Great five books about agile (part 2)


Being agile is not simple – I may admit it after reading many classic books about this approach. From the other hand, it looks like currently no one can escape from agility, when 3/4 of all projects are suitable for using any kind of agile methodology*

Books about agileI published the first part of this cycle few months ago, in the article called: five books about agile, part I. Currently, it’s time to share with you my new proposals, which I read during last months.

Kanban in Action, Marcus Hammarberg Joakim Sundén – that book really changed my way of thinking about Kanban. Until then, I thought that it’s mainly about building board and moving tasks from the left to the right…Then, it appeared, that someone wrote 360-pages-long book about it! I must say, that the book is really good. Regardless of what methodology you use, if it is Scrum, DSDM, XP or even waterfall approach, you will find a lot of useful knowledge & practical examples there.

So, it looks that from now I’m going to be a big fan of Kanban.

Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility, Alan Shalloway – this one is somehow related to the ‘Kanban in Action’. It’s a good book about applying ideas from the Toyota Production System and Lean manufacturing to the agile software development. Author goes beyond Scrum, and share many ideas about scaling Scrum to the enterprise level, using Lean principles.

Highly recommended for all who successfully implemented Scrum in a single team, and now needs to scale it.

The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility, Michele Sliger, Stacia Broderick – another interesting book, where authors do mapping from the traditional project management approach based on PMBOK, to the agile world. It really help in understanding, that being agile doesn’t mean the denial of basic project management principles and best practices – they are just called and implemented differently.

I really liked last chapters of the book, like ‘Selling the Benefits of Agile’ or ‘Common Mistakes’. They give a lot of useful real scenarios, like one of my favorites common mistakes: ‘Allowing the team to say, “you’ll get it when you get it” we’re agile now and only plan one iteration at a time

User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development, Mike Cohn -another surprise for me – 300 pages about writing user stories. When I read something like this, I realize that ‘The only thing I know is that I know nothing’. But no more philosophy, let’s talk about the book.

It gives a total view of using user stories in any agile approach. Author starts from the best methods of writing stories, through recommended way of gathering information, estimating, planning and measuring. What’s interesting, author gives many examples, when user stories shouldn’t be applied! There is also interesting part about syndromes which indicates potential problems with using stories.

Book finishes with real life example, which helps in summarizing all information from previous chapters.

Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme , Robert K. Wysocki -what can I say? If you are interested in project management, you must know the author and those series of books. Currently, I read the 7th edition of the ‘Effective Project Management’.

It’s kind of a bible for project managers. It covers traditional and agile approaches, as well as extreme and ’emertxe’ projects (check in book, if you are curious what does it mean). In my opinion, it’s kind of book which is hard to read from cover to cover and remember all details. There is just too much of information. It’s the one, which should stay on the shelf and wait for the right moment. In case you will have any questions related to the project management, you will probably find and answer, and say ‘aha, now I know!’.

What are your recommendations for learning agile? I’m waiting for your comments.

*Based on the research made by Robert K. Wysocki, from the book mentioned above.

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