Book Notes: Agile Business - Bob Gower

Agile Business: A Leader's Guide to Harnessing Complexity is an engaging introduction to Agile Development from a business perspective.


Title: Agile Business: A Leader's Guide to Harnessing Complexity
Author: Bob Gower
Themes: Agile; Culture; Management; Teams; Leadership; IT
Year: 2013
Publisher: Telemachus Press
ISBN: 1939337534, 9781939337535
Pages: 260

Agile Business: A Leader's Guide to Harnessing Complexity contains practical real-world advice from over 30 coaches, executives, developers and managers who are actively using Agile in their organizations and helping others achieve Agility. 

"... Building the wrong thing not only wastes time and money, it demoralizes the creative, intelligent and in-demand team members who are working on the products, thus making hiring and retention more difficult..."

Written in a way that can be easily grasped and put to use whether you have previous Agile experience or not. Whether you're looking for an introduction to the topic or want to deepen your own practice, Agile Business will help you understand and apply Agile principles to your business and your life.

Agile design practices encourage us to test our ideas quickly using tools like rapid prototyping, and to see our products in their natural habitat. Something as easy as hosting a weekly, catered lunch during which your team watches customers actually use the product, can build team empathy and generate new ideas. I’ve never seen a team that does this enough.

"... We know Agile is good for business, but we also believe it’s good for people. Agile practices, with their emphasis on problem solving and efficiency, have the potential to help solve some of the toughest problems facing humanity. And we believe Agile is an important part of creating meaningful job opportunities for more people..."

As more organizations adopt agile, new ideas are being developed to improve planning, roadmapping and innovation. These pioneers are taking the process of building products to the next level through a deep understanding of the methods and principles of agile

Chapters of the Book:

Foreword, by Brad Feld
A Message from the Founder, by Ryan Martens
How to Use This Book

1. Build the Right Thing
   Build the Right Thing
   Agile and Innovation
   The Role of the Product Owner
   The Gift of Meaningful Work
   How Large Organizations Can Act More Like Startups
   The Minimum Viable Product
   Start with Why
   Story Mapping
   Information Radiators
   Paper Prototyping

2. Build the Thing Right
   Build the Thing Right
   Agile Test and Engineering Practices
   Scrum and Kanban
   Scrum or Kanban?
   Reciprocal Commitment
   The Art of the Hackathon
   Agile Metrics
   Continuous Integration and Delivery
   The Value of Play
   Why Define Done?

3. People, Not Resources
   People, Not Resources
   Agile Managers
   The Agile Project Manager
   Agile Organizations—Daring Greatly
   Create Your Own Reality
   Everyone Be Agile: Nine Extraordinary Benefits Nondevelopment Departments Enjoy
   Facilitating the Right Environment
   Why Coaching?
   Agile in Distributed Environments
   The Importance of Space
   Co-located Teams
   Sustainable Pace
   Audio, Video, and Virtual Team Realities
   Social Contracts
   A Culture of Great Meetings
   Servant Leadership
   Trusting in Conflict

4. Agile Steering
   Agile Steering
   Agile Portfolio Steering
   Funding and Accounting in an Agile World
   Planning Releases and Tracking Progress
   Scaling Agile: Fractals of Innovation
   Steering the Agile Enterprise with Kanban Thinking
   Retrospectives: : The Heartbeat of Continuous Improvement
   Agile Contracts
   Stickies, Sharpies, and Information Radiators
   The Daily Standup
   The Sprint Review and Demo

5. Transform Your Organization
   Transform Your Organization
   Flow-Pull-Innovate—Your Agile Journey
   A Path to Agility
   Agile Measurement
   The Importance of Vision and Culture
   Agile Selling: Pulling Sales Forward
   Agile Rollout Planning: It’s the Planning, Not the Plan
   How to Launch a Team
   When Your Organization Is Waterfall and You’re Not

Your Next Steps
Story of the Book
The Agile Manifesto
Author and Contributor Bios

Other contributors that shared some knowledge in this book:

- Alex Pukinskis
- André Dhondt
- Ann Konkler
- Ben Carey
- Brendan Walsh
- Brent Barton
- Charles Ferentchak
- Chris Browne
- Eric Willeke
- Isaac Montgomery
- Jean Tabaka
- Jeff Ellis
- Jessica Kahn
- Jim Tremlett
- John Michael Martin
- Julie Byrne
- Julie Chickering
- Karl Scotland
- Ken Clyne
- Larry Maccherone
- Laura Burke
- Liz Andora
- Mark Kilby
- Michael Ball-Marian
- Niki Kohari
- Rachel Weston Rowell
- Rick Simmons
- Ronica Roth
- Ryan Martens
- Sean Heuer
- Stephanie Tanner
- Steve Lawrence
- Tamara Nation
- Todd Olson
- Zach Nies

The Author, Bob Gower, is passionate about innovative products and the people who make them. An author, speaker, and consultant, Bob has spent more than 15 years leading complex, creative projects across myriad sectors. He’s currently an Agile Coach for Rally Software, where he specializes in enterprise-level Agile transformations. 

Thank you! I hope you enjoyed!

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