The Agile Tribe

Just give me a 'G & T'!

on May 23, 2011

Author: Susan Akers

We talk about having a common language in the world of ‘Agile’ so that all members of the team (both IT and business) have a shared understanding. However, we still can’t seem to get away from the overuse of acronyms. I saw a new one this week and got to thinking about how clever are they really? 

I am sure that other people can add to this list but this is just a smattering of acronyms I have seen, read about it or had thrust upon me as a business person and all I can say is – WHAT THE!!!!

  • AGILE = Agile (Agile is not just a software development methodology but an umbrella term for a number of processes, values and practices that has become a way of working that helps deliver business value faster, cheaper and with less risk.)
  • DAD = Disciplined Agile Delivery process framework from Scott Ambler* (*An interesting read)
  • ATDD = Acceptance Test Driven Development
  • BDD = Behaviour Driven Development
  • FDD = Feature Driven Development
  • TDD = Test Driven Development (*You can find out more about this in the Agile Concept course)
  • BVC = Big Visible Charts or some call them Big Visual Charts
  • MMF = Minimal Marketable Features
  • BAU = Business As Usual
  • ROI = Return on Investment (Business talk for ‘Show me the money!’)
  • SME – Subject Matter Expert (Usually a business person who is an expert in the area of the project)
  • LEAN  = Lean (Lean manufacturing is a strategy for remaining competitive through the endless pursuit of eliminating waste from our work processes)
  • WIP = Work in Progress.

I do acknowledge that it does depend on your audience and acronyms can be very efficient but I have to ask myself though:

“Are they really adding true business value and do we assume too often that people understand?”

Cya (See you later)  THNQ (Thank you)  TAFN (That’s all for now)



3 responses to “Just give me a 'G & T'!

  1.  If you dive deeper into Scrum, there are some more:
    SM (ScrumMaster), PO (ProductOwner), and the good, old “chickens” and “pigs” 😉 
    Are those acronyms helpful for getting more buy in through the company? No way…

  2. Adam Spencer says:

    IMHO Susan – I do think acronyms have their place.  They are after all about efficiency, that is – getting your message across as quickly as possible.  Sometimes the brain is working faster than the mouth and getting all those long words out just slows you down.  A handy set of acronyms with a knowledgeable audience gets you there quicker.  It’s like software usability – for the novice users you need nice elaborate GUIs that explain it all, however for the power user a green screen (or 3270 for the ultimate acronym) will get the job done faster!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for your comments Adam and Matthias. There are probably at least another 100 acronyms out there in the Scrum/Agile world and I agree Adam that if your audience is knowlegdable you can get away with some acronyms.  The big mistake that people make is that they ASSUME they know their audience and so that they will understand but experience has certainly proven to me and also surprised me that some things you take as basic acronyms are not understood. That’s the risk!

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