Commonly Used Agile Project Management Terms

Hi All!,

In our previous post, we talked about Project Management using methodologies.  There is one more emerging methodology very popular nowadays, called Project Management. The Agile management refers to iterative approach from project concept to final delivery to the client.  As per Wikipedia definition :

Agile management, or agile process management, or simply agile refers to an iterative, incremental method of managing the design and build activities of engineering, information technology and other business areas that aim to provide new product or service development in a highly flexible and interactive manner; an example is its application in Scrum, an original form of agile software development.It requires capable individuals from the relevant business, openness to consistent customer input, and management openness to non-hierarchical forms of leadership.

Following Agile diagram explain  Agile Approach  from Planning to delivery.  Agile manifest focuses on collaborative approach with client, active communication between stakeholders and  open to change the scope of work during project life-cycle.  

Let us understand few commonly used Agile Project Management Terms.

User Story or Stories

User Stories are the software requirement/feature from the end-user prospective. This gives development team, clear idea of what a user is requesting. An example can be ” I should be able to upload my image to the profile page, modify/reset my password and can make changes to the profile data, like Name, Email, address” . As you can see, the client is asking for 3 feature, upload picture, profile and reset password. Sometime client is confused and combines many features altogether, it's team responsibility to isolate evaluate each user story and document and process.


A collection of users stories (sometime inter-dependent) are called EPIC. We can easily call EPIC is a large stories, which is eventually broken down to smaller user stories. Epic can be used as placeholder for unexplored new ideas.


Scrum is iterative framework to develop complex product and address complex adoptive problems. Scrum is based on the adaptive and iterative methodology of software development. Scrum framework contains 3 Roles (, Scrum Master and Scrum Team), 4 Events/Ceremonies (Daily Stand-up meeting , Spring Planning, Spring Review, Retrospective ) and 3 Artifacts (Burn-down chart, Product Backlog, Backlog). More details are available at Scrum Wikipedia Page.

Scrum Master

Scrum Master is the most important role in scrum process. He is responsible to execute and maintain scrum process, by removing impediments and motivate the team to the deliver the sprint deliverables.

Product Owner

Product owner is the voice of the customer in the Sprint Team. As primary business representative he is accountable for writing User Stories, prioritize them, adding them to product backlog, ensuring that team deliver the value to the business.

Sprint or Iteration

A Sprint is fixed duration time, where user stories are selected to work upon and deliver the feature. The Sprint start with Sprint Planning Meeting and ends with spring review meeting, followed by sprint retrospective meeting. Normally sprint duration is minimum  2 to maximum 4 weeks, subject to project requirement.


A stakeholder is anyone outside of the team with vested interests in the product deliverables.


Backlog is collection of user stories and tasks which sprint team will take up in the future. These items can be unplanned, low priority items or items which requires some prerequisites.


Tasks are actual work to complete a user story. User stories are broken into tasks and assigned to sprint team  or individuals to work upon. Tasks are manageable, doable, and trackable units of work

Task-board or Storyboard

A Wall chart with cards and sticky notes that represent all tasks of the sprint. An Example of Task-board is shown below:

Agile project photo
Photo by Improve It

Burndown Chart

A burndown chart is a visual tool (line chart) for measuring and demonstrating sprint progress. The X-axis represents days in the sprint, while the Y-axis is effort remaining. Burndown Chart is considered most motivating visual tool for the team, it should be displayed prominently.


Please see sprint abovel.


Kanban is visual tool  for developing products with an emphasis on just-in-time delivery and the optimization of work-flow. Kanban visually represents the state of work in process. A visual example of Kanban is shown below:

kanban photo
Photo by kanban_tool


There are many more Agile Project Management Terms, i tried to cover only most used. Did I miss anything, please let me know. Hope you liked the articled, please provide your feedback.


Jitendra Chaudhary
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