Words that do not appear in the Agile Manifesto & Principles:

Sprint
backlog
product owner
manager
PBI (product backlog item)
scrum master
Sprint review
QA team
PMO
release train
product increment
stand-up (or Daily Scrum)
meeting
story point
estimate
velocity
quarterly plan
Jira
productivity
utilization
certification
standardized
process (as a positive)
methodology
ceremony
accountability
responsibility
hierarchy
Jira 🙂

Words that do appear in the Agile Manifesto & Principles:

individuals
interaction
valuable (software)
collaboration
change
customer
deliver…frequently
conversation
technical excellence
simplicity
self-organizing
reflects on…effective
adjusts

And yes, I understand perfectly that the set of words that do not appear in the Manifesto is infinitely large. Let’s stick to words that can damage your agility, but are considered by some to be essential to “Agile.”

8 Comments

  1. Alex on January 25, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    I’d guess that most readers, users and victims 😉 of the Scrum Guide aren’t native speakers and don’t put too much effort into getting deeply into meaning of the words used there. Picking out certain definitions which reinforce or weaken an opinion isn’t very helpful, IMHO. I believe the most effective way is to show that a range of meanings exist to a term.

    E.g. I remember some people talking badly about “commitment” because it’s used as a means to apply pressure, rightfully so. But what about this: “Commitment means we are present when we come to work. We give it our best. We choose to be here.”?

    Maybe a series of articles or a podcast e.g. with Kevlin Henney (likes to talk) on these terms used in the world of (non)-agile software development would be a welcomed cheer up during pandemic?

    • Allen Holub on February 12, 2021 at 8:10 pm

      I discuss accountability and responsibility in this post. Another post on commitment isn’t a bad idea.

  2. Handmade Fresh Pizza on March 19, 2021 at 8:41 am

    24/7

  3. slm on March 19, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    Jira listed twice on purpose or is that a typo?

  4. Alec on March 19, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    Agile is not Scrum. In my opinion, Agile Software development practices provide the ability to delivery the right solution with the shortest possible lead time.
    I’d argue commitment to a goal outside the next sprint might lead to a sunk-cost fallacy situation, due to sub-conscious planning.

    Just because it’s not explicitly mentioned doesn’t mean it’s not useful (PM’s, not so much :-)).
    Here’s my top 3 implicit requirements for an Agile project:
    – Engaged stakeholders.
    – Streamlined delivery processes.
    – Clean coding practices.

  5. synergize on April 13, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    Global

  6. Marcin Golenia on June 8, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    Short and right to the point, love this post. I would add “ownership” right after product owner to the the list. I’ve heard too many times this bullshit:
    – I know that team B is busy but we can’t write the code for them, they own the service X.
    – Let’s call them and we will tell them that they have bug. They own the Service X so they shoul fix it.
    – Well, Ben took some days off and the task has been asssigned to him so this is why it is not finished.
    – We cannot do this, we don’t own this code.

    Dammit! I am so angry with this. If a team is a group of people that has a common target then most companies don’t have teams, they have bunch of lonely people with sad duties.

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