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Lifecycle Glossary of Terms

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Lifecycle software and Agile terminology can be confusing. This page provides definitions for some of the most commonly used terms.

A

Access Tokens

An authentication method used to authorize access to the Lifecycle user interface and API.

Acceptance Test

An Acceptance Test (also called a Test) is a system asset that defines acceptable feature behavior within functional scenarios.

Activate

Changes the state of a release or sprint from Future to Active for project planning, tracking, and reporting purposes.

Activity Stream

A continuous activity feed that shows changes to individual assets within a TeamRoom™​.

Actual Results

The real outcome experienced on test.

Administrative Privileges/Admin Privileges Role

The base set of system access privileges granted to each member. This role allows members to perform system configuration and system administration tasks. It is also the role that is automatically assigned to a member by default when they are assigned to a project, but can be overwritten by a project role to increase or decrease project access.

Allocate

To split the remaining workload of a workitem across multiple owners. Allocation applies to Detail Estimate and To Do values when multiple owners are assigned.

Apply/Save

A button that updates the system with all of the changes made on a page or within a grid.

Asset

An item that is defined and tracked within Lifecycle (e.g., story, project, task).

Asset Tray

The Asset Tray was replaced by the Sidebar in Summer 2017 (17.2) Release. Prior versions still display the Asset Tray.

B

Backlog

The set of workitems in a project that can be scheduled for completion within a given sprint. Backlog Items, defects and test sets all belong to the backlog.

Backlog Goal/Objective

Also called "Goal" or "Objective", a backlog goal is a measurable strategic target that drives the direction of one or more projects.

Backlog Group

A Backlog Group is a system asset that contains a functional grouping of similar items that can span Projects and Sprints/Iterations. For example, Security, Reporting, Integration, User Interface, or Payment Processing could all be backlog groups within a project. In previous version of Lifecycle, Backlog Groups were called a Theme or a Feature Group.

Boards

Visual representations of stories in the backlog. Storyboards, Portfolio Kanban boards, Taskboards, or Testboards to get a clear view of the current status and make updates, too.

Breakdown

The process that divides a portfolio item into a set of smaller backlog items during the planning process. Breakdown is typically used to spread functionality creation across multiple sprints, teams, or even projects.

Bucket

A non-specific time period on a roadmap.

Budget

A Budget is a system asset that can be allocated across strategic themes so you can align your spending guidelines to your strategic priorities. 

Build

The executable build identifier in which the code for a given task or backlog item has been included.

Burndown Report

Burndown reports show the progression of a team through a set of work. They display a series of snapshots of the remaining and completed work.

C

Cancel

Stops the current action and returns to the previous page. Note that it does not undo items that have already been saved.

Capacity

The expected amount of 1) Detail Estimate that can be taken on and completed within a release or sprint by an individual or collectively by the team, or 2) Estimate that can be taken on in a release by a team or group of teams.

Capacity Planning

Allows you to see bottlenecks early in the development process and so that you only commit to work that can be successfully completed. See Sprint/Iteration Capacity Planning or Release Capacity Planning.

Card

An object on a board that represents workitems (stories, defects,, portfolio items, and tasks).

Category

In the Ideas system, a mechanism that allows you to segment the collection of ideas within a forum.

Changed By

The name of the member who modified the record.

Changed Date

Date and time the change was made to the record.

Changeset

Collection of changes for a single revision in a version control system. Also labeled "Commit".

Child

A lower level item in a hierarchy that has a parent. A backlog item that has been broken down will create child items from the parent.

Close

Changes the state of a project, sprint, backlog group, or workitem from Active to Closed, disabling planning and tracking. Once an item is closed, it must be re-opened in order to make changes OR close the current dialog and return to the original page.

Closed By

The name of the member who closed the record.

Closed Date

Date and time the record was Closed.

Closed Estimate

The total sum of the workitems that are either Closed, or in a Status value assigned to the Compete Reporting Category.  Reports always look at the end of the day for their totals.

Collaboration

A set of integrated collaborative features (Conversations, Communities, TeamRooms, and PlanningRooms) that help you keep up with what's going during the lifecycle of your software development efforts. See Collaboration.

Column

One or more data fields that are logically grouped for display. A single column may contain a field from multiple assets.

Commit

Collection of changes for a single revision in a version control system. Also labeled "ChangeSet".

CommitStream

Lifecycle's native version control integration feature that provides teams a real-time view into the code commits that are taking place in the development cycle.

Communities

An open environment where team members can create interest-related communities and publish topics on best practices, agreements, and other supporting documents.

Continuum

The VersionOne Continuum platform is a suite of DevOps tools that seamlessly work together to optimize and centrally manage your entire software development, application management, and enterprise automation processes.

Conversations

A collaborative exchange between project members that might mention individual members or system assets. Also see Expression.

Customer

The ultimate recipient (product owner or organization) who takes financial responsibility for the developed story or product.

Custom Field

A user-created field that displays in Lifecycle. Custom fields can be added to assets to track specific data if your needs extend beyond the fields already defined in the system.

Cycle Time

A Lean metric that measures the elapsed time to complete work, typically expressed as an average across a number of items over time. See Work Item Cycle Time Report.

D

Dashboard Report

Provides a summary of the history and current status of a given project or sprint all in a single view. See Dashboard Reports.

Date Completed Field (aka Done Date)

The date a workitem transitions into a Reporting Category status of Done. The Date Completed field displays on story/backlog items, defect, and testset details pages and is calculated in status-driven reports and progress bars.

Days

Total calendar days from start date to end date.

Default Role (Obsolete)

The term "Default Role" has been changed to "Administrative Privileges". See Administrative Privileges.

Defect

A defect is a system asset that identifies a discrepancy between the expected and actual behavior of a completed feature. Defects can be scheduled into sprints/iterations the same way stories/backlog items are or, they can be tracked as a separate work queue outside of any sprint. 

Defect Template

A defect template is an asset that contains pre-defined defect data. They can be reused if you routinely create the same types defects or if you want to create several at once.

Delete

Remove the selected item from the system; this may also delete related information (e.g., deleting a backlog item will also delete the associated tasks).

Dependency

A direct relationship between stories in which one story relies on another story to be completed.

Dependency Report

See Dependencies Report.

Description

Detailed information about a task, backlog item, sprint, release, or project.

Detail Estimate

The work estimate for a task, test, backlog item or defect that is generally determined at the beginning of the sprint and allocated to a team member.

Details

Change history detail information.

DevOps Center

A feature that gives organizations the ability to initiate and orchestrate DevOps workflows from within the Lifecycle platform to improve visibility and traceability across the entire delivery chain.

Done

Sum of the units of work expended against tasks or backlog items. Done accumulates all entered Effort for an item, so each time new Effort is entered: Done = Done + Effort.

Downstream Dependency

Backlog Items that cannot be completed prior to the current backlog item, defect, or test set. See Dependencies.

E

Effort

The number of units worked on the backlog item, defect or task since last updated. Each incremental Effort amount entered is accumulated in the Done field. Effort is often not tracked in Scrum. Effort is often not tracked in DSDM.

Effort (& Date)

An attribute that allows entry of pre-dated effort by allowing the user to enter both effort amount and the date for which that effort applies.

Email

Primary e-mail address of team member.

Environment

An Environment is a system asset that defines the technical setup used for running tests, such as operating system, client, database, etc.

End Date

Anticipated date of project, release, or sprint completion.

Epic (Obsolete)

The term Epic has been changed to Portfolio Item (Spring 2015, Release 15.1). See Portfolio Items for additional details.

Epic Dependencies Report (Obsolete)

The Epic Dependencies Report has been changed to Portfolio Item Dependencies (Spring 2015, Release 15.1). See Portfolio Item Dependencies Report.

Epic Timeline (Obsolete)

The Epic Timeline has been changed to "Portfolio Timeline" (Spring 2015, Release 15.1).

Epic Tree (Obsolete)

The Epic Tree has been changed to "Portfolio Tree" (Spring 2015, Release 15.1). See Portfolio Tree.

Estimably™

Estimably™ is Lifecycle's free external estimation game that teams can use to collaboratively estimate their backlog. See Estimably.

Estimate

Approximation or judgment of the size of a backlog item or defect. (Also see: Detail Estimate and To Do).

Estimated

Total number of backlog items that have assigned estimates.

Estimated Progress

Calculated progress of 1) a given sprint based on Task Estimate and To Do. [Estimated Progress = Detail Estimate - To Do]. (Only applies if Effort Tracking is turned off), or 2) a given release based on Closed versus Open Estimate.

Estimation Accuracy

A percentage comparison of the current backlog item or task estimate to the tracking information (Done + To Do). [Estimation Accuracy = Estimate / (Done + To Do)].

Expected Results

The expected outcome of a particular test.

Expression

A question, comment, reply or observation that represents a contribution to a conversation. Also see Conversation.

Export

Sending data from the system to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Export allows data to be easily formatted, printed, included in presentations, or further analyzed using Excel or other common office tools.

F

Feature Group (Obsolete)

The term "Feature Group" has been changed to "Backlog Group". See Backlog Group.

Filter

One or more selections that can alter the set of data displayed. Filters can be used to contract or expand the breadth of data in the display.

Forum

In Ideas (an independent Enterprise edition add-on product), an area where users can submit teams can collect feature suggestions (or ideas).

Future

The sprint state which allows for high-level planning, but which must be changed to Active in order to have its contents show up on the My Home page.

G

Goal

Also called "Backlog Goal" or "Objective", a Goal is a measurable strategic target that drives the direction of one or more projects. See Backlog Goals/Objectives.

Grids

Customizable lists of data that you can filter, sort, and edit similar to a spreadsheet.

H

Hierarchy

A hierarchy represents the arrangement or grouping of items (projects, stories, portfolio items, etc.) within an organization's software development workflow. 

History (H)

The tracking history for a task, test, defect or backlog item.

I

Icon

The image used to represent an asset.

Idea

An Idea is a system asset that contains feature suggestions or process improvement requests submitted throught the external Ideas system. Teams can manage ideas in the Lifecycle Enterprise edition, and incorporate them into their product lifecycle if desired.

Ideas Add-On

A Lifecycle add-on idea management system.

Ideal Line

On a Burndown chart, the Ideal line shows the slope of the line for an ideal scenario - when the starting point is the highest value on the graph, the ending point is zero, and the Burndown is exactly the same each day.

Import

Bringing data into the system from an external source. Data can be imported using XML or can be cut and pasted from an Excel spreadsheet or any formatted table.

Inappropriate Idea or Comment

In Ideas, refers to ideas and comments that fall outside the bounds of content acceptable for a forum and therefore should be removed.

Inputs

The data required to feed into a particular test.

Issue

An Issue is a system asset used to highlight items that require project-wide visibility. Issues can be represent anything that is impeding or might impede the project team's delivery.

Iteration

An Iteration (also called a Sprintrepresents the basic planning period for an Agile project team. See Sprints/Iterations.

Iteration/Sprint Capacity

The expected amount of Detail Estimate that can be taken on and completed within the sprint.

Iteration/Sprint Capacity Planning

See Sprint/Iteration Capacity Planning.

Iteration Schedule

See Sprint Schedule.

K

Kanban

Literally, a "card view". Kanban is a practice used in a Lean environment that eschews iterations and, instead, focuses on optimizing the amount of current work in process to maximize the team's throughput.

L

Lane (or Planning Lane)

A major dimension used to segment items on a roadmap.

List Name

System drop-down list menu names. See List Type Administration.

List Type

System drop-down list menu types. See List Type Administration.

List Value

System drop-down list box values. See List Type Administration.

M

Member

A member represents a person/user who has been set up with a Lifecycle login account. See Member Administration for more information.

Member Group

A flexible collection of team members that can be used for convenience to group sets of system users. For example, Contractors, DBAs, Western Region, or Building 43 might be helpful member group definitions in certain organizations.

Member Report

See Member Reports.

Meta

All of the items stored in Lifecycle, and all of their available attributes, relationships, and operations.

Mobile Connect

A mobile-optimized version ofLifecycle for mobile devices that makes it easy to connect with members of your team and stay involved while you're away.

More

Additional filters that can be used to show subsets of the displayed data.

My Projects (obsolete)

See Project Navigator.

N

Name

The full name of a system member.

Notification

A message about a specific event or asset.

O

Objective

Also called "Goal" or "Backlog Goal", an objective is a SAFe measurable strategic target that drives the direction of one or more projects. See Backlog Goals/Objectives.

Open Estimate

The sum of all open Estimate values in project at the end of the day.

On-Demand (V1 ​Hosted)

A Lifecycle instance that is installed at a Lifecycle site. An instance hosted by VersionOne.

On-Premise

A Lifecycle instance that is installed at a customer site. Also referred to as 'On-site'.

Owner

Team member responsible for a task, backlog item, project, release, or sprint.

Owner List

(obsolete) See Owners field.

Owners / Owner field

The Owners field is a lookup field that pulls member names based on your relationship to them. It includes all of the people with whom you share projects, TeamRooms™, and PlanningRooms™. Using this field, you can assign workitems to members within they system.

P

Package

The main elements presented in each delivery phase of Delivery at a Glance. Packages contain workitems which in turn contain one or more commits. Packages contain a reference to a Continuum package promotion that triggered its creation.

Pair

A second owner jointly responsible for a task, test, defect or backlog item.

Parent

A higher level item in a hierarchy that contains lower level items. A project can be a parent of its sub-projects.

Phase

Each one of the steps in your delivery pipeline (i.e. development, staging, production) as defined for Delivery at a Glance.

Phone

Primary telephone number for a project member.

Planned Estimate

Initial estimate of a backlog item automatically populated with the first estimate value entered.

Planning Lane

See Lane.

Planning Horizon

The period of time a team uses to plan items forward on its roadmap.

Portfolio Item (formerly called Epic)

The Portfolio Item (previously called an Epic) system asset is a large-grained feature/initiative with business value that can be broken down into individual stories for scheduling and tracking by the team.

Portfolio Item Dependencies Report (formerly Epic Dependencies Report)

See Portfolio Item Dependencies Report.

Portfolio Tree (formerly Epic Tree)

An editable grid on which to define and evaluate functional hierarchies of portfolio item features, allowing for prioritization based on their relative value, high-level cost, and their support of the organization's strategic direction.

Program

A Program is a system asset that contains a collection of cross-hierarchical projects that can span the project hierarchy and is used for filtering and rollup reporting.

Progress

Tracking progress for a given sprint (Done vs. To Do). This applies when effort tracking is used.

Progress bar

A graphical view of capacity target values for each release. On the team level, they show each team's work load in relation to their capacity.

Project

A Project is a system asset that represents a release, a sprint/iteration, a program, and a program increment at any level of the organizational hierarchy.

Project Context

The selection from the available project hierarchy currently being applied to the user's view.

Project Member

An assigned member of the current project. Once members are assigned to a project, they can access project information and be assigned project-related responsibilities.

Project Navigator

The control for selecting a project and filters which make up the Project Context.

Project Role

The role applied to an individual on a given project. The Project Role may be set explicitly or could be inherited from a higher level project assignment.

Projected End Date

Calculated release completion date given the sprint velocity and release scope (i.e., the sum of the backlog item estimates assigned to a release). The projected end date will equal the end date of the sprint that would complete the work remaining in the release.

Publications

The Publications page allows Lifecycle administrators to see the list of Portfolio Timelines published across their instance.

Q

Quicklist Report

See Quicklist Reports.

Quick Close

Updates the status and closes a work item at the same time.

R

Re-Open

Re-enable projects, sprints, backlog groups, or workitems for entry and modification.

Reason

A user-defined comment that can be included when editing and deleting items.

Reference

A general identifier relating to an external identifier (e.g., requirement number, defect ID, etc.).

Regression Plan

A Regression Plan is a system asset that contains a coordinated set of testing activities focused on ensuring that existing functionality still works properly. A regression plan contains multiple regression suites.

Regression Suite

A Regression Suite is a system asset that contains a set of related Regression Tests that, together, ensure that the feature is properly working within a given aspect of a system.

Regression Test

A Regression Test is a system asset that serves as a template for testing an existing feature on a repeated basis after it has been delivered. This ensures that new feature development has not broken the previous functionality.

Release

Generally, an externally delivered software version; releases represent the rhythm of the business and should align with defined business cycles.

Release Capacity Planning

An optional feature that enhances the release scheduling process by allowing capacity targets to be set at the release level and velocity targets on the team level. Note that this is not the same as sprint Capacity Planning.

Remember Me

Retains your username and password for automatic log in next time.

Request

A Request is a system asset that was submitted from an external source to consider extending or enhancing the functionality of a system. Typically, Requests need to be kept separate from real Stories until reviewed and approved for the team to consider.

Reset

Return all the information on the page to the values that existed prior to any updates.

Retrospective

A Retrospective is a system asset that captures important details discussed in retrospective meetings, such as agendas, discussion notes, and areas for improvement.

Roadmap

A high level plan used to communicate direction of a product, suite, organization or company.

Roadmap Timeline (formerly Epic Timeline or Portfolio Timeline)

An editable grid on which to view planned and historical portfolio items over a specified range of time. This timeline provides graphical views of portfolio items as they pertain to the scheduling and delivery of work initiatives, features, and sub-features for specific projects, and as such, provides a useful planning supplement to the Portfolio Tree and Portfolio Kanban views.

Rogue Commit

Commits that were not associated with any particular workitem and thus are rogue. This generally happens when a commit is not tagged with the workitem ID the work was intended for (ie. S-12345) or because the story branch where the commit is located does not contain the correct workitem ID.

Role

The level of system (or Admin Privileges) or project access granted to each member.

Root Portfolio Item

The top level portfolio item of a Portfolio Tree. A root portfolio item has no parent portfolio item above it.

RSS

A standard web format used to publish notifications and direct messages to users.

S

Save & New

Save the current item and clear the page to enter another item.

Scrumban

A hybrid approach that mixes traditional Agile (Scrum) with Kanban practices. Also see Kanban.

Setup

The activities required to get ready for a particular test.

Short Name

A reference to a member that is displayed in lists. A short name could be a person's initials, first name, or nickname.

Sort

List the display of assets in order according to the values in a specific column.

Sort Order

The order in which list values will be displayed in drop-downs.

Spaces

Spaces are open areas of focused conversation. Anyone can create a space and anyone can see, follow or converse within a space. When you view a space, you will see the people who follow that space as well as all the conversations within the space. You can then start a conversation within that space.

Split

Separate the completed work from the remaining work at the end of the sprint.

Sprint

A Sprint/Iteration is a system asset that represents a series of short, incremental delivery cycles (typically 1- 6 weeks). Backlog may be scheduled to Iteration so the team can work on them.

Sprint Capacity Planning

See Sprint/Iteration Capacity Planning.

Sprint Gap

The length of time between the end of one sprint and the start of the next.

Sprint Length

The standard cycle for sprints to be generated.

Sprint Schedule

A Sprint Schedule is a system asset that contains sequential collection of sprints assigned to one or more projects/releases. The Sprint Schedule may be created for each project/release in the tree or the schedule can be inherited from a project at a higher level in the project tree.

Sign Me Up

Allows you to assign yourself as the owner of a backlog item, defect, task, or test and, if configured, update the status value.

Single Sign-On (SSO)

A method of authenticating users for multiple applications through a single source.

Start Date

The initial date of a project, release, or sprint.

State

An indication of whether an item is Open/Active or Closed/Inactive (or, for some items, Future).

Status

User-defined development stage or status for a task, backlog item, sprint, release, or project.

Stories Estimate

A comparison of estimated to non-estimated stories.

Stories Scheduled

An indicator of how many stories have been assigned to actual iterations vs. those not yet assigned to iterations.

Story/Backlog Item

A Story/Backlog Item is a system asset that generally represents a requirement, feature, or unit of business value that can be estimated and tested, but may also encompass non-functional requirements and defects.

Story Count

Total number of stories.

Story Estimate

Total story units (story points, ideal weeks, ideal days, hours, etc.).

Story ID

System generated unique story number.

Story Risk

A measure of technical risk and/or complexity.

Story Status

A comparison of the number and estimates of stories at the various status values.

Story/Backlog Item Template

A story template is an asset that contains pre-defined story data. It can be reused if you routinely create the same types stories or if you want to create several at once.

Story Priority

Business value and/or relative priority of a story.

Strategic Themes

Strategic Themes are assets related to the Portfolio Tree that support top-tier strategic planning activities at the company and/or organizational level.

Sub-Project

A project in the project hierarchy that falls below another project.

Subscription

A request to receive notification about system events.

SWAG

Stands for Scientific Wild Ass Guess, which is a slang word that means a rough estimate from an expert in the field based on his/her experience and intuition.

T

Target Estimate

The amount of estimate expected to be scheduled within a given sprint typically set prior to the planning for that sprint.

Targeted Goal

A goal identified to be directly supported by a project.

Task

A Task is a system asset that can be used to break down a story into manageable units to be worked by the development team.

Taskboard

Visual display of tasks by status displayed for the team and others to view current status.

Task ID

System generated unique task number.

Team

A Team is a system asset that contains a group of cross-functional members who work together within a project to deliver a set of features.

Teammates

The list of members displayed in the Owner/Owners lookup field.

TeamRoom™

See TeamRoom.

Template

A predefined set of values for an asset.

Test

An acceptance criterion for validating that a backlog item or defect fix has been implemented properly.

Test Run

A set of results from a single execution of a test suite.

Test Set

A Test Set is a system asset that contains a set of acceptance tests that match the Regression Tests in a Regression Suite.

Test Suite

A set of tests from an external testing system. See Regression Tests.

Theme (Obsolete)

The term "Theme" has been changed to "Backlog Group". See Backlog Group.

Title

The given name of an asset within the system. Titles are displayed throughout the system to reference a given item.

To Do

Units of work left to complete a task or backlog item.

Topic

Topics are interest-related articles that are nested within a Community. A topic can contain agreements, best practices, or other documents that promote the evolution your Agile practice. To learn more, see Working with Community Topics.

Tracking Portfolio Item

An portfolio item that is displayed by default in the Portfolio Tree, Portfolio Kanban and Portfolio Timeline views. Tracking portfolio items are the most coarse-grained portfolio items that fall within a given project selection.

Trailing Commit

Used in Delivery at a Glance to denote that there are additional commits for this workitem in a package located in an earlier phase that are not contained in the package you are currently viewing. 

Transitions

Configurable shortcuts that allow members to perform more than one function with a single action.

Type

A classification grouping specific to an asset type. This was referred to as Category in prior releases of Lifecycle.

U

Unite

When an portfolio item is dragged into a release, project, or sprint and the portfolio item contains children (portfolio items and/or backlog item) that are in some other release, the children become separated from the parent portfolio item. If you move (or assign) the portfolio item to a different release, the system alerts you and provides the option to move all of the portfolio item's child items to the same release as the parent. Refer to Release Scheduling for additional details.

Unscheduled

Backlog Items or defects that have not been assigned to a specific sprint.

Upstream Dependency

Backlog Items that must be completed prior to the current backlog item, defect, or test set.

User

Users of the external Ideas system (people who register, log in, vote, and comment on Ideas). There is no relationship between members in your Lifecycle instance and users in your Ideas system.

Username

The name that members use to log into Lifecycle.

Utility Bar

The menu in the top right corner of every page that gives you access to TeamRooms, PlanningRooms, Preferences, Administration (permission dependent). It also contains the Quick Search box.

V

Velocity

A measurement that predicts how much work (backlog items, defects, etc.) a development team can complete within a sprint/iteration. It is calculated based on the amount of work the team has completed during previous sprints.

VersionOne Connect

Integrate VersionOne with the systems to coordinate across mixed development environments in a single web-based interface.

W

Work In Process limit (WIP Limit)

A ceiling placed on a kanban board to indicate the maximum number of items that should exist in a given status at any point in time so as to optimize the flow.

Workitem (or Work Item)

An system asset in Lifecycle that represents a story, defect, or test set.

X

XML

Extensible Markup Language is an internet standard data transfer scheme that provides flexible and adaptable information identification.

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