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Agile and Iterative Development: A Manager's Guide [Kindle Edition]

Craig Larman
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Agile and iterative methods have emerged as the most popular approaches to software development, and with good reason. Research (examined and cited in detail within this book) shows that iterative methods reduce the risk of failure, compared to traditional models of development. This book is an efficient introduction for both managers and practitioners that need a distilled and carefully organized learning aid for the hands-on practices from planning to requirements to testing and the values that define these methods. The author also provides evidence of the value of switching to agile and iterative methods. By studying this book, the reader will learn to apply the key ideas in agile and iterative development, the details and comparison of four influential iterative methods (Scrum, Extreme Programming, Evo, and the Unified Process), answers to frequently asked questions, and important related management skills. The book's goal is quality information that can be quickly understood and applied.


Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Agile/iterative methods: From business case to successful implementation

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.

About the Author

CRAIG LARMAN is known throughout the international software community as an expert and passionate advocate for object-oriented technologies and development, and iterative and agile development methods. He serves as Chief Scientist at Valtech, a global consulting and skills transfer company, where he has led the adoption of iterative and agile methods. Larman also authored Applying UML and Patterns, the world's best-selling text on object-oriented analysis and design, and iterative development.


Product Details

  • File Size: 3476 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (August 11, 2003)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000OZ0NM6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,896 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhaustive look at proven methods July 7, 2004
Format:Paperback
If ever there is a book that should be part of a college-level software engineering curriculum as well as carefully read by software engineering development and project managers this is it. Every major iterative development methodology is covered in complete detail, with an emphasis on Agile methods, and a solid business and technical case is provided for the general approach.
Why make a case for? As difficult as it may be to believe, the waterfall method is still prevalent despite the large body of literature on rapid, iterative development SDLCs. Indeed, I have worked in environments that claimed to embrace the RUP as the enterprise methodology in principle, yet in practice projects were planned and managed using the waterfall SDLC. Why the disconnect? Managers were set in their ways and had no true understanding of the mechanics or value of Agile and iterative development methods.
This book can change that because each major approach is carefully described using the following format for easy comparison and to clearly show strengths and weaknesses:
Method Overview
Lifecycle
Workproducts, Roles, and Practices
Values
Common Mistakes and Misunderstandings
Sample Projects
Process Mixtures
Adoption Strategies
Fact versus Fantasy
Strengths versus "Other"
More importantly, these approaches are placed in the context of the benefits of incremental delivery, with clearly presented evidence of the benefits, which is provided in Chapter 6.
Regardless of biases or preferences, any objective reader will come away with a clear sense of the meaning of 'Agile' and the power and value of iterative development. You will also come away with a good frame of reference with which to compare your own organization's approach to development and delivery, and how to improve it.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally. Evidence. October 29, 2003
Format:Paperback
I was expecting a lot from this book, having read and enjoyed Larman's prior work. On the other hand, I expected it to be somewhat simplistic as the title implied the target group being managers, which I am not. One of these expectations was correct.
Larman's latest presents a wonderful introduction into what iterative and evolutionary development is about. The word "agile" in the title seems a bit displaced as the text mostly discusses about "iterative" and "evolutionary" rather than "agile", but that really is no big deal because what's inside the covers is pure gold for any one.
After a thorough introduction to the theory, Larman drops a bomb on the table; the chapter titled "Evidence" is worth the salt alone. Larman has collected an impressive list of references to early, large projects employing iterative and evolutionary development. He also reminds us how the creators of predictive planning based methods have themselves preferred an iterative approach from day one.
The book also packs nice descriptions of four iterative and evolutionary processes, namely XP, Scrum, UP, and Evo. The descriptions are clear but, to some degree, repetitive.
Although the chapter on evidence is definitely the gold chip, the last 70 pages proved to be a very pleasant surprise. Larman presents a list of practical tips and tricks for adopting and running iterative processes, as well as answers the toughest questions in a Q/A section.
Highly recommended. Have your boss read it as well.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adios Waterfall November 25, 2003
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Yes, indeed, Finally. Abundant proof in one book that the traditional waterfall approach is a terrible way to manage software projects, and is therefore slowly being displaced by agile and iterative approaches. Larman does a devastatingly thorough job of debunking waterfall once and for all.
The book cogently and painstakingly explains how several of waterfall's practices have been conclusively linked to project failures, and how, on the other hand, the practices of Agile and iterative methods like Scrum and XP reduce project risk. Larman summarizes research findings encompassing thousands of projects, and quotes the supporting opinions of standards bodies and industry thought-leaders. The net effect is compelling, to say the least.
If you are an Agile skeptic, this book may rattle your conviction. If you are fence-sitter, it may convince you. And if you already have Agile fire in the belly, then certainly this book will stoke that fire. After reading it, I am left wondering how intelligent, experienced software development management can justify the continued use of a process that has wasted so much money and caused so much pain.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, well-written and valuable November 17, 2003
Format:Paperback
Craig's book begins with an excellent presentation of the fundamental concepts behind agile development and follows with a strong "Evidence" chapter.
Next is the clear, easy-to-read comparison between the leading agile methodologies (XP, Scrum and UP) and Evo that illustrates their commonalities and differences.
The 'icing on the cake' is the "Practice Tips" chapter that contains many practical insights that I learned the hard way. I think it will be especially useful for project managers new to agile.
As a manager with over 3 years experience managing XP projects, my opinion is that this book is a must-have for any manager interested in agile and iterative development.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The book is great for students of engineering systems
Published 2 months ago by CLEMENTE GARCI
2.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Version is too Expensive
This is a good book, it is a little old and the price has dropped.

But, $28 for Kindle is too much (especially when simply replacing the paper version for convenience )
Published on July 19, 2011 by Timothy McLachlan
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for Agile Managers and PM's
Whether you're a novice wanting to get started with the Agile framework or an experienced practitioner, this book will keep you grounded in the key concepts that result in... Read more
Published on May 20, 2011 by Randy Brown
3.0 out of 5 stars Book review
I liked this book. As a development manager I used it to look at various agile techniques and also ensured that my software dev and QA team read it. Read more
Published on March 24, 2011 by Yoram
4.0 out of 5 stars A good reference for those transitioning from traditional software...
Having employed traditional software development methodology in managing projects previously, this book has helped me by introducing agile concepts & methodology, allowing me to... Read more
Published on July 9, 2009 by Lisa Oh
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent survey of agile methods and practices
This book is organized for easy self-directed exploration, with extensive margin references to sections that expand on topics mentioned. Read more
Published on May 22, 2009 by Dale Schumacher
4.0 out of 5 stars Great first book to read for managers...but you need another after...
In my experience there is always something about a particular agile method that you don't like. This book provides a brilliant examination and comparison of the methods that let... Read more
Published on November 19, 2008 by Simon Reavely
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent survey of iterative and incremental development (IID)...
This work by Larman shares some commonalities with Balancing Agility and Discipline, a work by Boehm and Turner (see my review for that book) in which a wide range of methodologies... Read more
Published on May 28, 2008 by Erik Gfesser
5.0 out of 5 stars Great comprehensive guide
Unlike many of the books out there, this book covers iterative development techniques in general. The book is well organized and structured and gives a good framework for thinking... Read more
Published on May 22, 2008 by Conor Morrison
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative but boring
This book tries to provide an overview of several different "non-Waterfall" techniques for managing and organizing projects. Read more
Published on December 23, 2007 by KWF
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