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BOOK REVIEW

Title:  Agile Project Management for Business Transformation Success
Author:  Paul Paquette and Milan Frankl
Publisher:  Business Expert Press, LLC
List Price: $34.95
Format:  Soft cover
Publication Date:  2016
ISBN:  13:978-1-63157-323-1
Reviewer:  Charlotte A. McKenzie, CPLP®, PMI-ACP, PSM, ITILv3
Review Date:  April 2018

 

 



I
ntroduction

I have been an Agilest from as far back as I can remember; however, I did not realize I was one until May 2013 when I heard my first presentation on the Agile mindset. Adapting to Agile was natural because I inherently practiced the tenets of Agile/Scrum. I also recognized the high failure rate of the Waterfall methodology through reading the Standish Group’s Annual Chaos Report which I often referenced in the Project Management courses I taught at the university level and as a volunteer instructor for a local non-profit organization. I studied the traditional project management approach while attending a course at Villanova University.  I believed there was a better way.

I became certified as a Scrum Master in July 2013 through Scrum.org when I earned my PSM, Professional Scrum Master, certification. In 2018 I earned the PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Professional) credential.  I plan to earn the PMI-PBA, Professional in Business Analysis, certification in 2018. I mention these credentials because these statements support the fact that this book was like “preaching to the choir”. I wholeheartedly endorse the author’s positions.

Most importantly, reading this book was an enjoyable learning experience. As an educator, continuous learning is an integral part of my value system. I gained additional perspectives on the business value of the umbrella of Agile solutions. Agile can be applied to a wide range of projects, not just software development and not just the PMO organization.

Overview of the Book’s Structure

This eleven-chapter book is well organized. Looking at the book through my instructional designer lens, the general to specific organizational style leverages reader retention and is the preferred style for adult readers. The book assumes the reader has limited knowledge of Agile. In chapters one through three the authors provide a solid Agile foundation by presenting a detailed description of Agile concepts with comparisons to traditional Waterfall Project Management. In these initial chapters, the authors include detailed descriptions of corporate transformation projects. Armed with the information from the first through three chapters, the reader is better equipped to explore the practical aspects of corporate transformation projects covered in chapters four through ten.

Chapter four focuses on one of the vital success factors for any project: Communications within teams, as well as communications outside of the team. The chapter details are astounding. Chapter five embraces the importance of teamwork. Next, chapter six discusses the Agile approach in terms of the enterprise.  How does Agile impact enterprise-wide governance? In chapter seven Agile processes are highlighted and contrasted with traditional Waterfall methods, however, some Kanban processes were not covered. Chapter eight deals with the limitations of the traditional approach of gathering project requirements upfront as well as the inadequate traditional feedback loops. As the authors state, over reliance on predictive planning is the Achilles heel of the Waterfall approach. Chapter nine discusses the major elements in organizational alignment where Agile has a direct impact.

The author makes two direct position statements upfront: 1.  Agile addresses the limitations of the traditional project management methods, and 2. Agile has significant advantages in the most important organizational alignment factor, customer satisfaction. Chapter ten outlines Agile resource optimization which is an important enterprise-wide consideration. The last chapter summarizes the key points from the previous ten chapters.

More…

To read entire Book Review, click here

 



About the Reviewer


Charlotte McKenzie

Washington, DC, USA

 

 

Charlotte A. McKenzie, CPLP®, PMI-ACP, PSM, ITILv3 is a Technical Trainer, Instructional Designer, Agile Project Manager and Online Professor. She lives and works in the Washington D.C. Metro Area in the United States. Charlotte can be contacted at [email protected]

 

Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Silver Spring Maryland Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Silver Spring Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  PMI Silver Spring Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published.  Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books. 

If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].