The Project Manager’s Guide to Mastering AGILE: Principles and Practices for an Adaptive Approach


pmwj35-Jun2015-Martin-BOOKBook Title: The Project Manager’s Guide to Mastering AGILE: Principles and Practices for an Adaptive Approach
Author: Charles G. Cobb
Publisher: Wiley
List Price:   $65.00
Format: soft cover; 403 pages
Publication Date:   2015
ISBN: 978-11-118-99104-6
Reviewer:     Rodger L. Martin, PMP, JD, MBA, BSEE
Review Date: May 2015

Introduction to the Book

The author presents a comprehensive, well-integrated and easy to follow book that can be used as a textbook in a graduate level Agile Project management course. The book is organized like a martial arts concept called “shu-ha-ri”. The “shu” phase is the “by the book” approach to understand the accepted rules of Agile. The “Ha” phase takes the concepts to a deeper understanding. The “Ri” phase gets the reader/student to the mastery stage enabling he/she to develop their own principles and practices for effective use of Agile project management.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book is divided into six parts.

  • Part 1 – Fundamentals of Agile
  • Part 2 – Agile Project Management
  • Part 3 – Making Agile Work for a Business
  • Part 4 – Enterprise Level Agile Frameworks
  • Part 5 – Case Studies
  • Part 6 – Appendices

Highlights: What’s New in this Book?

Using the “Shu-Ha-Ri” approach, the author takes the reader from fundamentals to the challenges of scaling Agile in a distributed enterprise. Not only does it explain Agile concepts, but it leads the reader to higher levels of understanding the principles.

Highlights: What I liked!

Six parts and 22 Chapters give the reader a comprehensive review of Agile as a project management approach. The case studies provide not only the successes but the failures. The book shows the shortfalls in the plan-driven approach under adaptive conditions. It also identifies where Agile is deficient and needs some “traditional” approaches. Not every project is suitable for Agile, but the reader needs to know when to blend techniques to deliver a successful project. There are several tools on the market to scale Agile. Only one tool was presented, but they all have similarities. Properly implemented, Agile methodologies and traditional plan driven approaches can result in a hybrid methodology that can satisfy executive management’s need for visibility into how the money is being spent and controlled.


To read entire Book Review (click here)


About the Reviewer


pmwj35-Jun2015-Martin-PHOTORodger Martin, JD, MBA, BSEE, PMP

Texas, USA


Rodger Martin
has a broad background in business, law, engineering and Project Management. He is a retired US Air Force officer with expertise in rockets and National Ranges. His work experiences include government, military, public corporations, small business consulting and high-tech non-profit organizations. For the last 12 years, he has worked on Document Management, Knowledge Management and Process Management/Modeling projects for commercial companies. He acquired his PMP certification in 2007. He is also a certified Mediator.


Editor’s note: This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas 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 Dallas 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].