The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility

PM World Book Review

pmwj18-jan2014-ure-IMAGE1 - BOOKBook Title:     The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility
Author:  Michele Sliger and Stacia Broderick
Publisher:  Addison-Wesley © 2008 Pearson Education, Inc. (Agile Software Development Series, Alistair Cockburn and Jim Highsmith, Series Editors)
List Price:       US$49.99      Format:  soft cover, 353 pages
Publication Date:   May 2008         ISBN: 978-0-321-50275-9Re
viewer:      James Ure, PhD, PMP
Review Date:              October 2013

If you are a project manager versed in traditional project management practices and are looking to make the transition into the agile world, then this is a must have title. Get it now and keep it close by your desk! This book is a wonderful resource that covers a wide range of topics filled with practical nuts and bolts examples, and helpful guidance. It is also included in the Reference Materials list for the PMI-ACP Exam.

The authors are both committed agilists who are also both PMP certified. They started their careers as project managers leading traditional plan-driven software projects, and now have deep experience and an understanding of how project management functions within both realms. Most importantly, they thoroughly understand how the role of a project manager is different in an agile context. Broderick gives us good insight into her own journey in the introduction; “For me to cross the agility bridge, I had to understand what it meant to put others before me…I had to learn how to facilitate and listen for problems underneath the surface…I had to learn that the people doing the work know the work the best and will figure out the best way to get from point A to Z. All they really needed me for was to clear the path.”

The book has three sections – Part 1: An Agile Overview; Part 2: The Bridge: Relating PMBOK ® Guide Practices to Agile Practices; and Part 3: Crossing the Bridge to Agile. Part 2 is the most substantial and is organized by topics everyone familiar with the PMP exam will recognize: Integration Management, Scope Management, Time Management, Cost Management, Quality Management, Human Resources Management, Communications Management, Risk Management, and Procurement Management. Each chapter discusses how these topics are handled with agile practices and includes reference charts showing summary comparisons of Traditional to Agile processes. These side-by-side comparisons are helpful and reveal the book at its best.

A good example is the Time Management chapter. Here the core concept of planning is covered. The authors start with a solid rationale for agile planning being designed for change, and its focus on delivering business value. They cover concepts on Release planning and Iteration planning, emphasizing that detailed task level plans are only generated within an iteration when the actual development work will be done.


To read entire Book Review (click here)

Editor’s note:  This book review was prepared for the PMI Portland, Oregon, US chapter.  It is reproduced here with approval of the book reviewer (author of book review). 

About the Reviewer

flag-usapmwj17-dec2013-ure-IMAGE2 REVIEWERJames Ure, PhD, PMP

Oregon, USA

James Ure is a project leader with his own consulting practice. His background includes 12 years of experience in IT leadership roles for government, not-for-profit, and various private sector organizations. His research and professional interests include agile maturity models and integrating agile practices into organizations. He holds a BA degree from Haverford College and has an MA and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. James may be contacted at: [email protected].