When software development teams move to agile methods, experienced project managers often struggle—doubtful about the new approach and uncertain about their new roles and responsibilities. In this book, two long-time certified Project Management Professionals (PMPRs) and Scrum trainers have built a bridge to this dynamic new paradigm. They show experienced project managers how to successfully transition to agile by refocusing on facilitation and collaboration, not "command and control."
The authors begin by explaining how agile works: how it differs from traditional "plan-driven" methodologies, the benefits it promises, and the real-world results it delivers. Next, they systematically map the Project Management Institute’s classic, methodology-independent techniques and terminology to agile practices. They cover both process and project lifecycles and carefully address vital issues ranging from scope and time to cost management and stakeholder communication. Finally, drawing on their own extensive personal experience, they put a human face on your personal transition to agile—covering the emotional challenges, personal values, and key leadership traits you'll need to succeed.
Review By: Ronald R. Goodwin, PMP ITIL/ITSM 07/27/2010Normally, project managers (PM) who practice their craft using PMI, Prince, Ten-Step, or any other PM methodology run their projects using “command and control” methods. (It's not as harsh as it sounds, because it usually works with only a little nudging.) As more and more software development lifecycles move to agile development, more and more "old-hat" PMs ("plan-driven" managers) struggle to adapt.
Sliger and Broderick have taken their expertise in project management and agile development and created a roadmap for the rest of us who struggle with the growing pains of moving from plan-driven development to agile. And they do it in a well-constructed, neatly organized, and fun way.
They start with an intelligent definition of agile that spans several chapters. Then they map the PMI Knowledge Areas (PMI KA) processes and terminology to agile processes and terminology. They take each PMI KA process individually and provide a nearly "one-for-one" guide. For example, they say, "I used to do this PMI KA process" and follow up with "I now do this agile process."
Each chapter's summary alone is worth the price of the book. The summaries take the points made in a chapter and provide them in bullet format.
The areas covered in PMI to agile mapping follow the PMI KAs, as spelled out in the third edition of the PMBOK:
Human resource management
The authors finish by using the final third of the book to spell out how to cross the bridge to agile. For those PMs who have been hesitant to accept agile methods, the authors offer how responsibilities will change, how to work with other teams who are not agile, how a PMO can support agile, and selling the benefits of agile. The final chapter offers eleven common mistakes made by PMs and project teams in accepting agile methodology and how to avoid these pitfalls, i.e., how to keep your first agile project from failing.
There are appendices for agile methodologies and artifacts, and there is a glossary to help learn the "new" terminology. I found the authors’ liberal use of quotes (some serious and some just hilarious) to start each chapter and the abundance of illustrations as useful as the content itself.
For those who just don't want to read this book, you can visit Michele Sliger's Web site at http://www.sligerconsulting.com/ and watch the Web seminar titled the same as the book. But believe me, the book is a lot better.
Review By: John Snuggs 07/27/2010This book is a must read for any PMI project manager who is about to encounter his first agile team. It is also helpful for traditional project managers who wonder if they add value to agile teams. (The answer is yes!) It is particularly relevant to organizations that have a clear understanding of the traditional project management approach and are interested in using agile practices.
The overview section of the book provides a firm and great foundation for those who are new to agile. The authors are methodical as they address each of the project management knowledge areas from the PMBOK as these areas apply to agile teams. A final section with more deeply-applied agile lessons presents valuable insight to seasoned members of the agile community.
I've been a practicing ScrumMaster for over three years. I found the Risk Management and Quality Management sections to be the most thought-provoking. I wrestle between the amount of time that my teams and I spend detecting quality issues and the time we spend preventing them.
I got the most value from the tables in the book that compare "Traditional" versus "Agile" and "I used to do this" versus "Now I do this." I also really appreciate the numerous example agendas, which authors Michelle and Stacia extracted from key lessons learned in their experiences.
This is an outstanding book that I strongly recommend to Project and Portfolio Managers who have any interactions with agile teams.