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Agile Adoption Patterns: A Roadmap to Organizational Success 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321514523
ISBN-10: 0321514521
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Proven Patterns and Techniques for Succeeding with Agile in Your Organization Agile methods promise to help you create software that delivers far more business value-and do it faster, at lower cost, and with less pain. However, many organizations struggle with implementation and leveraging these methods to their full benefit. In this book, Amr Elssamadisy identifies the powerful lessons that have been learned about successfully moving to agile and distills them into 30 proven agile adoption patterns. Elssamadisy walks you through the process of defining your optimal agile adoption strategy with case studies and hands-on exercises that illuminate the key points. He systematically examines the most common obstacles to agile implementation, identifying proven solutions. You'll learn where to start, how to choose the best agile practices for your business and technical environment, and how to adopt agility incrementally, building on steadily growing success. Next, he presents the definitive agile adoption pattern reference: all the information you need to implement the strategy that you've already defined. Utilizing the classic pattern format, he explains each agile solution in its proper context, revealing why it works-and how to make the most of it. The pattern reference prepares you to
  • Understand the core drivers, principles, and values associated with agile success
  • Tightly focus development on delivering business value-and recognize the "smells" of a project headed off track
  • Gain rapid, effective feedback practices: iteration, kickoff and stand-up meetings, demos, retrospectives, and much more
  • Foster team development: co-location, self-organization, cross-functional roles, and how to bring the customer aboard
  • Facilitate technical tasks and processes: testing, refactoring, continuous integration, simple design, collective code ownership, and pair programming
  • Act as an effective coach, learning to engage the community and promote learning
  • Integrate "clusters" of agile practices that work exceptionally well together
"Agile Adoption Patterns" will help you whether you're planning your first agile project, trying to improve your next project, or evangelizing agility throughout your organization. This actionable advice is designed to work with any agile method, from XP and Scrum to Crystal Clear and Lean. The practical insights will make you more effective in any agile project role: as leader, developer, architect, or customer. Foreword xxiii & xxvi Preface xxvii Acknowledgments xxxiii About the Author xxxvii Part 1: Thoughts about Software Development 1 Chapter 1: Learning Is the Bottleneck 3 Chapter 2: Personal Agility for Potent Agile Adoption 13 Part 2: Crafting an Agile Adoption Strategy 21 Chapter 3: Business Value 23 Chapter 4: Smells 29 Chapter 5: Adopting Agile Practices 37 Part 3: The Pattern Catalog 53 Chapter 6: The Patterns of Agile Practice Adoption 55 Chapter 7: Goal 61 Chapter 8: Cycle 65 "Part 3.1: Feedback Practices "69 Chapter 9: Iteration 71 Chapter 10: Kickoff Meeting 77 Chapter 11: Backlog 81 Chapter 12: Planning Poker 87 Chapter 13: Stand-Up Meeting 93 Chapter 14: Done State 99 Chapter 15: Demo 103 Chapter 16: Retrospective 109 Chapter 17: Release Often 115 Chapter 18: Co-Located Team 119 Chapter 19: Self-Organizing Team 125 Chapter 20: Cross-Functional Team 131 Chapter 21: Customer Part of Team 137 Chapter 22: Evocative Document 143 Chapter 23: User Story 149 Chapter 24: Use Case 153 Chapter 25: Information Radiator 157 "Part 3.2: " "Technical Practices "161 Chapter 26: Automated Developer Tests 163 Chapter 27: Test-Last Development 173 Chapter 28: Test-First Development 177 Chapter 29: Refactoring 183 Chapter 30: Continuous Integration 189 Chapter 31: Simple Design 197 Chapter 32: Functional Tests 203 Chapter 33: Collective Code Ownership 219 Chapter 34: Pair Programming 223 "Part 3.3: " "Supporting Practices "229 Chapter 35: Coach 231 Chapter 36: Engage the Community 235 Chapter 37: Reading Circle 239 Chapter 38: Workshop 245 Chapter 39: Classroom Training 249 "Part 3.4: " "The Clusters "255 Chapter 40: Agile Iteration 257 Chapter 41: Communication Cluster 263 Chapter 42: Evolutionary Design 269 Chapter 43: Test-Driven Development 277 Chapter 44: Test-Driven Requirements 285 Part 4: Case Studies 293 Chapter 45: BabyCenter 295 Chapter 46: Company X 305 Part 5: Appendices 321 Appendix A: Pattern to Business Value Mappings 323 Appendix B: Pattern-to-Smell Mappings 325 Appendix C: Getting the Most from Agile Practice Patterns 327 Appendix D: Further Reading 331 Bibliography 333 Index 339

About the Author

Amr Elssamadisy (www.elssamadisy.com) is a software development practitioner who works with his clients to build better, more valuable software. He and his colleagues at Gemba Systems help both small and large development teams learn new technologies, adopt and adapt appropriate Agile development practices, and focus their efforts to maximize the value they bring to their organizations.


Amr’s technical background and experience in C/C++, Java/J2EE, and .NET allows him to appreciate the problems of development teams and offer them support.


At the same time, he realizes that most problems–even in software–are people problems that are not solved by tools and technology. Therefore, Amr and his colleagues at Gemba Systems focus on issues such as personal agility, team building, communication, feedback, and all the other soft skills that distinguish excellent teams.


Amr is also the author of Patterns of Agile Practice Adoption: The Technical Cluster. He is an editor for the AgileQ at InfoQ, a contributor to the Agile Journal, and a frequent presenter at software development conferences.



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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (July 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321514521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321514523
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,713,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Linda Rising on July 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
There are many things I like about this book, not the least of which is that it is true to the "spirit" of patterns and agile -- it does not promise easy answers or quick fixes but offers down-to-earth advice based on experience. The patterns do a good job of capturing that experience but the way the patterns are written, with "threads" of stories throughout is not only convincing but enjoyable reading. I like being able to follow the real-life adventures of the same developers who struggle to solve real problems across several patterns. I also like the case study in Chapter 46 where a real company with real problems does a pretty good job of moving forward, but it's not a "and they all lived happily ever after" scenario. We're overwhelmed with books and advice these days, so it's nice to see someone who offers help and hope but not hype!
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Format: Paperback
Elssamadisy's book is in tough, tough company. How can you compete in the same space as amazing works like Subramaniam and Hunt's Practices of an Agile Developer or Shore and Warden's The Art of Agile Development? Those are tough, tough classics to go against when trying to explain how teams/companies should adopt agile practices.

Amr pulls it off by organizing his material in a fresh form which I found very useful. He hits many of the same points as other works on Agile (smells, process, team empowerment, practices, etc.), but emphasizes the business value of each point. For example, his chapter on User Story lays out the case that user stories are simple documents in their initial draft. The value comes from developers having conversations to flesh out the details and implementation of the story. Product utility is improved, and development costs are reduced.

This same approach is carried on throughout the book, making it very clear what specific benefits you can find from each practice. Additionally, each practice or chapter follows a nice recipe-like format. Start off with business value, move on to a sketch describing the practice, follow up with context of the practice and forces impacting it, then look to why you'd want the particular practice, adoption details, and a bit on the practice's cons and variations.

The book starts out with a high-level overview of agile, then moves on to specific patterns/practices. Each pattern is a short, separate chapter with about 40 patterns in total.
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There are many books about the theories and practices that are encompassed in the word "agile". Quite a number of them are quite good in terms of addressing the specific practices and how to implement them. It you want to learn Scrum or XP, there is no shortage of books and how-to materials, along with plenty of advice.

This book, however, addresses the goal of agile adoption from a new perspective - patterns of behavior and thought, and how to specifically leverage and/or address them. It addresses this from the organizational/team perspective, rather than the individual perspective, which makes it particularly valuable for those of us who are working in an organizational transformation/agile adoption environment.

While it might seem that "patterns" would appeal to the techies in its audience, my experience is that Amr has managed to frame his work in terms and concepts that are readily understood by all. This book is readily digestible by non-technical managers and staff, as well as by those of us who have spent/currently spend our time in a technology environment. It is not necessary to understand what design patterns are, for instance, to understand the patterns in this book.

For those who are either anticipating agile adoption or actively engaged in it, or even those who are struggling with what seems to be a failed adoption, this book is required reading. The way in which the patterns are presented, the clear and pragmatic exercises described to help work through them, and the suggestions for ways to approach it all are just what's needed.

Real world, pragmatic, easy to read, and easy to digest - that's what this book is all about.

It will be on my desk and heavily thumbed in short order.
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There are plenty of excellent books available that explain agile practices. What has been missing until now is the guidance to apply them. Amr's approach to achieving agile practices is filling a need that has been felt by many for several years now. Amr takes an excellent approach to identifying the best means of applying agile techniques based on a combination of business needs and project pains. This approach stays focused on delivering business value to the enterprise as they move towards agile practices.

Amr has an excellent writing style that is both concise and entertaining delivering information in a manner that can be absorbed in bite-sized chunks and applied as needed based on the initial needs assessment. After identifying the business needs or pains the best agile practices to deliver the value or reduce the pain are described in a manner that determines which practices will deliver the best value to meet your identified needs.

I highly recommend that you pick up this book if you are either planning to adopt agile practices, struggling to adopt agile practices or are looking to enhance the agile practices that you currently employ. Well done Amr.
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