Now that Agile has established itself as the dominant new trend in software development, the number of books that deal with this topic is increasing every day. Besides the fact that Mike Cohn is a recognized expert in the area of agile project management, why should you buy “Succeeding with Agile” rather any other book published on the same topic? After reading it, I will say that not only you should buy it, but rather you HAD to buy it.
The first strength of this book is that you can feel that its content is based on experience. The way he handles the different areas of agile is pragmatic, discussing the activity and issues that every project will meet in an open and non-dogmatic way. But the main strength of the book is that it deals frankly with all objections that you could have or hear when you discuss Agile practices. For each objection, Mike Cohn gives hints on how to consider them (and yes, some of them could be valid sometimes) and what to do. My favorite part is the one about individuals, especially the chapters that discuss resistance to change and the new roles of traditional projects members like architects or project managers in Agile projects.
The book is constructed in a way that makes it easier to read, but also take into account the complexity of the software process with many “see also” side notes and “additional reading” parts that will help the reader go further and connect the current topic with related areas. Thus you can either read it sequentially or go directly to the topic that you want.
This book realistically recognizes that the journey towards being Agile is a long one that requires adaptation efforts, both for your organization and people to Agile and Agile to your organization and people. With this in mind, Mike Cohn provides you with all the tools and information to make this journey as pleasant and successful as possible.
Reference: “Succeeding with Agile”, Mike Cohn, Addison-Wesley, 463 pages, IBSN 978-0-321-57936-2
“Like sirens singing to us from the rocks, best practices tempt us to relax and stop the effort of continuous improvement that is essential to Scrum”
“Wouldn’t it be nice if we were always so pleased with the quality of our work that we proudly displayed it on the fridge along with our kids’ artwork? Although you probably won’t go as far as taping your code, tests, or database schema on your fridge, producing fridge-worthy work is a goal shared by many Scrum teams.”
“Emerging requirements exist on every nontrivial project, and they can cause problems. For example, emergent requirements make it impossible to perfectly predict schedules. Similarly, an up-front design phase will always be imperfect because it will be impossible for the designers to consider the emergent requirements until they do, in fact, emerge.”