Top Terms Used in Agile Project Management

If you’ve ever found yourself confused by the multitude of terms, acronyms, and jargon used in the agile and project management domains, you’ve come to the right place. My comprehensive glossary is designed to be ultimate reference for budding project managers, providing clear and concise definitions for the key concepts, methodologies, and terminology you’ll encounter on your agile and project management journey. Though this is not the entire list, this should help anyone to start their journey with.

Let’s unravel the intricacies of terminology together and enhance our understanding of this exciting field!

Project Management

  1. Project scope: The scope of a project defines what work will be included in the project and what work will be excluded.
  2. Project plan: A project plan is a document that outlines the goals, objectives, tasks, and resources needed to complete a project.
  3. Scope creep: Scope creep is the tendency for a project's scope to increase over time, often without a corresponding increase in resources or budget.
  4. Critical path method (CPM): The critical path method is a project management technique that identifies the sequence of tasks that must be completed on time in order to complete the project on time.
  5. Work breakdown structure (WBS): A work breakdown structure is a hierarchical decomposition of the project scope into smaller, more manageable tasks.
  6. Budget: The allocated financial resources for a project, including estimates of costs and expenses.
  7. Schedule: The timeline or plan that outlines the sequence of activities and milestones in a project.
  8. Milestone: A significant event or achievement within a project, often marking the completion of a major phase or deliverable.
  9. Resource allocation: Resource allocation is the process of assigning the right resources to the right tasks in order to complete the project on time and within budget.
  10. Earned value management (EVM): Earned value management is a project management technique that measures project progress and performance against a baseline plan.
  11. Contingency plan: A contingency plan is a plan that is put in place in case of unexpected events or changes to the project plan.
  12. Change management: Change management is the process of managing changes to a project plan.
  13. Key performance indicators (KPIs): Key performance indicators are metrics that are used to measure the success of a project.
  14. Triple constraint: The triple constraint is a project management concept that states that there are three interrelated constraints that must be balanced in order to achieve project success: scope, time, and cost.
  15. Burndown chart: A burndown chart is a graphical representation of the amount of work remaining in a project over time.
  16. Risk management: Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks to a project.
  17. Stakeholder management: Stakeholder management is the process of identifying, understanding, and managing the needs of all the people who have a vested interest in the project.
  18. Baseline: A reference point for measuring and comparing the actual project performance against the original plan.
  19. Gantt Chart: A visual representation of a project schedule, showing tasks, durations, dependencies, and progress.
  20. Sponsor: The person or entity providing financial resources and support for the project.


  1. Agile Manifesto: The Agile Manifesto is a document that outlines the four values and twelve principles of agile software development.
  2. Backlog: A backlog is a list of tasks or requirements that need to be completed in a project.
  3. Burndown chart: A burndown chart is a graphical representation of the amount of work remaining in a project over time.
  4. Definition of Done (DoD): The Definition of Done is a set of criteria that must be met before a task or requirement can be considered complete.
  5. Acceptance Criteria: Acceptance criteria are a set of conditions that must be met in order for a software product, user story, or other work item to be considered complete.
  6. Velocity: A measure of the amount of work a team can accomplish within a sprint, often used to estimate and plan future sprints.
  7. Iteration/Sprint: An iteration or sprint is a short, typically one-week period in an agile project during which a team works to complete a set of tasks.
  8. Kanban: Kanban is a project management methodology that uses a visual board to track work in progress.
  9. Product backlog: The product backlog is a list of all the features or requirements that a product should have.
  10. Scrum: Scrum is an agile framework that uses a series of short, iterative development cycles called sprints.
  11. Sprint backlog: The sprint backlog is a list of the tasks that a team will work on during a sprint.
  12. Sprint planning: Sprint planning is a meeting that takes place at the beginning of each sprint to plan the work that will be done during that sprint.
  13. Sprint review: Sprint review is a meeting that takes place at the end of each sprint to demonstrate the work that was completed during that sprint.
  14. Sprint retrospective: Sprint retrospective is a meeting that takes place at the end of each sprint to discuss what went well, what could be improved, and what changes should be made for the next sprint.
  15. User story: A user story is a description of a feature or requirement from the perspective of the user.
  16. Velocity: Velocity is a measure of how much work a team can complete in a sprint.
  17. XP: Extreme Programming (XP) is an agile methodology that emphasizes simplicity, testing, and refactoring.
  18. Continuous integration (CI): Continuous integration is a software development practice where developers integrate their code changes frequently, usually several times a day.
  19. Continuous delivery (CD): Continuous delivery is a software development practice where code changes are automatically deployed to a production environment several times a day.
  20. Continuous deployment (CD): Continuous deployment is a software development practice where code changes are automatically deployed to a production environment every time a change is made.


  1. Alignment: The state of having common goals and objectives between different teams or organizations.
  2. Antipattern: A common practice that can lead to negative consequences.
  3. Architecture Runway: The set of capabilities that an organization needs to build and maintain its architecture.
  4. Business Agility Value Stream (BAVS): The set of processes, systems, and people that enable an organization to deliver value to its customers and stakeholders.
  5. A minimum Viable Product (MVP): A product with just enough features to be usable by early customers who can then provide feedback for future product development.
  6. Business Owner: The person or group responsible for the success of a product or service.
  7. Cadence: The regular interval at which certain events or activities occur.
  8. Compliance: The strategy, activities, and artifacts that allow teams to apply Lean-Agile development methods to build systems that have the highest possible levels of quality, security, and compliance.
  9. Deployable Artifact: A software artifact that is ready to be deployed to production.
  10. Epic: A large feature or functionality that is broken down into smaller, more manageable user stories.
  11. Feature: A unit of customer-visible functionality that delivers value to the end-user, typically represented as a user story or a collection of user stories.
  12. Flow: The smooth and uninterrupted movement of work through a system.
  13. Inspect and Adapt: The practice of regularly inspecting the results of work and making adjustments as needed.
  14. Lean-Agile: A set of principles and practices that combine the best of Lean and Agile methods.
  15. PI Planning: A two-day event where the Agile Release Train (ART) plans the work for the upcoming PI.
  16. PI (Program Increment): A timebox in SAFe typically lasting 8-12 weeks, during which an Agile Release Train delivers a working increment of value.
  17. Product Backlog: The list of all the features or requirements that a product should have.
  18. Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF): A prioritization model used to sequence work for maximum economic benefit.
  19. Continuous Exploration: The ongoing process of discovering, understanding, and validating potential solutions and features in order to feed the Agile Release Train backlog.
  20. Business Agility: The ability of an organization to sense and respond to market changes and customer needs quickly, effectively, and sustainably.