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The Agile Dictionary



The acronym INVEST is a set of criteria that helps the Agile Team to formulate and assess the quality of a user story. If the current user story doesn’t meet these criteria, the Team may reword it or even rewrite it.

Good users stories should be :

I – Independent (of all other user stories)

N – Negotiable (not too specific so changes can occur)

V – Valuable (functionality that is deemed valuable)

E – Estimable (in terms of working time to a good approximation)

S – Small (understand small enough to fit within an iteration)

T – Testable (to check that development is complete and done correctly)


An impediment is anything that is slowing down or keeping the Team from getting work Done. Impediments come in various forms : a sick team member, a lack of resource, a hurricane or even earth invasion. If it’s blocking the team from performing to the best of its abilities, it is an impediment. More seriously now, there will always be hundreds of impediments for the Team, the most important is to identify the ones you can have an impact on, then list the most painful ones and tackle these. We also talk about roadblocks.

Information Radiator

An information radiator is a generic term for defining any large display of critical information placed in a highly visible location for all the Team members to see it. It can be any kind of display from burn down charts through task boards, count of automated tests, velocity, incident reports to planning boards. The goal is to provide up-to-date, accurate and relevant information at a glance for all the Team members to promote transparency. It can be a white board, a big TV screen or a beamer.


Initiatives regroup several epics driving toward a common goal. The completion of all the epics contained into the initiative leads to the completion of the initiative.


An iteration (also called sprint in Scrum) is a time-boxed period during which development of new features takes place. Iterations usually last between 1 and 4 weeks. The goal of each iteration is to deliver a shippable product, refering as the Agile principle of working software. A new iteration starts immediately after the conclusion of the previous one.

Iteration Retrospective

The Iteration Retrospective (also known as Sprint Retrospective) occurs at the end of each iteration after the iteration review and before the start of the next iteration with the iteration planning. The entire Team should participate to this continuous improvement opportunity. The Team should discuss what happened during the iteration and ask themselves 3 questions:

  • What worked well?

  • What did not work well?

  • What actions can we take to improve our process going forward?

Related Terms:

Sprint Retrospective

Iterative Development

Iterative (or incremental) Development is the Agile way of developing a software consisting in breaking down large projects into smaller pieces of work. It allows faster release of a working software (while not 100% complete) that already delivers value to its users. As per the Agile’s principles, every new release should add value to the product.

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