Agile IT Organization Design – A Book Review
Agile IT Organization Design: For Digital Transformation and Continuous Delivery is a book that helps software companies and other digital businesses improve their performance by extending agility throughout the whole organization. It is a practical book that introduces an approach based on the author’s extensive experience working with leaders in different technology firms and IT-intensive industries. It presents a complete operating model that integrates agility beyond the development team, also including sales, marketing, product development and other areas of the organization. The book covers not only technology but also people and processes in improving all aspects of the organization, such as communication, team structure, and tools, among others.
The first paperback edition measures about 6.9 in. wide, 0.7 in. thick, and 99 in. tall. Its shipping weight is about 1.1 pounds, with 304 pages distributed in 16 chapters. A Kindle format is also available. It was published June 2015 by Addison-Wesley Professional publishing in the English language. ISBN-10: 0133903354; ISBN-13: 978-0133903355
Agile IT Organization Design is for owners, senior executives, operations and governance managers of medium to large IT organizations, software companies and digital businesses. Leaders who can influence policies and organizational structure especially in technology enterprises and IT-intensive industries as well as investors can benefit from the principles and examples from this book. It can also be a reference for advocates and implementors of agile, organizational design, continuous delivery and DevOps. College students and professionals pursuing higher education in computer science, project management, and other business management courses can use it as textbook.
What Customers Say
Sadok K. (Goodreads) rated it 4 out 5. He stated that Agile IT Organization Design has a very broad coverage of the topic. It also delivers extensive description of several best practices. He believed that the book delivers on its promise.
Charles B. (Amazon) described it as deep, wide, credible and current. He stated that the author was able to integrate a variety of principles and experience to produce a comprehensive and Agile-informed discussion of organizational design. He described each chapter as well-crafted and meticulously researched. The book provided a masterful treatment of relevant topics troubling the IT industry.
Sean G. (Amazon) described the book as a solid summary of many articles that can be found on the Internet. The reader believed it is the first of its kind to compile and summarize successfully the topics into a book. He agrees to most of its discussions and recommends it to anyone working in the IT industry. He also clarified that it is not an Agile transformation cook book.
Content, Approach, Style
Content: Agile IT Organization Design is divided into 16 chapters. The first four chapters introduce important prerequisite concepts such as business, IT, Agile, software development, and organizational structures. The next three chapters are about teams, accountability and IT alignment with business. The following three chapters are inter-related topics on projects, finance and staffing. The rest are individual topics that will help readers see where they stand and how to improve it. These are topics on tools, metrics, norms, communications, and office layout.
Approach/Tone: The author provides historical and present-day comparisons of how organizations and processes have made progress over the years but also unable to cope up with rapid changes. He presents clear practical guidelines, discussions and recommendations. The book is not an introductory book and expects readers to be at least familiar with some concepts in software delivery, Agile and DevOps.
Style: The concepts and principles are well-organized, with important topics presented at the start, and further explanations and details at later chapters. The paragraphs are of readable length, with useful lists, illustrations and scenario narratives all helping to convey ideas better.
Why Buy the Book
Agile IT Organization Design is a comprehensive and practical guide for scaling Agile principles into organization-wide applications. It presents important and helpful concepts applied into larger settings. The book points out important aspects for a successful implementation and improved responsiveness, with a focus on people, interactions, structures, models and other aspects including cultural and political. It presents the case of how agility can go beyond development teams and IT, but up to engineering, process, and organizational agility. It also shows how organizational design plays an important part to achieve this overall responsiveness. The author touches other related topics, pros and cons, and relevant examples to help companies have a better evaluation of their state.
Sriram Narayan is a Digital and IT Management Consultant at ThoughtWorks, an IT consultancy company that helps clients in software design and creation and delivery quality improvement. Sriram received his Bachelor’s degree in electronics engineering at VJTI, an engineering college in India. He has worked in various positions such as software engineer, architect, director of innovation, Agile coach and trainer. He has also worked in companies such as IBM, Cognizant, Accenture and ThoughtWorks. Sriram occasionally blogs and speaks at conferences on topics with a focus on changing the operating model of client organizations towards greater agility.