Common Scrum terms that every developer should know.

A calendar full of daily stand-ups. A good thing?

Scrum is a framework for agile product/software development.

If you’re not familiar with the scrum framework or the agile mindset, I suggest starting with one of these first:

Chances are, you’ve probably already seen most of these terms. Even so, I invite you to compare this list of terms to a version your team uses. What’s the difference? Why is there a difference? (No right answer.)

It’s good practice to think about how you’re using different parts of the scrum framework and whether or not you are using it as intended by your team when the practice was implemented.


Stand-up (also called daily scrum)

A daily meeting. During this meeting team members plan development and update the sprint backlog.


The speed of development. Only useful for measuring relative speed over a historical basis on one team. Not for comparing development speed between teams.


Something that is left over from work on a story. An example would be documentation.


A goal based on the desires of the users. Usually follows some sort of template like ‘given’,’when’,’then’.

“Given I’m a mobile app user. When I click on my account icon, then I want to see my account information.”

Definition of done

(not to be confused with Acceptance Criteria) Definition of done, is a collection of things like coding standards that establish a baseline quality for finished work.

Acceptance Criteria

Different from definition of done, acceptance criteria pertain to specific user stories rather than the project as a whole. They are a list of requirements that must be met to finish a story.

An Agile Note

Memorizing definitions will not make you a better ‘agile’ software developer or your team more efficient. Scrum isn’t a step-by-step plan, it’s a framework. Use it as such.