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Improving Agile by Expanding the Terminology

In the world of Agile, the use of abbreviations and 1 or 2-word phrases lead to confusion. You and I have experienced it and continue to experience it. This is made worse when competing for Agile frameworks that have their own proprietary terminology, like Scrum and SAFe. For example iteration, sprint, increment, backlog, etc. The context is missing. Therefore, we can improve Agile in the workplace by expanding the terminology, which means adding a word or two. Let’s start with the “inspect and adapt” principle used in 2 Scrum events: Sprint Retrospective and Sprint Review.

Both events sound similar and the names are practically indistinguishable unless someone explained them to you or you took a class. How about if you called them “Sprint Team Retrospective” and “Sprint Product Review”. Doesn’t it sound clearer? Aren’t they more self-explanatory? The first I&A (inspect and adapt) focuses on the team, while the second I&A focuses on the product. Now, everything about these 2 events makes more sense. Sure, you have to type an extra word, but it is worth it. Be a champion of change in your Agile workplace and start using expanded terminology.

Everyone will appreciate it.

Joe Carranza

CSM, SAFe® 4.5 (SA, SSM, POPM), PMI-ACP®, PMP®, PMI-PBA®. Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, ITIL

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