Book Notes: Managing Agile Projects - Sanjiv Augustine

William Meller - Managing Agile Projects - Sanjiv Augustine
Written by a passionate project manager in the agile world, this book contains his discoveries and learnings.


Title: Agile and Iterative Development: A Manager's Guide
Author: Craig Larman
Themes: Agile, Career, Cases, Technology, Management, Business
Year: 2005
Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
ISBN: 0131240714, 9780131240711
Pages: 229

For those not familiar with agile software development, it is a collection of methods and philosophies for developing information technology and software products by employing methods that encourage speed, flexibility, and an emphasis on customer value. 

Like most agile books and articles, this book from 2005 has the audience of software developers, even though the principles and practices apply to product development in other industries. Given the author's intended audience and objectives, there is much to like about this book.  

The principles and practices include fostering alignment and cooperation through the practices of organic teams and a guiding vision; encouraging emergence and self-organization through simple rules, open information, and light touch; and facilitating learning and adaptation through adaptive leadership.

William Meller - Managing Agile Projects - Sanjiv Augustine

A novice leader of an agile software project could pick up this book and find numerous useful tools and ideas.

"... When first placed in the position of leading an agile team nearly five years ago, I had precious little guidance to assist me in my job. This is the book that I wish I had then—I have endeavored to capture my subsequent experience and learning and present them in a form that is accessible to managers new to agile methodologies. Other managers more familiar with the agile landscape should enjoy it as well, albeit with the sense of the familiar. In the agile spirit of continuous learning and experimentation, I have drawn on many diverse disciplines to augment and extend agile methodologies on my projects, including complexity theory, organizational learning, and Lean Thinking..."

"... Leadership goes beyond the mundane in daily work life. Agile managers require the leadership skills necessary to connect with the needs and hopes of their team members. Tichy and Devanna identified several characteristics of transformational leaders—people who effect transformational change in organizations: They identify themselves as change agents; they are courageous, believe in people, are value-driven, lifelong learners, and able to deal with complexity, ambiguity, and uncertainty, and they are visionaries. These are elaborated from an APM perspective in the following sidebar..."

Overall, this book addresses its intended audience and target topic in a very serviceable way. 

It is a step forward in framing the distinctions of agile practices from traditional control-oriented ideas, although it is not the seminal text on agile project management that the field needs.

Sanjiv Augustine is the Director of the Lean-Agile Consulting Practice at CC Pace, a financial services consulting firm in Fairfax, Virginia. He is a leading agile management practitioner and consultant, author of several articles on agile project management,
and a frequent presenter at industry conferences. His experience with agile methodologies spans half a decade and includes projects varying in size from 5 to more than 100 people.

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