Agile Terms Glossary | Find a short explanation of the most common terms used in Agile.


Agile Operating Model | The holistic and simple definition of what an organisation, programme, project or team mean when they use the term ‘Agile’. This could be a single Agile framework or an integrated implementation of many frameworks, the latter being much more likely. Agile Operating Models align to the ‘Agile Manifesto’.

Agile Persona | Someone (a person or group) who will interact with the system being built, also known as a ‘user’.


Backlog | An ordered list of requirements/stories that the customer wants

Baseline Plan | The plan that defines the start point from which an evolving product starts, normally high level.

Best Practice | The learned best approach for something at a particular point in time, best practice evolves over time.

Business | The customers stakeholders and users of the product.


Command and Control | A style of management where the manager commands the team to do something and then controls them to do it. This style of management is the opposite of Agile self-organising teams.

Commitment Plan | Typically a detailed forecast for a short period of time, also known as iteration/sprint (or time-box)plans.

Cost of Delay | The cost of delaying an investment decision.

Customer | The person/people who own the product (eg. known as a ‘Product Owners’ or ‘Business Ambassadors’ in certain frameworks).


Definition of Done | Normally a list that defines the complete product that must be delivered; must be standard across the Team.

Definition of Ready | Normally a list that defines when artefacts within the delivery process are ready e.g. story ready to go into iteration/sprint.


Environment | The combination of all factors within an organisation, project, team etc that drives suitability of a delivery or governance framework. In a dynamic environment, where things change all the time, an Agile framework would be suitable.


Facilitated Workshops | Groups of people coming together in a forum to achieve a stated objective, the achievement of which is facilitated by a workshop facilitator. Many activities (such as planning) within Agile are delivered within Facilitated Workshops.

Feature | A feature of the system that the customer wants, normally described as a story and ordered within a backlog.


Iteration/Sprint | A short focussed amount of delivery effort to deliver stories within an Iteration/ Sprint goal, normally between 2 to 4 weeks.

Iteration/Sprint goal | The goal that the Team commit to in relation to an Iteration/Sprint Plan.

Iteration / Sprint plan | The forecast of what will be delivered within a short focussed ‘sprint’ by the Team.

K, N

Knowledge Based Work | Work where the main capital is knowledge, such as Doctors, Engineers and Information Technology workers.

Noise | Anything that interrupts the team within an iteration/sprint, noise causes significant disturbance within a Team and causes lack of focus on delivery and ultimately failed delivery.


Regression Testing | Software testing that seeks to uncover new problems, or regressions, in an existing system after changes have been made to them.

Requirements | Are described as ‘stories’ within most Agile frameworks.

S, T, U, W

Source Control System | Part of software Configuration Management, manages the central repository of code versions etc.

Stakeholder | Any person or group who can help the Team, or screw them up.

Story | A requirement or feature that may be delivered at some point; a story is a token to remind everyone that something may need to be delivered. stories reside on the backlog.

Time-box | A fixed period of time within which delivery is made, stories are prioritised within a time-box. With Agile; projects, releases and Iterations/Sprints are all time-boxes.

User | People who will use the product, known as ‘Agile Personas’ within Agile.

Working Software | Software that works, has all the elements associated with the ‘Definition of Done’ and is ready to deploy into an environment which should be the live production environment.

Find out more about Agile with Radtac

Agile Foundations: Principles, Practices and Frameworks

Find out more about how Agile practices transform the way organisation carry out business and respond to change with the textbook for the BCS Foundation Certificate in Agile.

BCS Agile Foundations - Principles, Practices and Frameworks ISBN 978-1-78017-254-5

Get a free sample chapter of Agile Foundations today

Agile Training Courses

Release your potential to transform and innovate business at all levels with excellent accredited Agile training from Radtac.

Contact us

Copyright © Radtac 2022     |     All rights reserved     |     Registered in England ∓ Wales No. 03600183