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Most of the terms we use are as you would expect from existing software methods, but we’ve included our definition here to avoid any confusion.

  • Role A role describes some duty that someone must perform; it is not necessarily a titled job all by itself, although it could be in a larger organization.
  • Team Lead A role, not a title. This member of the team facilitates meetings, removes impediments, and helps keep the team moving forward effectively. This jack of all trades handles a wide variety of issues as they arise, with the goal of keeping the rest of the team on track.
  • Product Developer A role, not a title. The team member responsible for prioritizing and developing the team’s product backlog. This includes spending time with customers, sales, executives, developers, and testers. They collect information about potential work from the relevant parties and prioritize the work based on potential benefit (i.e. business value), difficulty of the task, and other relevant concerns.
  • Initiative Long-range (on the order of years), concrete organizational goals. All work should roll up to an initiative. Initiatives contain either themes or epics. story hierarchy
  • Themes Medium-range (on the order of quarters), concrete organizational targets. Themes are optional, but if they exist, they roll up into an initiative and contain epics or features.
  • Epic Short-range (on the order of months), concrete organizational targets. Epics are optional, but if they exist, they contain features and roll up either to themes or initiatives.
  • Feature A feature represents a collection of stories that can provide stand alone value. Features roll up into epics or themes.
  • Story A story represents something a user can do, or benefit from, or that the system needs in order to operate. A given story is small enough to be completed within a single iteration and provides value. Stories ideally take between 1/2 a day and 3 days to complete.
  • Iteration A regular length of time in which a team works to complete a group of stories. This time-boxed event is a regular cadence and has its own ceremonies.
  • Release A collection of features which is, once completed, made available outside the development group to the intended audience.
  • Story Refinement Meeting A process that occurs before the start of the iteration. It has both small group and team wide aspects and is designed to ensure stories are well-defined before the team’s planning meeting.

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