Agile Project Management – A Book Review
Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products (2nd Edition) is the updated guide of the classic 2004 book to agile project management (APM). Due to several factors that include the growth and acceptance of the agile movement in many industries in the past years, the author deemed it necessary to rewrite or revise some chapters and add new material for relevance. Many projects for new product development or service offering are now following agile methodologies and the only way to manage these projects is through APM.
This paperback was published in July 2009 by Addison-Wesley Professional Publishing. It is 0.9 inches thick and has 432 pages, compared to the 312 pages of the first edition. The front cover displays the title in large white-colored fonts in the upper part on a purple background, while the lower part displays the subtitle and illustrations of five technology products on white background.
Agile Project Management is for project managers and leaders of all kinds of teams who have the responsibility of turning visions and requirements into actual products or services that deliver value to the customer. It is for project leaders who are responsible to come up with innovative products or services that cannot be defined completely at the start but is responsible to guide the team to complete it through new, different and creative ways. It is for leaders who have to function within an agile framework and match it with practices that are appropriate for it.
What Customers Say
Masa Maeda states that the book was able to fill in the gaps left by other APM books by presenting other ways to see and approach the management of projects.
Mike T praised it for outlining how to get products to market faster with the help of creative processes.
Rich Garling who has read the text halfway through stated that he was already able to understand agile methodology and how to implement it because of clear explanations.
(Customer Reviews; 2013, October 24; Retrieved from Amazon.com)
Content, Approach, Style
Agile Project Management – Creating Innovative Products contains 14 chapters that can be further grouped together. Chapter 1 described the agile revolution and the changes that it brings. Chapters 2 to 4 describe the core values and principles that put APM to action. Chapters 5 to 10 cover the framework, practices, and the five phases of APM framework. Chapter 11 examines how to scale APM for larger projects and teams. Chapter 12 addresses project governance issues and Chapter 13 raises the issue for a need to measure agile performance against new constraints. Finally, Chapter 14 summarizes the role of the agile project leader, among others.
It is presented like a textbook that should be read sequentially, as ideas build on previous discussions. It presents the conventions used throughout at the beginning. It is very informative as both concepts and real-case examples are presented logically and adequately. Lists are shown in bullet form. However, the book would have been easier to read with additional headings and subheadings. Comparisons are made between traditional and agile PM, but some readers find some of these comparisons as distracting or biased.
Why Buy the Book
Agile Project Management is a comprehensive book written by one of the pioneers of the subject. This second edition will prove useful even to those outside the software development industry as it enables the readers to observe and analyze their circumstances and then determine the suitable approach. It discusses at length how APM principles and practices empower project managers to adapt to and manage effectively a new kind of innovative product development.
Books that Complement
Mark Layton’s Agile Project Management for Dummies gives more than a good introduction about the subject.
Project Management Lite by Juana Craig presents another option in learning how to plan a project, working the plan, and closing it by getting straight to the essentials only.
Jim Highsmith is a software engineer, author of software development methodology books, and one of the pioneering personalities of agile methodology before it was called “agile.” He is a veteran software developer, IT manager, project manager, product manager and presently an executive consultant with ThoughtWorks, Inc. He wrote Adaptive Software Development in 1999 that won the Jolt Award, which is annually given in the software industry to showcase significant products. Jim is also one of the authors of the Agile Manifesto and a co-founder of the Agile Alliance and APLN. He is also the recipient of the Stevens Award in 2005, given to recognize outstanding contributions in literature or practice of methods for software and systems development.