Rally-Point Backlog: Protect The Team, Protect The Vision, Ship, is a book about a new method in helping Agile teams start their project. The author developed this new way during the course of his decade-plus experience as a software developer and Agile enthusiast/evangelist. The book discusses three methods as a new approach in improving the predictability of a project using Scrum. The approach also takes into consideration team engagement and the importance to maintain a collaborative vision.
The paperback edition measures 5 in. wide, 0.3 in. thick, and 8.in. long. It has 130 pages and 8 chapters. It is also available in Kindle format, aside from paperback. The book was independently published by Bookature in September 2017 in the English language. It is the first book in the Rally-Point Backlog series, with other books coming in the future. ISBN-10: 1549815911; ISBN-13: 978-1549815911
Rally-Point Backlog is for Agile and Scrum team practitioners. The methods described in the book are based on the Scrum framework. Readers familiar with the basics of Scrum as defined in the Scrum Guide are the targeted readers of this book. Also, development teams who have experienced the full life cycle of 2 or more development projects using Scrum will gain the most benefit from the discussions.
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Jean-Rene R, who wrote the foreword of the book, described the author as someone who has the will to deliver effectively, the will to build high value products, and the will to create a healthy engaging work environment, all in balance.
Content, Approach, Style
Content: Rally-Point Backlog has 138 pages divided into a foreword, a preface, four chapters about the new method, a conclusion, and an annex that details the CrumbScale estimation method. Chapter 3 provides introduction of the 3 methods as well as some discussion of Scrum roles. The next 3 chapters discuss each method in succession: the Handle It or Hand It Over method, followed by CrumbScale Backlog, and finally, the Easy-Normal-Hard.
Approach/Tone: The author conveys his ideas in an instructional tone. His experience as a veteran software developer and Scrum professional is evident in how he provides guidance to the reader in how to best use the methods.
Style: The book is well organized and should be read from beginning to end. However, the chapters that detail each of the 3 methods can always be referred back by teams who, like the author, may hit a bump during the project preparation period, which is the scope of this book. The paragraphs can sometimes be long to read, but the ideas flow smoothly. Scrum, Agile and programming terms and acronyms are present, but they are usually defined and introduced. Illustrations are also available.
Why Buy the Book
Rally-Point Backlog is a guide for Scrum teams who are passionate to deliver exceptional products but also in need of an approach to improve team performance. The book is valuable in helping teams manage transitions between project periods, maintain a collaborative approach to adapt the vision to reality, and use a trusted rapid assessment method that help make crucial decisions quickly. It also has tips, tricks, anecdotes and analogies that will enrich the readers’ toolbox as they go through their Agile projects as a team.
Phillipe Cantin is a Senior Agile Coach at Facilite Informatique, an IT staff augmentation, and IT solutions and consultancy provider based in Montreal, Canada. He is a veteran software developer of more than 12 years. He then transitioned to leadership positions and also became an evangelist of Agile/Scrum methods. Phillipe has assumed all the Scrum roles, with being Owner as his preference. He is also a blogger and has written articles on the subject of Agile methods, programming and leadership. He invented the CrumbScale estimation method, and is currently working on another book about Sprint Dynamics.