test is conducted by the customer or the end-user to evaluate if a software solution meets requirements.

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Adaptive Software Development (ASD)

Adaptive software development embodies the principle that continuous adaptation of the process to the work at hand is the normal way to work.

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Agile

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.

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Agile Framework

Agile Frameworks are the different variations and approaches used by development teams based on the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto.

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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.

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Agile Principles

There are 12 agile principles included in The Agile Manifesto, originated by software developers to prioritize individual interactions, customer collaboration, and flexibility.

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Agile Product Owner

An Agile Product Owner is vital for steering a product’s development in the right direction and helping teams complete tasks successfully. They work to keep a product in line with the company’s best interests and stakeholder expectations.

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Agile Transformation

With agile transformation, an organization restructures and redefines itself to align with the agile methodology, affecting the business as a whole.

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Agile Values

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.

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Alpha Test

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.

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SMART Goal Setting

Product managers who want to increase their odds for success should consistently turn to the SMART goal setting approach. It’s their best tool for creating realistic, clear objectives and for driving motivation.

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Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

An agile framework designed to help scale agile practices for larger organizations with multiple teams working on multifaceted projects.

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Scrum Master

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.

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Scrum Meeting

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.

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Scrumban

Scrumban is a combination of Scrum and Kanban. By combining the two, teams can visualize the organizational aspects of Scrum while benefiting from the flexibility of Kanban. It's a less rigid model that brings out the best in both workflows.

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Shape Up Method

The Shape Up Method is a process for developing products across six-week cycles, with “cooldown” periods between each. Teams have more autonomy to determine tasks and manage them to completion, freeing leaders from time-consuming micromanagement.

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Shipyard Engine

A shipyard engine is a tool used to help teams communicate while continuously updating a software product. It goes above typical VCS systems, forcing team members to justify the updates they ship and to notify other team members of their updates.

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Sprint

A sprint is a fixed length of time allocated to a team to complete specific tasks and achieve goals.

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Sprint Backlog

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.

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Sprint Goal

The sprint goal is a clear, simple objective to be completed during a single sprint or iteration.

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Sprint Planning

In a sprint planning meeting, the scrum team will prioritize which items from the product backlog should be delivered during the current sprint.

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Standup

A standup is a short daily meeting designed to share progress amongst the team and encourage good communication.

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Story Point

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.

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