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Agile Practices for Waterfall Projects – Shifting Processes for Competitive Advantage

BOOK REVIEW

agile-practices-for-waterfall-projectsBook Title:  Agile Practices for Waterfall Projects – Shifting Processes for Competitive Advantage

Author:  Barbee Davis, PMP, PMI-ACP, PHR

Publisher:  J. Ross Publishing

List Price:   $54.95

Format:  hard cover; 346 pages

Publication Date:   2013

ISBN: 978-1-60427-083-9

Reviewer:      Jason A. Clark, PMP

Review Date:              January 2013
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Introduction to the Book

As Agile project methodology gathers more steam in the field of project management, finding a good place to establish a beachhead with Agile methodology in the traditional Waterfall world I live in has been a challenge.  Trying to transition projects from a traditional Waterfall to more Agile environment all at once is not likely possible for most PMs.  Especially if you work in large corporate environment where Waterfall has become the prescribed standard.  This book provides a roadmap with practical tools that you can apply quickly to take a more hybrid approach toward implementing Agile.  This book explains why Agile is becoming more prevalent, what Agile is (big Agile vs. little agile), and how and when to blend Agile tools into your projects.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The structure and layout of the book is very easy to follow, and the content is broken down into very distinct and helpful chapters that can be easily followed as roadmap.  I found the book to be broken down into five different ‘sections’.

  • The first section (Chapters 1-6), provides an overview and history of Agile.  The author covers topics on why Agile is important now, what Agile is, provides bios on the early pioneers that contributed to project management (many of these individuals like Gantt, Druker, Maslow, McGregor, and Toyoda are names you’ll recognize), and provides a solid foundation on the differences between Waterfall and Agile methods.
  • The second section (Chapters 7-12), provides users tools on how to get an agile team started, estimating, practices, scaling Agile to an enterprise level, working with distributed teams, and documentation.
  • The third section (Chapters 13-16), provides skills and competencies you as a project manager will need to change within your individual skillset, your business unit, and your organization.  You also get a history of business shifts that have positively driven Agile.
  • The forth section (Chapters 17 and 18), breaks down the difference between big ‘Agile’ and little ‘agile’, and describes in detail other agile approaches available such as Scrum, XP, DSDM, Lean, Kanban, Crystal, and others.
  • And last but not least, Chapters 19-21focus on jumpstarting change, highlighting challenges and Agile methods that various organizations have used, and parting advice.

Highlights: What’s New in this Book

For me, there are some notable topics the author does a great job in presenting that I hadn’t seen in other Agile books that I’d read.

Chapter 6 answered a number of questions I had rattling around in my head as I started reading the book.  Having been a project manager for a number of years, I kept asking myself, “What projects do I have in my portfolio that could better utilize Agile methodology, and how do I know if they fit?” 

More…

To read entire Book Review (click here)

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About the Reviewer

flag-usaJason A. Clark, PMP

Jason Clark, is a certified PMP and Lean Six Sigma practitioner for a Fortune 150 company in Texas.  He has more than 12 years’ experience as a Sr. Project Manager implementing large-scale projects in the areas of Procurement, Supply Chain, EDI, master data governance, and 5-years’ experience leading Oracle EBS, Oracle AP, Purchasing, and iProcurement projects.  Jason is also active in his local Dallas PMI chapter, volunteering on the Education Committee for the PMP Exam Review committee, serving as a mentor to project managers seeking to improve their PM skills, obtain their credentials, and be a more effective project leader.  He can be contacted at [email protected].

Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of cooperation between the publisher, PM World Inc and the Dallas Chapter of the Project Management Institute (www.pmidallas.org). Publishers provide books to PM World, books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter where they are given to chapter members who commit to providing a book review in a standard format; the reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  Since PMI Dallas Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, they represent the intended audience for most PM books.  If you are an author or publisher of a book related to program or project management, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].