October 31, 2019 David Hallinan Guides, Industry Step Your Vocab Up! Agile Methodology Edition: Part 1 Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash “You gotta talk the talk before you can walk the walk” A key factor in your success as a Product Manager is the ability to insert yourself into any department in your organization and eloquently communicate your thought processes. Time in and time out, we have found that a major hindrance in a PM’s ability to do their job well is being unable to properly speak with their engineering team, specifically. We’ve spent long hours curating a list of terms for our Kloudless SaaS Integration Glossary, and we believe that product managers everywhere can benefit from this extensive list of vocabulary words. So, for the sake of helping you get on the same page as the people you work closely with, we are glad to announce our new monthly blog post, Step Your Vocab Up. On the last Wednesday of each month, we will do our best to help you expand your vocabulary on different aspects of software development to aid in becoming the best Product Manager you can be. Some of the upcoming topics we’ll cover will be authentication, API architecture, events, and agile methodology. So sit back, grab a comfy seat, and let’s jump into the first edition of our new series with a dive into part one of all things Agile Methodology! Method To Your Madness Agile methodology is often thought of as a new concept in tech, but it’s history actually dates back to the mid-1990s when a number of lightweight software development methods evolved in reaction to the prevailing heavyweight methods that critics described as overly regulated, planned, and micro-managed. The actual term ‘Agile Software Development’ didn’t materialize until 2001 when 17 of the leading minds in software development met to plan, and subsequently published, the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. The concept of Agile Software Development has had many iterations since it’s birth, but the core concepts of its original important points remain. Those values are as follows: Individuals and Interactions over processes and toolsWorking Software over comprehensive documentationCustomer Collaboration over contract negotiationResponding to Change over following a plan So, with the aim of helping you to better understand many of the terms related to agile methodology, we’ve got some fresh new definitions to help you out. The following are hand-picked terms from our glossary that we feel are important for any product manager beginning their application’s product roadmap: Agile: Agile is a development methodology in which teams work in short “sprints,” and then reconvene frequently to review the work and decide on possible changes. Agile methodology requires constant feedback, as well as the ability to quickly switch focus and prioritize tasks quickly. This is a leap from the more traditional, waterfall methodology, where product managers plan for long term discrete phases to be executed by their development teams. Agile Framework: An agile framework is a software-development approach based on the agile philosophy articulated in the Agile Manifesto, consisting of short, iterative bursts of development. Agile Manifesto: Originally published in 2001, the Agile Manifesto consists of the core values and principles that govern the agile approach to software development. Agile Principles: There are 12 agile principles outlined in The Agile Manifesto that are created as actionable guidelines to represent the four agile values. They were created to help establish the tenets of the agile mindset. They are not rules set in stone for practicing agile, but principles created to help reinforce agile thinking. Agile Values: Agile Values are the four values outlined by the Agile Alliance in The Agile Manifesto. This set of values encourages people before processes, shipping software fast, customer collaboration, and adjusting plans as needed. The 4 agile values are as follows: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Working software over comprehensive documentation. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation. Responding to change over following a plan. Continuous Deployment: Continuous deployment is a software product development strategy that reduces the amount of time between writing code and then pushing it live. In this agile-inspired strategy, common practices include automated testing and automated releases. Cross-functional Team: A cross-functional team is generally referred to as a group that contains expertise or representation from various “functional” departments. An agile cross-functional team usually consists of a product manager, product owner, scrum master, engineers, QA, and design. Definition of Done: Definition of done is a term coined from the Scrum agile framework which describes the requirements that must be met in order for a story to be considered complete. Definition of Done is typically used by the entire team to agree on the terms that a finished product must exhibit. Definition of done is not the same as acceptance criteria in that it is a wide-ranging set of requirements that can apply to all items in the backlog, and not just a single one. Definition of Ready: In the Scrum agile framework, Definition of Ready is the criteria that dictate when a story can move from the backlog to development. With keeping in the tradition of many of the agile criteria, Ready is usually defined as a story that can be acted on immediately. Word Up! While this should clear up some of the more popular terms, by no means is this everything you need to know in order to understand everything agile. We suggest you dive deeper into each term outlined in this article and research popular opinions on the implementation of each. The more you learn about these important terms, the better off you will be when it comes to orchestrating the building of your product. We’re not done yet, though! We’ve put together a comprehensive list of over 300 terms in our new SaaS Integration Glossary for the sake of keeping you as informed as possible on everything integration related. Head over now to start beefing up your vocabulary!