The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility – A Book Review
The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility is a book that helps project managers experienced in traditional methods and processes transition to agile ones. By introducing and emphasizing facilitation and collaboration rather than command and control, the authors guide project managers to a new paradigm correctly and successfully. The authors do this properly by showing the difference between traditionally plan-driven methods and vision-driven agile processes. As PMPs, they are also able to relate PMBOK-related techniques and terms to agile practices.
The first-edition paperback was published in May 2008 by Addison-Wesley Professional. It has 384 pages, about 0.8 inches thick and weighs about 1.4 pounds. The front cover shows the title in white font at the mid-upper portion of the book, with the authors’ names just right below in smaller black fonts. The blue background shows from a top view perspective a picture of a wooden bridge that spans across a waterfall. ISBN-10: 0321502752; ISBN-13: 978-0321502759
The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility is for project managers in software development environment who, by choice or chance, are transitioning from traditional to agile methods and processes. It is especially for PMPs who wonder if they have to completely learn, embrace, and invest again in new principles and practices and totally forget what they already have learned and gained or just choose to stay where they are.
What Customers Say
J. Deville, a PMP and a Certified ScrumMaster, was relieved that a book that bridged the divide has finally become available. The authors did a superb job of showing how agile practices fit into the PMBOK. One shortcoming that the reviewer has noticed is the authors’ view that agile should be used in all situations.
Bas Vodde of Singapore was skeptical at first about the authors’ approach in mapping the PMBOK practices to agile. However, as the reviewer continued to read, it made perfect sense to use the traditional PM language and PMBOK terms to introduce, show the difference, and cover all agile management practices.
Caroline Gordon (Goodreads) described it as a fantastic book that shows in detail how to apply PMBOK tools and techniques with an Agile mindset.
Content, Approach, Style
The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility has three parts. Part 1 gives an overview of what Agile is. It has three chapters that introduce terms and concepts, mapping the PMBOK Guide to Agile, and discussing the Agile project lifecycle in detail. Part 2 is about relating the PMBOK practices to Agile, and it has nine chapters relating the pre-5th edition knowledge areas to Agile practices. Part 3 is about the soft skills needed as an agent of change, and this is discussed in five chapters. Finally, Appendix A describes eight specific Agile methodologies, and Appendix B briefly describes agile artifacts or documents.
The approach of the authors gives traditional project professionals something solid to guide them by using language and terms that they are familiar with. The book is intended as a transition point, and not a detailed replacement of a specific Agile methodology book.
Why Buy the Book
Many misconceptions have been made that PMBOK Guide processes and agile methods are completely irreconcilable and totally have nothing to do with each other. The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility dispels many of these myths, shows how to transition successfully from one point to another, and transforms project managers to better agents of change with more tools in their toolbox.
Books that Complement
Eric Verzuh’s The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management is a comprehensive book that targets new and experienced project managers with coverage of both traditional and agile methods.
Agile Project Management for Dummies by Mark Layton, PMP, is another great introductory guide about Agile tools, techniques and approaches.
Michele Sliger graduated with a Bachelors degree in MIS at the University of South Florida and an MBA at Regis University. She has worked in software development for more than 25 years and is PMI-certified PMP and Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP). She is also a Certified Scrum Trainer and a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Program Consultant from the Scaled Agile Academy. She has been an Agile Coach at Rally Software Development, a Board Member of the Scrum Alliance and is the owner and President of Sliger Consulting. With her extensive experience in the traditional waterfall model, agile software development, Scrum and XP, she helps teams and businesses cross from the traditional to agility.
Stacia Viscardi (formerly Broderick), PMP, is a veteran project manager for almost 20 years, with more than half of it in software development. While a Project Manager at Primavera Systems in 2003, she was mentored by Ken Schwaber and became a Scrum Master. Since then, she has been an Agile consultant, coach, and mentor, and is a Certified Scrum Trainer with the Scrum Alliance since 2005. In 2006, she founded AgileEvolution, and as President, she leads the company in providing training, coaching and mentoring for teams, projects and organizations across 17 countries. She has also written The Professional ScrumMaster’s Handbook.