Project Management the Agile Way – A Book Review
Project Management the Agile Way: Making it Work in the Enterprise gives experienced project professionals and business leaders a clear explanation of different agile methods and how to apply it in projects in the enterprise. It guides readers trained in the traditional, classical PM discipline how to select the right agile practices and integrate them for a particular requirement or situation. The book shows the evolution of agile methods, explains how to scale it for enterprise projects, and helps the reader recognize when agile is not the best alternative.
This first hardcover edition was published on January 19, 2010 by J. Ross Publishing. It is about an inch thick with 320 pages. The front cover shows the title and subtitle in large fonts on the upper part on dark background. A photo of four people rowing is displayed below the title. Near the bottom of the cover is the author’s name. ISBN-10: 1604270276; ISBN-13: 978-1604270273
Project Management the Agile Way is for project managers, system engineers, architects, business analysts and leaders who are knowledgeable and experienced with traditional PM. It is for professionals interested to know about agile methodology and how it can work at the enterprise setting. It is for project leaders who recognize that unique project requirements will need a more adaptive management style that will provide value, and not just about strictly following a specific PM style.
What Customers Say
Paul Shaltry described the book as a readable treat especially for those interested in how traditional and agile project management measure with each other. He mentioned in particular the outstanding discussion of the chapters on governance and quality.
Alexander Walton thought that Project Management the Agile Way is a well written and comprehensive book that introduced to him new concepts and techniques that he has not read elsewhere. As a systems engineer and project manager who has read many books about the subject, he enjoyed reading this one.
Dale Miller, PMP, praised the author for a well-researched book that also showed his broad experience and sound understanding of PM concepts, whether agile or traditional SDLC. He recommends it as a reference guide for anyone who is in need of a practical adaptation of PM principles.
Content, Approach, Style
Project Management the Agile Way contains 12 chapters and an appendix detailing four agile methodologies, namely Scrum, Extreme Programming, Crystal, and EVO. Chapter 1 briefly discusses the history of agile principles and four agile methodologies. Chapter 2 is about how agile methods consider both business cycle goals and the urgency of customer need. Chapter 3 addresses quality while Chapter 4 talks about testing. Chapter 5 is about scope, requirements, and the work breakdown structure in agile projects. Chapter 6 provides guidance in planning cost and schedule, and so on.
As the author describes it, the book is written by a professional for professionals. Most of the terms are defined for clarity, but it will not be a quick read for those totally unfamiliar with PM, engineering, or business terms. However, the texts are adequately grouped in readable blocks with descriptive headings and subheadings. It also has adequate tables and lists, such that many readers found the book easier to read than a regular textbook.
Why Buy the Book
Due to the popularity of the agile methodology, project professionals should have one or two references that can help them understand it better and gain insight as they manage projects, and this is one of the best books. Leaders seeking awareness and alternative methods to improve the value of PM will find here what they are looking for. Project Management the Agile Way is for people who are having problems applying traditional PM methods, and going the alternative agile way may be the answer.
Books that Complement
Essential Scrum by Ken Rubin is a comprehensive book about one of the most popular agile processes. It is a practical guide in implementing the Scrum framework successfully.
Jim Highsmith’s Agile Project Management (2nd Edition) is a similar book from one of the pioneers of agile methodology, practicing it even before it was called “agile.”
John C. Goodpasture, PMP, is a graduate of Georgia Tech and the University of Maryland with an MS in Electrical Engineering. He was a program manager for the Defense Department for many high technology projects. He has an extensive experience as project consultant, program manager, portfolio manager, and business leader. He is the founder and current Managing Principal of Square Peg Consulting. He has authored several books on PM and is now focused on providing education through distance learning for project professionals.