Succeeding with Agile, Book Review

This weekend I did read a book and I wanted to share my opinion about some issues in this blog. The book is called “Succeeding with agile” from Mike Cohn.

The book does not bring anything spectacular if you are familiar with Agile but it will give you some fresh ideas about several topics.

Below are the chapters that i found interesting.

Chapter IV describes useful tips how to spread good Agile practices inside the company; one way to achieve this is using improvement communities.

Chapter VI is in my opinion the most interesting chapter. The author dedicates a full chapter to the topic of “Overcoming Resistance”. He explains what kind of people most probably will be against the change, what kind of resistance they will show and simple tools to transform them into no resistors.

Chapter IX defines five topics to achieve technical excellence. Test driven development, Refactoring, Collective ownership, Continuous integration and Pair programming.

Chapter X talks about the team structure; this chapter is extremely interesting, it shows how teams should be assembled and present several studies showing how size of the team affects the productivity.

Chapter XIII gives an overview how to organize the product backlog and how to write good “user stories” with the respective acceptance criteria.

Chapter XVIII touches on a quite common topic nowadays: how to use apply Agile with distributed teams.

Chapter XIX presents situations where Agile needs to coexist with other approaches, for example CMMI or ISO9001. This chapter shows that several approaches can coexist.

Chapter XX describes very important topic; Agile methodologies cannot be implemented thinking only about development, the rest of the departments need to embrace the change, otherwise all the transformation will fail.

The book ends with a great chapter (Chapter XI) that presents some tools to evaluate the maturity of Agile in Team/Organization.

Hope this can be useful for you guys.

Succeeding with Agile, Book Review
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  1. Reply

    I have read this book also, and it seemed to be a good book, but aimed too high for my position at that time. If I would have been C-level, maybe I could have applied some of the advices. For basic agile practices, it is OK, as it reinforces them, and we all know that repetition is the mother of learning ..and learning is good :)

    • Reply

      Hi Lucian,

      Some parts yes I do agree you need to be a bit high in the chain to have some effect but for example:

      “Chapter IV describes useful tips how to spread good Agile practices inside the company; one way to achieve this is using improvement communities.”: You don’t need to be a big guy here ;) You just need to start with communities inside of the company :) Talking with people and organize some sessions where you can share information about good things that are done inside of the company ;)

      “Chapter XIII gives an overview how to organize the product backlog and how to write good “user stories” with the respective acceptance criteria.”: This one you just need to be a Product Owner… Its just up to you to organize your work like the book advise ;)

      “Chapter XVIII touches on a quite common topic nowadays: how to use apply Agile with distributed teams.”: Here the same :) You as project manager you can help the company achieving this :)

      “The book ends with a great chapter (Chapter XI) that presents some tools to evaluate the maturity of Agile in Team/Organization.”: Here you dont need to apply into the organization but you can start with your own teams ;) If you want I can share some ideas ;)

      Thanks,
      Luis

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