Glossary for Learning

Because this transformation can be daunting, we developed The Product Model™, a comprehensive methodology that provides a blueprint of actions a company or team needs to take in order to enable the right organizational transformation. This is your single place to find any definition related to your Product Transformation journey.

Term

 

Definition

 

Acceptance Testing Acceptance testing is conducted by the product team to determine if development has satisfied the acceptance criteria defined in stories
Agile The ability of a business to pivot to market conditions and new strategic goals without altering its operating model.
Agile Development Agile development is a methodology that focuses heavily on team collaboration, customer feedback, responsiveness to change and allows for more concise development
Agile Manifesto The Agile Manifesto uncovers better ways of developing software by focusing on the following:
– Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
– Working software over comprehensive documentation
– Customer Collaboration over contract negotiation
– Responding to change over following a plan
Agile Release Train The Agile Release Train (ART) is a long-lived team of Agile teams, typically consisting of 50-125 individuals that serve as the program-level value delivery mechanism in SAFe. Using a common cadence, each train has the dedicated resources necessary to continuously define, built, test and deliver value to one of the enterprises value streams. Each train produces valuable and evaluate-able, system-level increments every two weeks, and additional quantum, Program Increment milestones every 8-12 weeks. ARTs can Release at any time in accordance with market needs.
Antipattern Antipatterns are common solutions for common problems where the solution is ineffective and may result in undesired consequences.
Application A computer program or group of programs designed for end users to provide a specific outcome.
Application Lifestyle Management (ALM) ALM is the overall development, maintenance and governance that manages the lifestyle of an application – allowing for standardization of the management of applications across the enterprise
Architectural Runway Architectural Runway is the technical infrastructure in place that supports the upcoming features without excessive redesign. This is something monitored by the Enterprise Architecture team to ensure there is sufficient support for the continuous release of new features and functionality across all products within the enterprise
Automated Build Automated Build is when the process of converting files and other assets into a software product in its final or consumable form is repeatable and requires little to no direct human intervention. This can be performed at any time with no information other than what is stored in the source code control repository
Backlog A backlog is the collection of user stories and tasks that the product team executes against. This serves as the source of truth for a prioritized list of work items that the product team will execute against
Backlog Refinement Backlog Refinement is when the product owner works with the product team to refine the backlog one regular basis, ensuring the backlog contains the appropriate, prioritized, work items that are ready for development.
Behavior Driven Development (BDD) BDD is the practice of product team members discuss the expected/desired behavior of a system to align on expected functionality
Burndown Chart Burndown charts help track the amount of output the product team has completed in an iteration or sprint.
Business Agility Business agility is the ability of an organization to sense necessary change (internally or externally) and adapts accordingly to continue to deliver value to its customers
Business Relationship Manager Role that works with additional Stakeholders to understand demand, aligns business unit strategy and business capabilities to products, and strives for business value realization
Business Unit A capabilities or function that supports the enablement of the division. In most cases, a business unit can support multiple divisions. 
Capacity The amount of work a product team has available for consumption during a sprint (often measured in story points).
Center of Excellence (COE)/Community of Practice(COP) Similar in nature to a Chapter, but with one important difference. The COE is focused on a non-organizationally aligned group of practitioners who share common interest in mastery and shared purpose across the practice of discipline, but their day to day people management and career pathing is handled elsewhere in the organization. The focus is on knowledge sharing and not career development.
Change Request A change request is a vehicle used to record the details of a request for a change to be made within IT associated with one or more CIs, including portfolios,  products, assets, and services.
Chapter A Chapter is an organizational group of individuals who pursue the same profession and mastery of a subject space such as ‘User Experience’. The individuals are aligned and dedicated from a work capacity perspective to a Squad/Product Team, but their people management and day to day mastery of their skills with a common shared understanding is guided by their Chapter Lead. The chapter helps grow the career of the individual within the firm as opposed to solely providing knowledge on a discipline.
Collective Ownership Collective ownership is the agreement of the entire product team that every team member can make any necessary changes to any code file in order to complete a task, repair a bug/defect, or improve the overall code structure.
Customer A customer (external and internal) provides money in exchange for the product (unique experience, distinct strategy/process, and sustainable technology) your enterprise provides.
Daily Standups Daily Standups is an agile cadence where the Product Team meets to coordinate their work and activities. Each member lets the team know what they completed yesterday, what they will plan on working on/competing today, and if there are any roadblocks that are preventing them from completing their work.
Defect Density Defect density is a software testing and quality assurance (QA) method used to find the intensity and concentration of logical flaws in a software program, component or product. It refers to the ratio of functional or technical defects found in software or components related to the entire software application over a certain period.
Definition of Done The definition of done is a validated list of the necessary activities that need to be fulfilled to move a user story to a done state by the end of a sprint.
Definition of Ready Definition of ready is a clearly defined list of criteria that a user story must meet before being accepted for development in an upcoming sprint.
Division The business segments within the enterprise that address customer outcomes. Normally, focused functionally, market-based, geographical, or matrixed.
Enterprise Architect Plays an advisory role to BRMs, Portfolio Managers and Product Managers in order to maximize efficiency across the application portfolio landscape, facilitate the introduction of new technology, and strengthen the architectural framework of the organization.
Escaped Defects An escaped defect is a defect not found by, or one that escaped from, the quality assurance team. Typically, those issues are found by end users after the released version has made its way into production.
Epic An epic is a large user story that depicts a high-level capability needed. This will eventually be broken down into necessary features and user stories that will articulate more specific capabilities needed to fulfill this high level epic.
Estimation An estimate is the evolution of the overall effort necessary to execute against a given development work item. This is often depicted in term of duration.
Extreme Programming (XP) XP is an agile development framework that helps drive the production of high quality software. XP is the most specific of the agile frameworks, outlining appropriate engineering practices for product development.
Facilitation A facilitation is a communication method utilized to help drive conversation and work towards a collaborative outcome
Guild The group exists outside of the organizational structure (unlike a chapter) and is a collection of people regardless of discipline who share an interest in a certain idea or pursuit. The guild could be related to ‘Test Automation’ or even include a non-work topic such as a ‘Photography’ guild.
Frequent Releases Frequent release is an agile methodology where the product team is frequently releasing its product into the hands of its end users to gather their feedback and make any necessary changes based on feedback.
Incident An incident could be the result of an unplanned interruption to a service, a reduction in the quality of a service, or failure of an infrastructure component (CI) and is construed to be a service outage and therefore must be restored to its operational capability as quickly and as reasonably possible to minimize any business impact.
Incremental Development Incremental Development is when each iterative version of a product is usable, and each new iteration builds upon the previous by adding new functionality.
Integration Integration refers to any effort required for a product team to deliver a holistically functioning product.
IT Finance (TBMO) Provides current information to IT and Business decision makers by increasing transparency into how IT efforts are performing and aligning with the business. Cultivates consistency across IT to enable more predictable results from planning to delivery and to drive greater efficiency.
IT Project Manager IT Project Managers partner with Portfolio Managers and Product Managers to increase efficiency and transparency in the delivery of cross-portfolio and product features, implementations, and complex changes.  This role manages risks, dependencies, and the communication of overall status of the project.
Iteration An iteration is a timebox where development takes place. The duration may very, but is usually fixed.
Iterative Development A part of the agile development methodology that allows the product team to utilize “repeating” software development activities, while adding enhanced functionality to the product.
Journey Map A journey map is a visualization of the process that a person goes through in order to accomplish a goal
Kanban The Kanban Method is a means to design, manage and improve flow for knowledge work and allows teams to start where they are to drive evolutionary change.
Kanban Board A Kanban Board is a visual workflow tool consisting of multiple columns that depicts different progress states. Each column of the Kanban board reflects a different stage of the workflow process and allows the team to see where each work item is currently at in that process.
Knowledge Knowledge is captured operational best practices, insights, facts, experiences, ideas, expectations, models, perspectives, and interactions that collectively create an organizational memory that can be reused to enable informed day-to-day problem solving.
Lead Time Lead Time is the time between a customer demand and delivery of said demand. In regards to software development, it can also be utilized as the time between a requirement being made and when it is fulfilled.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) A Minimum Viable Product is, as Eric Ries said, the “version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”
Non Functional Requirement (NFR) The definition of non-functional requirements is quality attributes that describe ways your product should behave. An example of a NFR is reliability. The product must maintain an up time reliability score of 99.99%.
Personas Personas are synthetic, hypothetical, biographies of fictitious users of the product. These personas provide insight for the product team to understand who is utilizing the product and what they may look for in future capabilities.
Planning Poker An approach to estimation used by Agile teams. Each team member “plays” a card bearing a numerical value corresponding to a point estimation for a user story.
Points Agile teams generally prefer to express estimates in units other than the time-honored “man-hours.” Possibly the most widespread unit is “story points.”
Portfolio A portfolio or tribe is a collection of product teams or squads that have the common goal of providing the entire end to end experience for a specific customer group. Where the breadth of an entire journey is beyond the capacity of a single product team; the portfolio is comprised of enough teams to be able to provide the end to end delivery of the entire experience. From a structure standpoint, a portfolio is a collection of products that provide an outcome to our customers, enterprise, and or IT.
Portfolio Manager Works with internal and external stakeholders, including Product Managers, to optimize cross product strategy while growing Product Manager resources reporting to them, and serving as the highest-level fiduciary and content authority for their portfolio of products.
Predictability The measurement of a product team’s ability to hit its commitments established during sprint planning.
Problem A cause of one or more incidents. The cause is not usually known at the time a problem record is created and the Problem Management process is responsible for further investigation, determination of the root cause, and live environment implementation.
Product A product is an end-to-end solution encompassing a unique experience, distinct strategy/process, and sustainable technology to enable a specific customer and/or business outcome. From a structure standpoint, a product is a capability within the portfolio that enables an outcome.
Product Management The discipline of utilizing all available means to continually deliver the highest impact outcomes to their customers; a discipline by which opportunities to elevate experience and efficiency are evaluated, prioritized, and then ultimately delivered and measured for impact.
Product Backlog A product backlog is a list of the new features, changes to existing features, bug fixes, infrastructure changes or other activities that a team may deliver in order to achieve a specific outcome.
Product Delivery Manager The Product Delivery Manager is responsible for actively managing the overall team health and driving the execution of the product roadmap. This role is responsible for removing roadblocks and is consistently working to improve the team environment and value delivery. The Product Delivery Manager actively works with the Product Owner to evaluate options that improve outcomes.
Product Health Product health provides metrics that depict an overview on how the product is doing from both a team heath and product health perspective. This metric group depicts the team health surveys over time, the product health is depicted through number of support/enhancements made over time, average outage time, average response time, overall number of incidents, etc.
Product Owner Functions as the primary business contact representative who is responsible for bringing clarity to the customer needs, prioritization of features, and maintaining the Product Roadmap for the Product Team.
Product Team Team who is responsible for developing and testing stories, features or backlog components. The team is typically made up of analysts, developers, testers who execute against the “How” based on the “What” that is defined by the Product Owner.
Program A large sized effort with a well-defined set of deliverables, a start and stop date, impacts multiple divisions, and requires significant process and technology change.
Program Increment A Program Increment (PI) is to the ART what a sprint is to the team a cadence-based quantum of time and value suitable for assessing system status, getting feedback, improving processes, re-planning, and portfolio-level review and road-mapping.
Project A medium sized effort with a well-defined set of deliverables, start and stop date, impacts multiple portfolios and or products. 
Prototype A full-scale, and usually partially working model of a new product or new version of an existing product.
Prototype & Test When “simple design” choices have far-reaching consequences, two or more developers meet for a quick design session at a whiteboard.
Quality of Service (QoS) Refers to a network’s ability to achieve maximum bandwidth and deal with network performance elements like latency, error rate, and up time. Quality of service also involves controlling and managing network resources by setting priorities for specific types of data (video, audio, files) on the network. QoS is exclusively applied to network traffic generated for video on demand, IPTV, VoIP, streaming media, videoconferencing and online gaming.
Refactoring Refactoring consists of improving the internal structure of an existing source code, while preserving its external behavior.
Release A release is comprised of implementation planning, development/construction, deployment, testing, rollout, and release assessment activities of an initial or upgraded version of a computer software and/or hardware product, a technology refresh, major operating system upgrade, an infrastructure implementation or redesign, etc.
Roadmap A roadmap describes and helps to communicate product direction in terms of technology, timeline and to internal teams and Stakeholders. Incoming ideas and requirements are weighed against the roadmap on a continual basis to ensure alignment with desired business outcomes and goals.  A product roadmap contains such attributes as timeline and milestones, measurable goals, releases, epics, and status indicators. Sub roadmaps are useful as well when trying to focus on just one area of a roadmap such as release, features, resources, etc.
Rule of 21/90 It takes 21 days to make or break a habit and 90 days for it to become a part of your lifestyle
Scrum Scrum is an iterative approach to project management and can be used in any discipline such as software development, construction, financial acquisitions and others. Scrum provides a framework for prioritizing the most important requirements and completing the respective highest value work for quicker return on investment and timeliness to market. It realizes this iterative approach through the execution of “sprints” where a fixed amount of work is executed, tested, demonstrated and sometimes deployed within a short window of time – usually 1 to 4 weeks.
Scrum Master Normally this role is played by the Product Delivery Manager. Where it is a formal role, the Scrum Master is a responsibility of the product team to ensure the overall team is utilizing agile best practices, providing agile coaching, and assisting in removing any roadblocks the product team may have.
Service (Enterprise IT) A service is aligned under a product, and it facilitates outcomes for the product. Services rely upon resources and capabilities to deliver the expected value to a product or set of products.
Service (Endpoint/API) A set of operations or functions which provide specific information, in a specific format, when requested in a specific format.
Service (Endpoint/API) A set of operations or functions which provide specific information, in a specific format, when requested in a specific format.
Service Level Indicator (SLI) A Service Level Indicator is what we’ve chosen to measure progress towards our goal. E.g., “Latency of a request.”
Service Level Objective (SLO) A Service Level Objective is the stated objective of the Service Level Indicator chosen – what we’re trying to accomplish for either ourselves or the customer. E.g., “99.5% of requests will be completed in 5ms.”
Solution A solution is the application of a product (or group of products) to address a specific need. Most products do not completely address that specific need by themselves, meaning that there may be services and/or the integration of multiple products to provide a full solution to address a need.
Sprint Backlog A sprint backlog is the subset of a product backlog that a team targets to deliver during a sprint in order to accomplish the overall sprint goal.
Sprint Planning Spring planning is an agile cadence that occurs at the beginning of a sprint where the team determines what work items from the product backlog they will plan on executing against.
Stakeholder Stakeholders represent the external and internal customers and users that have a vested interest in the outcome of the product.
System A combination of applications or modules which provide wide ranging functionality around a specific experience or to provide a platform from which other applications can be layered on top.
Test Driven Development (TDD) TDD is a style of programming in which three development activities are intertwined: coding, testing (writing unit tests), and design (refactoring)
Test Plan A plan that exercises aspects of the changed environment that contribute to the overall change (e.g. unit tests that are executed by each change task Implementer). This testing is usually conducted within a test or QA environment.
Time to Value Time to Value is a grouping of metrics that depict how quickly a product team can deliver value and what value is being delivered. These metrics consist of team capacity, velocity, burndown, burnup, total cost of ownership, and total value delivered over time.
Timebox A time box is a previously agreed period of time where a product team works towards the completion of a goal.
Unit Testing A unit test is a short program fragment written and maintained by the developers on the product team, which focuses on a narrow part of the product’s source code and tracks the results.
User A user is anyone (Customers, Employees, Vendors, Partners, and Contractors) who uses your product (unique experience, distinct strategy/process, and sustainable technology) to enable a specific outcome. These users can be external or internal to your enterprise.
User Story In consultation with the customer and or product owner, the team divides up the work to be done into functional increments called “user stories.” Ex: As a User, I want to, so I can, to accomplish this result
Velocity (also called Throughput) At the end of each iteration, the team adds up effort estimates associated with user stories that were completed during that iteration. This total is called velocity.
Version Control Version control is a grouping of processes and tools that help keep track of the different versions of software, content, websites, etc. in development across the organization.
Wireframe A wireframe is a visual representation that depicts the layout of an application or product interface. It is not an active model of the product; it is essentially pictures of what it may look like. A wireframe can also represent a three-dimensional product wither as an electronic rendering or physical model.

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Top 5 Keys to Technology Business Transformation Success

The word “transformation” has been in the corporate spotlight for many years. Today, business transformations both large and small are being scrutinized to better weigh the benefits with the cost and time to implement. For organizations that want to deliver exceptional customer experiences, drive revenue growth, and create a culture of innovation, transformations are inevitable – however, oftentimes these initiatives get derailed for a variety of reasons. In this guide we have identified the top 5 keys to successful technology business transformations. We also take a deeper dive into The Product Model™ by MCG and discuss how it will provide a blueprint to enable the right transformation for your organization!

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Top 5 Keys to Technology Business Transformation Success

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