Welcome!

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Machine Learning , Agile Computing

Book Review

Book Review: Introduction to Agile Methods

Start Here!!!

At the beginning of the book the authors say they created this book to be used in a classroom setting. I agree that it is a great book for the classroom, but I would also recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about the current Agile methodologies. It does what the title of the book says it does, and it introduces the reader to Agile methods.

It starts with a nice introduction to the Agile movement's history and then covers all the traditional topics that fall within the Agile purview. I have listed the chapters below to give you a high level view of the topics covered.

Chapter 1. The History and Value of Agile Software Development
Chapter 2. Organizational Culture Considerations with Agile
Chapter 3. Understanding the Different Types of Agile
Chapter 4. Describing the Different Roles
Chapter 5. The New Way to Collect and Document Requirements
Chapter 6. Grooming and Planning
Chapter 7. Testing, Quality, and Integration
Chapter 8. Tracking and Reporting
Chapter 9. Agile beyond IT
Appendix. John Deere Case Study

I was initially worried about this book because the very first sentence has a typo, but that wasn't a problem throughout the rest of the book. Just really bad luck.

This book is a snapshot of Agile processes and practices as they are taught in the software development world at this time. The Agile processes and practices in this book address small team development. They don't go into large distributed or enterprise level projects that would use Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) or Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe).

They do hit a very broad range of subjects and cover them in enough detail that you walk away with a level of understanding that would allow you to work with an Agile team.

They introduce Extreme Programming ( XP), Scrum, Feature-Driven Development, Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Lean Software Development, Kanban Method, and Crystal Family in one chapter. In the chapters that follow, they use different parts of the methodologies to explain how to accomplish tasks in an agile way, that are part of a normal software development lifecycle. Some examples are defining roles, eliciting requirements, planning, tracking assets, reporting, and developing.

Throughout the book the authors have interviews with leading Agilists. This is a nice touch because this introduces real world experiences.

The author's use a fictitious company named Cayman Design to show how some of the topics they cover would be executed. Cayman Design is moving in the Agile direction.

For those starting to learn Agile processes and practices this book is the perfect place to start. It is necessary to learn how things should work, before learning how they really work. Meaning being agile is not easy, and there are a lot of books out now based on that fact. They include experienced based on the projects that fail, the few that succeed, and the many that are sold as successes. I would start here though if you are just starting with Agile. Let's make it three times in one paragraph, start here!!

In real world development projects processes should be tailored for a given project. Allowing you to account for your team's skills and availability, your business's needs, the tools you have available, the environment you are working in, the difficulty of the solution, the working environment - team member locations, greenfield vs. brownfield development, and many more things that are usually not taken into consideration when a project is started.

People leave, laws change, hurricanes happen, people get sick, and so on. The point is your process must be as agile and resilient as the software you create. That means the process must be changeable, extensible, as simple as it can be while still getting the job done, understandable, and the people involved must have the skill level to execute the required tasks.

Always being low ceremony does not work. Low ceremony projects are smaller lightweight projects. They produce less documentation and artifacts in general. Low ceremony does not have anything to do with being agile, although many times experienced teams will run projects at the lower ceremony than a less experienced team would be able to. Agile is an enabled state that is only accomplished through experience. It can be learned, but absolutely not by doing less.

This book helps the reader understand all the tasks in typical projects so that when you come across a tailored process you will have an understanding of the roles and activities being performed.

Bill Gates said, "The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency."

The same can be said about Agile and Lean practices:

The first rule of any software process used in development is that Agile and Lean practices applied to an efficient development team will magnify the efficiency. The second is that Agile and Lean practices applied to an inefficient development team will magnify the inefficiency.

There are two primary things you need to be part of an environment that uses Agile processes. The first is enough experience to execute your role's activities in a way that enables agility, and the second is an understanding of the Agile processes. This book can give you the later of the two. I highly recommend this book to teachers and to those who want to start learning about the Agile methods.


Introduction to Agile Methods

Introduction to Agile Methods

More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

Latest Stories
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, discussed key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the age ...
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. Commvault can ensure protection, access and E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Part...
"Venafi has a platform that allows you to manage, centralize and automate the complete life cycle of keys and certificates within the organization," explained Gina Osmond, Sr. Field Marketing Manager at Venafi, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
"I will be talking about ChatOps and ChatOps as a way to solve some problems in the DevOps space," explained Himanshu Chhetri, CTO of Addteq, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, is an accomplished digital business executive with extensive global expertise as a strategist, technologist, innovator, marketer, and communicator. For over 30 years across five continents, he has built success with Fortune 500 corporations, vendors, governments, and as a leading research analyst and consultant.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Robert Cohen, an economist and senior fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, presented the findings of a series of six detailed case studies of how large corporations are implementing IoT. The session explored how IoT has improved their economic performance, had major impacts on business models and resulted in impressive ROIs. The companies covered span manufacturing and services firms. He also explored servicification, how manufacturing firms shift from se...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settl...