This is your hands-on, "in-the-trenches" guide to successfully leading Agile projects. Agile methods promise to infuse development with unprecedented flexibility, speed, and value; and these promises are attracting IT organizations worldwide. However, agile methods often fail to clearly define the manager's role, and many managers have been reluctant to buy in.
Expert project manager Sanjiv Augustine introduces agility "from the manager's point of view," offering a proven management framework that addresses everything from team building to project control.
Augustine bridges the disconnect between the assumptions and techniques of traditional and agile management, demonstrating why agility is better aligned with today's project realities, and how to simplify your transition. Using a detailed case study, he shows how agile methods can scale to succeed in even the largest projects.
Whether you're a technical or business manager, Managing Agile Projects gives you all the tools you need to implement agility in your environment, and reap its full benefits.
Review By: Gerry Thompson 02/07/2011
"Managing Agile Projects" by Sanjiv Augustine is a well-written, informative, and useful guidebook. It must be noted that the author is an experienced proponent of agile project management techniques. Hence, the author's goal is to provide a pragmatic guide to Agile project management (APM).
Rather than beginning with a dry explanation of APM techniques, the reader is engaged in a fictionalized account of a failed software project codenamed "Phoenix." The imaginary software project rises from the ashes of conventional management practices, as APM methods replace the previous management style. The project goals are redefined, their workgroups reorganized, and the development schedule reworked. Over the next six months, the project moves forward and finally achieves success.
Augustine formally defines APM within the context of today's complex development environment. He poses and answers a series of questions that fully define APM concepts. The basic principles of APM include alignment and cooperation among team members, encouraging emergence and self-organization, and instituting learning and adaptation. APM practices necessitate organic team organization, guiding vision, and simple rules.
The book includes considerable detail on the characteristics of an agile team, presented using standard APM terminology when defining methodologies such as simple rules, open information, and light touch.
Activities included in each chapter provide a useful framework for implementing Agile practices. Augustine effectively presents summaries of the principles using bullet points, tables, and illustrations. Each chapter ends with a list of references for further reading.
The final chapter, "Transitioning from the Familiar," is important for managers moving their teams from plan-driven methodologies, such as the Capability Maturity Model (CMM), to an agile environment. The author provides transition guidelines for a step-by-step progression to an APM environment. This pragmatic guide clearly defines standard terminology used in APM and provides clear and concise suggestions for successful implementation. I highly recommend "Managing Agile Projects."