Sunday, January 07, 2007

Integrating Agile Development in the Real World by Peter Schuh

Integrating Agile Development in the Real World (Programming Series) (Programming Series) (Paperback)
by Peter Schuh

If you want to learn about how to take your theoretical understanding of agile development and implement it in the real word, this is a good book for you. Very well written. Very well organized to give concrete ideas in a logical manner for successful implementation.

This book does not spend too much time on teaching basic tenets of different agile methodologies other than providing a brief overview of different agile methodologies at the beginning. That's good enough considering the objective of the book which is to give real-life "how to" implement agile development practices  in the real world.

The author does a good job of grouping agile practices as they apply to different sub-disciplines such as development, testing, documentation, project management, people management, communication management etc. This provides a nice way to pick and choose practices to attack some low hanging fruits first and then go for difficult ones later after getting a few successes under your belt.

People management which is treated with very little detail in many books finds a good measure of treatment in this book. That is certainly refreshing. One thing I would not forget from this book is something goes like this - "Skills can be learnt by anyone with varying degrees of speed and effectiveness. Nevertheless, they can be learnt by anyone given sufficient time and training. Experience naturally comes with time. But, character is one thing that is ingrained in a person. So, while hiring people do not focus only on skills and experience but pay close attention to the character." Of course, teaching how to hire right people is not one of the objectives of the book. But, the fact that the author recognizes the very important but hard to quantify character as one of the most important attributes while selecting team shows his maturity and hard earned battle proven expertise in the real world.

Best practices get very limited treatment  in the areas of requirements engineering, documentation, integrating other important cross functional disciplines such as user training, outbound product management, tech support. However, while delivering a large software product, these functions play very important role and practicing agile may have serious impact on their work as well. Offshore development and large distributed development also gets very minimal treatment.

All in all a great book on the basics of how to do agile in real world.

Cheers!

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1 comment:

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