The importance of language is inevitable. Finding the right wording, which is expressing exactly what we want to say from a context point of view, but also from a emotional point of view. The agile development space is an area of application, where this comes true notably.
With the dictionary of agile language I would like to create a lineup of agile terms and there counterpart in traditional approaches, which are still very common to many people and projects. For that reason I have started a list, where you can find for each of the items a short explanation, how the new agile terms are meant to provoke a change in mindset:
“People” was “Resources” - agile puts the importance of the contibution of individuals in the center and not the plain workforce
“Investment”, “Bet” was “Project” - agile emphasizes the the process of creating value continuously rather than working towards a given plan
“Supporter”, “Facilitator” was “Manager” - while traditional approaches ask for managing people, who are supposed to ensure goals and progress, agile approaches advocate self-organized teams, which look for leaders, who support them or which can be facilitated to achieve their objectives
“Team” was “Expert” - other than with traditional approaches, where experts have been put in the center of planning, the agile approach is team based, where members have to decide on themselves, how they can contribute the best way (keyword “t-shape profile”)
“Ambition” was “Estimation” - agile teams have ambitions to bring meaningful products to customers following an affordable approach, while traditional teams start with estimates with the intend, to make plans visible and traceable
“Check Point” was “Deadline” - while traditional approaches work towards plans, where deadlines determine the dates, where results are to be delivered, agile approaches consider to have regular check points, where deliverables are challenged, if they are sacrificing needs
“Virtual Coffee” was “Workshop” - whenever people in an agile environment consider to have a problem addressed, they invite for a virtual coffee, where the issue is discussed amongst them, whereas traditional environment ask for the organization of a workshop, where all stakeholders are asked for bringing their input and find a solution
“Increment”, “Iteration” was “Release” - traditional approaches assume, that deliverables need a release process before they can be handed over to customers in a reliable and reasonable way, while agile teams offer frequent increments, where small iterations can be pulled, evaluated, and consumed by customers immediately
“Purpose” was “Task” - traditionalist think that teams need to be told what to do, agilists believe that telling teams the purpose of what is to be build will leave the decision on the approach with them
This list is an initial attempt to create a dictionary of agile language. I hope it will find more contributors and grow - the agile way. I am pretty sure, there is more to add. Please make use of the comments to amend.