Vertical Slice

Posted on April 9, 2010 by

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A Vertical Slice is a milestone that demonstrates progress across all the components of a project. Imagine each component of your project in a layered pile like a stack of pancakes. Imagine a knife slicing from the top of the pancake stack all the way to the plate they are on. This cut represents the vertical slice. All components must have shown progress up to this slice, rather than some components being almost complete while others have not begun.  The knife must cut through the whole stack in order to meet the Vertical Slice milestone. The use of this term appears most frequently for describing projects in the gaming industry. The PMBOK®’s Define Activities process is the process that generates the Milestone List as one of its outputs, so it’s where a planned Vertical Slice may be documented.