Essential Product Management Terms (Extended Glossary)

november 11, 2023

Product managers have evolved into a versatile role, blending expertise in user experience, technology, and business. They oversee the entire product lifecycle. This multifaceted role is challenging but highly rewarding.

The necessity for adaptability is where a comprehensive product management glossary becomes essential. The relevance of specific terms will vary depending on factors like the nature of the product, company size, budget, and project timeline.

However, mastering the everyday jargon used in the product department is an essential skill that every Product Manager needs to acquire.

read time - 10 minutes


A/B Testing

A/B testing is a method of comparing two versions of a product, feature or marketing approach against each other to determine which one performs better. It’s essential for data-driven decision-making.

Acceptance criteria

Acceptance criteria are a set of predefined requirements or conditions that a software product or project must meet to be accepted by the client, product owner, or stakeholders. They are used to determine when a task, user story, or feature is complete and working as expected. Essentially, acceptance criteria serve as a checklist that must be satisfied to consider a piece of work done and acceptable for delivery.


Is one of the product methodologies that emphasizes flexibility, collaboration, and customer feedback. It involves iterative development, where work is done in small increments. It is following the rules of the Agile Manifesto.



Backlog is a prioritized list of all tasks, features, bug fixes and requirements that are waiting to be worked on. It’s a dynamic list that evolves with the project or product. Each product has its own backlog.

Backlog refinement / management (formerly Backlog grooming)

Backlog Refinement (formerly also known as grooming) is an ongoing process where the product backlog items are reviewed and revised. The main goals are to add details, estimates (not necessarily as precise as in sprint planning; T-shirt sizes are usually sufficient), tags, and order to items in the product backlog. The order is usually governed by the priority or severity of the epics or stories.

Beta Testing

A phase where a product is tested in real-world conditions by actual users before its final release. It helps in identifying bugs and gathering user feedback in advance and within a small audience that prevents failures and potential issues with full launch.

Business Intelligence (BI)

These are systems and tools playing a crucial role in strategic planning by enabling businesses to gather, store, access, and analyze data for decision-making.


It is a term to name an error, flaw, or fault in a software program that causes it to produce an incorrect or unexpected result, or to behave in unintended ways. In Scrum you name it bug when the error in the feature occurs after it is launched into production.

Burndown Chart

It is a visual tool used in Agile project management. It shows the amount of work remaining in a sprint or project over time, helping teams gauge progress and predict the likelihood the team will complete their work in the time available.



The end user or consumer of a product or service. Understanding customer needs and behavior is crucial for successful product development. The customer can be external or if you are a PM for example for a software in your company, the customers can be your colleagues from different departments.

Customer Experience (CX)

CX encompasses a customer’s overall perception and interaction with a product or service, from initial discovery to post-purchase support. It focuses on understanding and improving how customers engage with a product, aiming to enhance satisfaction and foster loyalty. Think about CX as the overall impression you’ve left on your customers.

Customer Journey

Customer Journey is a part of the customer experience that refers to the complete path a customer takes from becoming aware of a product to purchasing and using it, and potentially becoming a loyal advocate. This journey maps out all the interactions and experiences a customer has with the product and it is crucial to get familiar with it for the company because it is highlighting opportunities for improvement and better engagement with the product. And it also has a very strong impact on the company’s revenue.

Customer Retention

It’s usually not easy to get customers for your product and it costs you money and effort. That’s why you want to keep them as long as possible and why customer retention is an important part of product lifes. Customer retention covers strategies and activities aimed at keeping customers engaged and loyal to a product or service over time.


Defect (Issue)

In Scrum and other Agile methodologies, an error or problem identified before product launch, typically during testing phases, is often referred to as an “issue” or a “defect.” These terms are used to describe any kind of flaw, error, or deviation from the expected outcome in the software development process.



It is a high level specification of a larger amount of work that will help you deliver an increment or product feature. It is usually broken down into smaller tasks (stories). It’s a way to organize related tasks that contribute to a broader, cohesive goal.



Opinions and information about a product from its customers/users or team members. It’s crucial for continuous improvement and meeting user needs.


GTM (Go-To-Market)

It is a strategy outlining how a company will reach customers and achieve a competitive advantage when launching a new product or larger product feature.



Increment is a tangible output resulting from a development cycle, typically in Agile frameworks like Scrum. One or more increments may be delivered in one sprint.

In order to be called an increment, the delivered item must represent a portion of the final product, delivered in a usable and potentially releasable state, adding value and functionality over the previous version.

Issue (Defect)

In Scrum and other Agile methodologies, an error or problem identified before product launch, typically during testing phases, is often referred to as an “issue” or a “defect.” These terms are used to describe any kind of flaw, error, or deviation from the expected outcome in the software development process.


MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

The simplest form of a product that is viable for launch, equipped with sufficient features to draw in initial users and test the product concept. This approach enables teams to efficiently collect extensive feedback from customers with minimal initial development.



It is a semi-fictional character based on the typical or target product user. One product can have multiple personas, and the more detail that is specified, the better. Personas help in understanding and empathizing with users’ needs and behaviors.


This refers to the importance and urgency of addressing an issue/bug or user story, based on factors like business needs, impact on users, or strategic goals. Priority can guide the order in which issues should be tackled, determining what needs immediate attention versus what can be deferred.

Product Requirements

Product requirements encompass all functions, features, and behaviors that must be delivered with the product. In other words, they include any function, constraint, or other property required to satisfy the user’s needs. A crucial role in ensuring these requirements are fulfilled plays acceptance criteria.

Product Strategy

The product strategy is an actionable document that outlines how to achieve your goal that is built upon a product vision. It helps companies to justify “the why” – why their product should exist, why you’re developing the product and how you’ll develop it to maximize customer delight and profitability.

Product Vision

The product vision is a long term goal that the product should achieve and provides significant direction for product decision-making.



It is a strategic plan that outlines the vision, direction, priorities, and progress of a product over time. It serves as an action plan and a guide for stakeholders and teams. It provides clear, visionary material and support for you as a product manager in negotiations with teams, leaders, and product sponsors. In a simpler form, it can also be used as teaser material for product users, giving them a preview of new features they can look forward to.



Is one of the Agile frameworks for managing complex projects. It involves roles like Scrum Master and Product Owner, and practices like sprints and daily stand-ups. It is pretty common to be used fully or partially for software development.


This term describes the level of impact an issue has on the system’s functionality or user experience. Severity ranges from critical (causing system failure or major functionality loss) to minor (having negligible impact). Severity assessments help understand the extent of the problem and its potential consequences. For decision making, severity is considered together with the priority of the user story or bug.


Sprint is a time-boxed period in Scrum methodology, typically 2-4 weeks, where a predetermined amount of work (stories, epics) is delivered. 

Sprint Planning

It is a meeting where the team together with the product manager or product owner decides what work will be done during the Sprint. They select items from the product backlog they can commit to completing in the sprint and that helps fulfill the product roadmap and strategy. During this meeting, developers should estimate the duration of each story they plan to work on in the upcoming Sprint, ensuring that the workload is feasible.


A short, daily meeting in Agile methodologies where team members report on their progress since the last meeting, plans for the day, and any impediments. This helps in resolving issues in the Sprint in a timely manner, as well as ad hoc overflow work of developers or testers according to available capacity.

Story (User Story)

User stories describe the desired functionality of product backlog items, usually from the perspective of an end-user. It clearly explains to the developer the work he has to do to meet the acceptance criteria that every story must have. It also helps the quality assurance to test the story properly.

Story Point

An estimation of the effort required to implement a user story. It’s relative and helps in planning and prioritizing work. The story point takes into account risk, complexity and experience. Scrum story points are usually represented using the Fibonacci sequence that was modified to the following sequence: 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40, 100 for ease of use. In a practical product word for negotiating about the feature you will still need the time-based estimation of the story/epic.


T-shirt sizing

If story pointing gets a bit complex and complicated, try T-shirts sizes for measuring user story/epic effort estimation. It is used likely for high level and quick estimates. As the name suggests, this sequence breaks down tasks into more manageable sizing based on T-shirt sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, and XXL. 


Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

The distinctive benefit or feature of a product that sets it apart from competitors. It’s a key element in marketing and brand positioning.

User Interface (UI)

It is a part of the product designing and should ease the user interaction. It is the bridge between humans and computers. For example, screens, sounds, overall style, and responsiveness are all elements that need to be considered in UI. Basically it is everything you see on the screen.

User Experience (UX)

Being a part of product design the User Experience (UX) focuses on all of the end user’s interactions with your product or service. Good UX keeps customers happy before, during, and also after the experience with the company’s product. The example of a UX question can be – is the information accessible? Is the system intuitive and easy to navigate? The UX is a piece of the puzzle of the greater CX.


Velocity Chart

The velocity chart displays the average amount of work a scrum team completes during a sprint. Teams can use velocity to predict how quickly they can work through the backlog because the report tracks the forecasted and completed work over several sprints. By tracking Velocity charts regularly you can predict the stories delivery more precisely and spot potential hidden problems in the team in deviations from the normal course of the chart in advance.



A sequential (non-iterative) project management methodology where progress flows in one direction – downwards like a waterfall – through the phases of conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction, testing, deployment, delivery and maintenance. It is particularly useful for large, complex projects with very specific and unchanging requirements. 

We're here to help You In Your Product Career

Explore our product mentoring services today, and empower yourself with the skills and expertise needed to become a trusted member of your product management team.

Join our Newsletter

Join 7 Days In Product, your weekly digest of exclusive tips, strategies, and resources to excel in your product life.

    Scroll to Top