Managing Agile Projects Review

Managing Agile Projects
Average Reviews:

(More customer reviews)
I admired the goal of this book - to introduce the ideas of agile project management and to bridge the gap between the tomes describing methodologies and the concrete role that managers and leaders play on agile teams. A book that did that well would indeed be a worthy first gift to a new manager. Unfortunately, this isn't that book.

The inconsistent messages made it difficult to pull out concrete recommendations. For example, one of the key activities identified for a manager is to "monitor and adapt" to the team and corporate cultures. Later, though, he talks about entering situations sight-unseen with the goal to institute and enforce all of the rules of XP on a subject organization to the letter.

Lack of detail hurt the sections on catering a process to an organization. He goes into some detail on how to characterize the current culture and profile of the environment you're about to work in, but then just shows two extremes and potential "process cocktails" that might work for them. I would've loved to see, in addition, a list of the practices that you might try to roll out, and the specific elements of an organization's profile that make them more or less applicable so that a manager can come up with their own or at least know what negative experiences to expect.

Finally, the consulting company he works for comes across as some sort of omniscient savior. Either he's been extremely lucky or things are being sugar-coated. As he points out, agile projects are "chaordic" - right on the border between chaos and order. Real boats rock, and many of the best lessons in practical application come from the experiences of overcorrection or failing to act. I'd argue any significant project attempting to roll out agile methods will have some of those bumps along the way, and anyone who claims otherwise is trying to sell you something.

I did enjoy the section on creating an conveying the project vision - he's quite correct that in a situation where you're relying a lot on the team to self-organize, communicating and reinforcing that vision and the team's goals are probably the top success factor for the project.

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Product Description:
The popularity of agile development methodologies continues to increase, asdevelopers and technical managers have seen the benefits of incorporatingflexibility in development projects. However, agility advocates still struggle togain business management support for their initiatives. The reluctance ofbusiness management to truly embrace agility stems from a disconnect betweenthe assumptions and techniques of traditional management and those of thenew agile development methodologies. The purpose of this book is to providemanagement a framework with supporting evidence that directly addresses thisneed. While conventional wisdom states that agile methods are not scaleable,the author shares proof that it can be applied to large-scale developmentprojects. Furthermore, he aligns the adoption of agile methods to cutting-edgebusiness management practices. The end result is a practical book that will helporganizations overcome their institutional reluctance and reap the significantbenefit of agile methods.

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