Agile: A software development methodology based on iterative and incremental development, in which requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams. It is a conceptual framework that promotes well-planned, small iterations throughout the development cycle. Teams that develop with agility optimize for learning about and responding to change; each time a team talks to users and stakeholders or builds or releases a new feature, they learn new information. The iterative approach enables the team to constantly act on new information and keep feedback loops short.

There are a lot of terms, but behind them are definitions that will help you get a firmer understanding of how agile software development methodology works. If you think something is missing from this list, leave it with a definition in a response to this post. Terminology that you may encounter when working with Agile projects:

Burn Up Chart

Demonstrates visually how many story points the team got done.

Definition of Done

Specifies the conditions that must be met in order for a story to be considered done.

Definition of Ready

Specifies the conditions that must be met in order for user stories to be delivered in Iteration and are moved into an Iteration Backlog.


A story that is too large to be fully delivered in a single iteration.


Anything stopping progress on a task.

Iteration Backlog

A list of user stories that meet the Definition of Ready and are planned for delivery in the next Iteration cycle.

Product Backlog

List containing all the stories for the project

Project Community

Cross-functional group working together to get a story done.

Release Backlog

Grouping of prioritized stories to target for production.

Release Plan

Rough schedule of iterations and target deployments into production.


A description of a small, customer-valuable requirement.

Story Points

An estimation technique where a day = 8 hours heads down work


Where the team visibly tracks their task progress. Both physical and/or electronic.


How many story points the team got done in an iteration.

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