Agile Glossary

These are terms we use regularly. An extended agile glossary can be found at .


the name coined for the wider set of mindset and ideas that new agile ways of working falls within; the agile values and principles are captured in the agile manifesto.

Acceptance Criteria

details that indicate the scope of a work item and help the squad and product owner determine done-ness.

Backlog Refinement / Backlog Grooming

the regular collaborative ceremonies where items on the backlog are discussed, refined and estimated and the backlog is trimmed and prioritised.

Burn Down

the trend of work remaining across time in a Sprint, a Release, or a Product. The source of the raw data is the Sprint Backlog and the Product Backlog, with work remaining tracked on the vertical axis and the time periods (days of a Sprint, or Sprints) tracked on the horizontal axis.


someone who is interested in the project but does not have formal Scrum responsibilities and accountabilities.

Daily Standup / Daily Scrum

A short meeting held daily by each squad during which the squad members inspect their work, synchronise their work and progress and report and impediments to the ScrumMaster for removal. Follow-on meetings to adapt upcoming work to optimise the Sprint may occur after the Daily Scrum meetings.


Complete as mutually agreed to by all parties and that conforms to an organization’s standards, conventions, and guidelines. When something is reported as “done” at the Sprint Review meeting, it must conform to this agreed definition.

Estimated Work Remaining (Sprint Backlog items)

The number of hours that a Team member estimates remain to be worked on any task. This estimate is updated at the end of every day when the Sprint Backlog task is worked on. The estimate is the total estimated hours remaining, regardless of the number of people that perform the work.


Product functionality that is developed by the Team during each Sprint that is potentially shippable or of use to the Product Owner’s stakeholders.

Increment of Potentially Shippable Product Functionality

A complete slice of the overall product or system that could be used by the Product Owner or stakeholders if they chose to implement it.


An iteration, or one repeating cycle of similar work, that produces increment of product or system. No longer than one month and usually more than one week. The duration is fixed throughout the overall work and all teams working on the same system or product use the same length cycle.


Someone exercising one of agile roles who has made a commitment and has the authority to fulfill it.

Planning Poker

a process used to apply estimates to work items, it uses the Delphi method of arriving at consensus.

Product Backlog

A prioritised list of work waiting to be started with estimated times to turn them into completed product functionality. Estimates are more precise the higher an item is in the Product Backlog priority. The list emerges, changing as business conditions or technology changes.

Product Backlog Item

Functional requirements, non-functional requirements, and issues, prioritized in order of importance to the business and dependencies and estimated. The precision of the estimate depends on the priority and granularity of the Product Backlog item, with the highest priority items that may be selected in the next Sprint being very granular and precise.

Product Owner

The person responsible for managing the Product Backlog so as to maximize the value of the project. The Product Owner is responsible for representing the interests of everyone with a stake in the project and its resulting product.


a session where the squad and Scrum Master reflect on the process and make commitments to improve. A time boxed meeting facilitated by the ScrumMaster at which the complete squad discusses the just-concluded Sprint and determines what could be changed that might make the next Sprint more enjoyable or productive.

Scrum Roles

there are only three scrum roles: product owner, scrum master, squad member


Not an acronym, but mechanisms in the game of rugby for getting an out-of-play ball back into play.


The person responsible for the Scrum process, its correct implementation, and the maximisation of its benefits.


a short, time-boxed piece of research, usually technical, on a single story that is intended to provide just enough information that the squad can identify and estimate the size of the work items

Sprint Backlog

A list of tasks that defines a squad’s work for a Sprint. The list emerges during the Sprint. Each task identifies those responsible for doing the work and the estimated amount of work remaining on the task on any given day during the Sprint.

Sprint Backlog Task

One of the tasks that the squad or a squad member defines as required to turn committed Product Backlog items into system functionality.

Sprint Planning meeting

A first-day meeting time boxed that initiates every Sprint. The meeting is divided into segments, each also time boxed.. During the first segment the Product Owner presents the highest priority Product Backlog to the team. The Team and Product Owner collaborate to help the Team determine how much Product Backlog it can turn into functionality during the upcoming Sprint. The Team commits to this at the end of the first segment. During the second segment of the ceremony, the squad plans how it will meet this commitment by designing and then detailing its work as a plan in the Sprint Backlog.

Prove It / Demo / Sprint Review meeting

A time-boxed meeting at the end of every Sprint where the sqaud collaborates with the Product Owner and stakeholders on what just happened in the Sprint. This usually starts with a demonstration of completed Product Backlog items, a discussion of opportunities, constraints and findings, and a discussion of what might be the best things to do next (potentially resulting in Product Backlog changes). Only completed product functionality can be demonstrated.


Someone with an interest in the outcome of a project, either because they have funded it, will use it, or will be affected by it.


A cross-functional group of people that is responsible for managing themselves to develop an increment of product every Sprint.

Time box

A period of time that cannot be exceeded and within which an event or meeting occurs. For example, a Daily Scrum meeting is time boxed at fifteen minutes and terminates at the end of fifteen minutes, regardless. For meetings, it might last shorter. For Sprints, it lasts exactly that length.

Vision Statement

a high-level description of a information product which includes who it is for, why it is necessary and what differentiates it from similar information products.


work In Progress, refers to the work items the squad has started but has not yet finished.