Project Terminology

[Me]:- Guruji, I am lost. My Boss has been throwing a lot of Jargons at me lately and I am not able to Digest. I am being yorked.

[Guruji]:- Don’t worry my son, check out these samples below, you will now be on front foot and take all the balls on the full toss and whack them for a six J


A very early release of a product to get preliminary feedback about the feature set and usability.


A pre-released version of software that is sent to customers for evaluation and feedback.

blocking bug

A defect that prevents further or more detailed analysis or verification of a functional area or feature, or any issue that would prevent the product from shipping.

buddy build

A build of a product or component that is meant for verifying a fix or unblocking an area. (Also known as buddy drop and private build.)

buddy drop

See buddy build.

buddy test

A set of tests run by a tester on a private build from a developer.  Looking for system integration issues prior to checkin.

bug committee

See War Team

build acceptance test (BAT)

See build verification test.

build verification test (BVT)

An automated test suite run on each new build to validate the integrity of the build and basic functionality before the new build is released for general testing. (Also known as build acceptance test.)

check-in test

A test run by a developer to determine whether his code has affected the general stability of the product. (Also known as developer quicktest.)

code complete

A development milestone marking the point at which all features for the release are implemented and functionality has been verified against the functional specification.  Not to be confused with Feature code complete.

code freeze

A determinate time when no check-ins can be made into the source tree of a project without approval of the triage committee.

configuration testing

Testing on a variety of hardware platforms and software configurations (OS/drivers) to determine how the software behaves.

content plan

A non-technical document that describes the content associated with a user assistance project in detail. For example, the text and images that appear on each page of a wizard, tutorial, or interactive content.

critical update

A broadly released fix for a specific problem addressing a critical, non-security related bug.


Create, Read, Update, Delete.  The fundamental operations performed on a database

design change request

A requested change to the functional specification after it is deemed frozen.

developer quicktest

See check-in test.

documentation plan

A document that includes the non-technical details of a user assistance deliverable. For example, an online Help plan describes the audience for the Help content, the style guide to be used, topic types, and format that will be delivered.

dot release

an incremental release to the product that signifies that only one or a couple of files were recompiled and added to the setup image.

exit criteria

A set of criteria that a product or service must meet before a particular milestone is complete.

feature code complete

A intra-milestone deliverable marking the point at which all code to enable a feature is supposed to be written and is fully testable

feature team

A team (of developers, testers, user interface designers, writers, editors, localizers, product planners, product marketing, and program managers) that is responsible for a feature.


A point at which an implementation or functional specification cannot change without significant justification and approval in a product-wide triage meeting.

functional specification

A document that describes the user problem, requirements, and functionality details of a feature or set of features.


The process of designing and implementing a product and/or content (including text and non-text elements) so that it can accommodate any local market (locale).

golden master

The final version of software for manufacturing, which has been virus checked, time stamped, and, if needed, compressed.

hard triage

See lockdown.


A single cumulative package composed of one or more files used to address a defect in a product. Hotfixes address a specific customer situation and may not be distributed outside the customer organization without written legal consent from Microsoft.
A broadly released fix for a specific product addressing a security vulnerability.

Individual Contributor

An engineer who has responsibilities at the individual level, does not formally manage other people.


The activities leading up to and through a product's release into the marketplace.


The ability of a product and/or content (including text and non-text elements) to be adapted for any local market (locale).


The process of adapting a product and/or content (including text and non-text elements) to meet the language, cultural, and political expectations and/or requirements of a specific local market (locale).


A development process for tightly controlling code changes in an effort to reduce bug regressions. (Also known as hard triage).

marketing plan

A document that includes the details of positioning, a situation analysis, marketing objectives, marketing strategies, analysis of competition, description of target audience, pricing, estimated cost of goods, and profitability.


The process of modifying the user experience through changes, additions or deletions of functionality and/or content to better suit different markets (not limited to the localizable portion of the product).


1) A specific, measurable event that sharply defines the product development stage; 2) The current phase in the product cycle.  Binary in nature, either 100% complete or 100% not complete.

milestone 0 (M0)

The planning and designs phase of a product in which functional specifications, designs, and schedules are completed before implementation begins.

milestone 1 (M1)

The first full coding milestone in the implementation phase, in which all developers are coding against the functional specification.

milestone 2 - n

Additional implementation milestones.

milestone criteria

See exit criteria.

point release

See Dot Release


A review at the end of a project to discuss what went well and what went poorly so that effective processes are reinforced and improvements are identified.

private build

See buddy build.

production beta

A beta release that is intended for a set of customers to put into a production environment.  Effectively, a mini-RTM, with support from the product team, QFE and hotfix support.  Implies that the production beta is upgradeable to RTM bits.

quick fix engineering

See hotfix

real-time mode

See lockdown.


A particular version of a piece of software, most commonly associated with the most recent version (as in "the latest release").

release candidate

A build of the product produced with no known issues that the product team believes should prevent it from being released to manufacturing or to the Web.

release candidate 0

The first build of the product produced after code complete that has no known issues and no new active bugs accepted by the triage committee for a certain number of days. (Also known as zero bug release).

release criteria

See exit criteria.

release to manufacturing

The point at which the final disks and full sets of documentation are sent to manufacturing for product build and subsequent release.

release to Web

The point at which the final code is declared ready to be propagated to the data center.

rolling build

a system that allows for incremental code to be compiled into a build.  Instead of compiling a bunch of code at once, rolling builds focus on building a single changelist from SD to isolate build breaks by checkin.

security patch

See hotfix

service level agreement

An agreement between two organizations detailing the level and nature of support that one team agrees to provide, and to which the other team agrees to reciprocal commitments.

service pack

A cumulative set of all hotfixes, security patches, critical updates, and updates created and fixes for defects found internally since the release of the product. Service packs may also contain a limited number of customer requested design changes or features.


The point at which program management, development, test, user assistance, localization, and Product Support Services agree that a release is official before manufacturing will start reproducing it.

silver master

The release disk set that the localization vendor sends to Microsoft, which contains all of the final-tested software files that comprise the product.


The simultaneous release to manufacturing of localized versions with the source product.


Testability is the degree to which systems are designed and implemented to make it easier for test automation to achieve complete code path coverage and simulate all usage situations in a cost efficient manner.   Testability is also defined as visibility and control.  Visibility is our ability to observe the states, outputs, resource usage and other side effects of the software under test.  Control is our ability to apply inputs to the software under test or place it in specified states

test design specification

A document that defines the testing requirements for an area of the product. (Also known as test requirements document.)

test release document

A document that the development team writes that defines which parts of the product are testable and which are not.

test requirements document

See test design specification.


The process of deciding which bugs to fix, which to postpone to a future release, and which not to fix.

triage committee

See War Team

unit test

A test written and run by a developer to test specific modules and behaviors of his code in depth. Often a subset of unit tests are also used as check-in test.

user assistance functional specification

A technical document that describes the user problems, requirements, and functionality details of a user assistance feature or set of features, such as an online Help or content-tracking system.

user assistance plan

A non-technical document that contains vision, business case, and customer focus for each type of user assistance content; lists user assistance features, documents, deliverables, and other content that will ship with the product or service.

user experience

A team of designers who perform usability studies with customers, as well as design user interface

vision document

A document that describes the strategic goals and direction for the product, service, or feature.

vision statement

A one or two sentence summary of the principle objectives for the current release, which can be used by any team member to help prioritize work and make project decisions.

visual freeze

A point after which the user interface cannot change without approval from the triage committee.

war team

A committee that represents the entire product group that meets to decide which bugs to fix, which not to fix, and which to postpone.  Triage teams roll up into War Team and usually have one representative attending.  (also known as Ship Room, Ship Team)

zero bug bounce

The first point after code complete that there are no active bugs accepted by the triage committee that are older than a certain number of hours.

zero bug release

See release candidate 0.


Vinay Jagtap

A hard core Technocrat with over a decade of extensive experience in heading complex test projects coupled with real time experience of project management and thought leadership. Extensive experience in Performance, Security and Automation Testing and development of automation frameworks and ability to setup and execute Global service centers and Center of Excellences for testing.

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