This is the definitive guide for managers and students to agile and iterative development methods: what they are, how they work, how to implement them—and why you should. Using statistically significant research and large-scale case studies, noted methods expert Craig Larman presents the most convincing case ever made for iterative development.
Larman offers a concise, information-packed summary of the key ideas that drive all agile and iterative processes, with the details of four noteworthy iterative methods: Scrum, XP, RUP, and Evo. Coverage includes: Compelling evidence that iterative methods reduce project risk; Frequently asked questions; Agile and iterative values and practices; Dozens of useful iterative and agile practice tips; New management skills for agile/iterative project leaders; Key practices of Scrum, XP, RUP, and Evo.
Whether you're an IT executive, project manager, student of software engineering, or developer, Craig Larman will help you understand the promise of agile/iterative development, sell it throughout your organizationaeand transform the promise into reality.
Review By: Harry L. Kirkpatrick 06/17/2010This book is easy to read and understand. I would recommend it to people eager to learn Agile and iterative methods including the four noteworthy methods: Scrum, Extreme Programming (XP), the Unified Process (UP), and Evo. The book includes a FAQ chapter, a tips chapter of common practices, and plenty of paper hyperlinks, all of which should help to shorten the reader’s learning curve. If you need to make a case for an iterative project, this book provides the key reasons, research, examples of large projects, standards, a business case, and promotion by well-known leaders. The book has several Web resources that the reader can use to obtain additional information. The author begins each chapter with a quote, My favorite is the one in chapter 5: If you are going through hell, keep going.—Sir Winston Churchill.
I think novices, experts, and those in between can use the book. The figures, examples, and overall flow of the book are very impressive. The book cites the Agile Manifesto, which basically says that individuals and interactions, working software, customer collaboration, and responding to change is more important than processes and tools, comprehensive documentation, contract negotiation, and following a plan. The book also refers to the Agile Principles. Of the thirteen principles, there are two that I find very interesting:
#8) Agile processes promote sustainable development.
#9) The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
If your organization is applying a waterfall–oriented (or any other) process and has high success rates, productivity, and so forth, don't change. As stated in the book, the motivation to adopt an iterative lifecycle rather than the waterfall is that research now shows the former is associated with lower risk and better success, productivity, and defect rates.
The book is a must read whether you're an IT executive, project manager, or developer. The author will help you understand the promise of Agile / iterative development, sell it throughout your organization and transform the promise into reality.