Project managers who wish to excel in their field must know Agile terminology. Approximately 85 percent of developers use the Agile methodology in their work, so you must be proficient with this list of Agile terms if you don’t want to get left behind in the tech industry. Agile was created for software development managers, but it can be used for almost any large-scale project across a variety of industries.
So, whether you are considering project management or not, this glossary of agile terminology will be important for you to understand and familiarize yourself with. This article explores five of the most common and advanced Agile terms to help you and your team deliver the best product possible.
What Is Agile?
Agile is a flexible and efficient approach to project management. It is a methodology that centers around the idea of iterative development. This allows projects to frequently adapt and change according to the client’s needs. This allows teams to deliver products to clients quickly and with less stress. An Agile team produces work in tiny, achievable steps.
Agile works by dividing projects into small chunks known as user stories. These user stories are prioritized and then delivered in short cycles. This Agile framework is a collection of methodologies that focus on continuous improvement and small feedback cycles.
Who Uses Agile Terminology?
An Agile team predominantly uses Agile principles and terminology to ensure that an Agile project is executed. These teams consist of programmers, software developers, UX designers, and quality assurance testers.
Today, Agile is utilized by more than just software teams to manage software development projects. Other professionals who use Agile terminology include project managers, training and development managers, and Agile business analysts, among others.
List of Agile Terms: Things Every Project Manager Should Know
- Acceptance Criteria
- Agile Marketing
- Agile Software Development
- Burndown Chart
- Continuous Deployment
- Daily Scrum
- DSDM (Dynamic systems development method)
- Frequent Releases
- Information Radiators
- Product Manager
- Product Owner
- Release plan
- Scrum Master
- Task Board
- User Stories
- XP (Extreme Programming)
Glossary of Agile Terminology: 5 Common Agile Terms
Below we further examine key Agile terminology that project managers should be familiar with to deliver iterative projects. These are some of the more common terms a project manager is likely to encounter in the workplace.
Acceptance criteria are a set of requirements that software development teams must meet for customers or stakeholders. The owner of the product determines the acceptance criteria by assessing the software to see if it can do what the user wants it to do.
Why Project Managers Need to Know about Acceptance Criteria
On agile projects, carefully stated acceptance criteria will prevent misunderstanding, non-payment by clients, and political manipulation. Measuring, attaining, and proving to your clients that the work is complete are all things that well-defined acceptance criteria may help the project team with. This will ensure a viable product.
A burndown chart is like a visual to-do list. It is a helpful tool for Agile project managers to track how much work remains on a project and how much time is left to finish it. Agile teams use this visual tool to know how their project is progressing and how much has been completed during a single iteration.
Why Project Managers Need to Know about Burndown Chart
Burndown charts assist teams in visualizing their progress in real-time and provide a large picture view of projects before they begin. Therefore, they can help project managers generate more accurate deadlines and manage resources more effectively. This is especially helpful when dealing with complex products.
This is a daily review meeting that is usually hosted by the Scrum Master. This retrospective meeting allows each team member to briefly outline any contributions or issues they may have encountered. Then, the Scrum team plans the day by bringing everyone up to speed. This meeting is usually limited to 15 minutes.
Why Project Managers Need to Know about Daily Scrum
Daily Scrum meetings are vital to the management of any project, especially one that follows the Agile approach. Each daily meeting serves as a useful source of real-time information, updates, and input from the Agile software development team. It also helps team members stay on track with the objectives and deadlines. This is vital for continuous delivery.
A frequent release is when an Agile team frequently places its product in the hands of end-users to gain critical user feedback. This test-driven development is vital for customer collaboration and allows an Agile team to know when they have a shippable product.
Why Project Managers Need to Know about Frequent Releases
Project managers need to know about frequent releases to provide project updates to stakeholders and clients. Projects have to work within a set scope, budget, and timeline and it is up to the project manager to know when a product is ready for release.
Product owners are vital members of an Agile or Scrum team. They decide what the final vision and functionality of the product will be. This is based on the demands and requirements of the customer. Product owners also manage the product backlog so the product development team can attain the intended result.
Why Project Managers Need to Know about Product Owners
Product managers need to know about product owners because they are key in ensuring projects are completed correctly and efficiently. Together with product owners, project managers assist in gathering accurate information for creating a project plan and achieving product increment.
Agile terminology Cheat Sheet: 5 Advanced Agile Terms
Now that we have covered the most common Agile terms, it’s time to look at some more advanced terminology. While the advanced terms below are used less frequently, they are important Agile practices for any project manager to learn.
DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development Method)
DSDM is a business-oriented Agile development methodology that concentrates on the entire project from beginning to end. According to DSDM’s core concept, any work done on Agile projects should be in line with a company’s business priorities and strategies.
Why Project Managers Need to Know about DSDM
Project managers should understand DSDM because it covers the entire project lifecycle of the Agile process. DSDM will give your team the best practice guidelines for delivering projects on time and within budget, with proven flexibility to meet projects of all sizes and in any industry.
An Agile iteration, also referred to as sprint, is the period of time it takes for an Agile development team to produce working software and achieve sprint goals. It may vary from project to project, but an iteration typically lasts between two and four weeks for Kanban and Scrum teams.
Why Project Managers Need to Know about Iterations
Iterations are essential to project managers and Agile teams because they help divide projects up into smaller, more manageable goals. When a cross-functional team meets iteration goals, it speeds up the development process. Project managers must keep on top of iteration deadlines to avoid sprint backlog.
The Kanban Method is a method for designing, managing, and improving knowledge workflow systems. Kanban teams work on high-priority items as soon as they arrive. They visualize their workflow and limit work in progress (WIP) to avoid multitasking and slowing down productivity.
Why Project Managers Need to Know about Kanban
Kanban project management will provide you with a visual representation of your work so that you may fully understand your workflow. This makes it easy for the entire team to keep track of all projects and development tasks.
The Scrum Master guides the Scrum team by planning meetings, taking care of impediments, and collaborating with the product owner to update them on the product backlog items. The Scrum Master is also in charge of ensuring that the team adheres to agile values and principles, as well as the agreed-upon methods and practices for continuous improvement.
Why Project Managers Need to Know about the Scrum Master
Project managers need to make sure that the Scrum process of the entire project gets efficient management. This is achieved by working with the Scrum Master and knowing what their role is. The development phase will be negatively affected if there is a problem with any aspect of the project.
XP (Extreme Programming)
Extreme Programming (XP) is an Agile software development approach that attempts to deliver better software while improving the development team’s quality of life. There is an emphasis on the Scrum methodology processes, so teams can quickly respond to client requirements.
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Why Project Managers Need to Know about Extreme Programming
Extreme Programming assists software development organizations to save costs, irritation, and time by reducing unnecessary tasks. It also allows programmers to concentrate on code. A project manager will not only improve the overall quality of a product by understanding how extreme programming works, but they will develop a better relationship with their team.
How can I Learn Agile Terminology in 2022?
You can learn Agile terminology by researching Agile methods, attending online classes with an Agile coach, or enrolling in coding bootcamps such as Code Institute, Simplilearn, or Kensie Academy. Students will quickly and efficiently learn Agile terminology, Agile project management, and best practices at these leading bootcamps.
Agile Terminology FAQ
The Agile methodology is a style of project management that splits projects into small, achievable steps. It is an iterative approach that requires constant engagement with stakeholders and customers. It also involves continuous improvement at each stage.
Yes, Agile is easy to learn. As it becomes more popular, finding free resources to master Agile methodology has become easier. These resources include bootcamps, online courses, and video tutorials. However, do not limit yourself to theoretical learning. Often the best learning occurs when you repeat Agile methods in various contexts.
Agile strives to deliver shorter development cycles and more frequent product releases within a short period of time for development teams. This allows teams to quickly and easily respond to changes in customer requirements. Agile also aims for continuous improvement.
The three core features of Agile methodology include collaboration, a persistent focus on business value, and an acceptable degree of quality.
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