- Series: Developer Best Practices
- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (June 23, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0735623376
- ISBN-13: 978-0735623378
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.4 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Enterprise and Scrum (Developer Best Practices) 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
Key Book Benefits:
-Delivers best practices from an author with more than 20 years of experience with agile development methods
-Provides guidance about both system and interpersonal processes
-Features numerous case studies about Scrum adoption at large enterprises--including MicrosoftÂ® Corporation
About the Author
A 30-year veteran of the software development industry, Ken Schwaber is a leader of the agile process revolution and one of the developers of the Scrum process. A signatory of the Agile Manifesto in 2001, he subsequently founded the Agile Alliance and the Scrum Alliance. Ken authored Agile Project Management with Scrum and coauthored Agile Software Development with Scrum and has helped train more than 47,000 certified ScrumMasters.
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Top Customer Reviews
-that there are no cookbooks
-that there is no process or set of practices that will work for everyone
-that as hard as it is to influence people to take on new practices, it is even harder to get the rest of the organization to accept the implications of these changes
This book does not prescribe a solution to all problems. The author I expect knows well that there is no such prescriptive solution (in his own words, "We want rules to follow, but life and product development are too complex for a single set of rules to suffice in all circumstances."). The book also does not delve into the depths of systems dynamics and org change- areas that are important in the change effort, but are explored by countless other sources. I believe that this is a strength, as it allows the book to be a focused, easy read without distraction.
This book does provide an implementation framework, plain and simple - a basic, repeatable, evolutionary framework for the introduction of Scrum to an enterprise, including feedback loops that will ensure that the right people know of challenges, and techniques to repeatably adjust the plan so that the effort is continuously improving. Following this, progress is very likely, and if the effort ends, it will be either due to success or to the conscious choice of those involved to stop further improvement.
I've seen many process improvement efforts flounder in large companies- often due to the process that was followed to run them. An approach such as that recommended in this book will at least ensure that the process to effect the improvement is not in the way itself, and is in fact an enabler.
The book starts out telling you what to do to manage Scrum throughout an enterprise. The only problem is the approach given assumes the entire enterprise has embraced using Scrum. I have never seen this. The real problem is typically getting the enterprise to embrace Scrum. The book gives little insight in how to do this. Integrating processes across teams and how to get organizations that work in competition with each other now to cooperate is pretty much ignored.
The rest of the book poses problems and tells you what you need to do, but rarely tells you how to do it. Most often, we are simply told to let the team figure it out. Sort of like a financial analyst telling you - "what you have to do is figure out how to buy stocks when they are low, and then sell them when the stocks go higher." Uh, OK, but _how_ do I do that? The book doesn't quite ever tell us.
The book also tells us about how the core of a system can become dead and tells us we have to stop this. But how? No advice is given on how to write tests or quality code or how to do integration across an Enterprise. In fact, almost nothing about writing code exists in the book. It's as if by following process entirely we can solve all of our problems with code quality, tests, integration, etc ...
My experience with Scrum teams and management is that you must give them reasons to expand Scrum beyond the team or you must explain to them how Scrum can scale when technical problems exist. How do you manage designs across multiple teams? How do you ensure re-use of common modules? How do you manage the dependencies between teams? These are all good questions which go both unasked and unanswered.
I'll admit that I didn't finish the book. After reading about 2/3rds through it I skimmed the rest because it didn't look like any value was coming forward from it.
Two books that I find much more useful are Scaling Software Agility: Best Practices for Large Enterprises by Dean Leffingwell and Agile Software Development in the Large: Diving Into the Deep by Jutta Eckstein
Too many agile books suffer from being targeted at a single team working on a deserted island--that is, a seven-person team with no issues outside their one team. This book does not suffer from that problem. Want to know how to organize work on a project that is partitioned by architectural layer? How to structure a product backlog for the entire organization? Or how to organize teams across a large project? Or what are the proper reporting relationships on a large Scrum project? This book provides sage advice on these enterprise adoption issues and more.
The book is chock-full of real-life anecdotes (in which only the name of the company and key players have been changed). Each anecdote illustrates how one real company dealt with a real problem. Their problem, their context, and their solution won't exactly be yours, but seeing how others have addressed challenges can be illuminating in thinking how to address yours.
This is probably not your best choice as a first book on Scrum. For that start with the author's other two books. This book picks up where they left off, providing a wealth of information for enterprises and even workgroups adopting Scrum. If you're already familiar with the basics of Scrum, and especially if you are starting to hit the hard points of adopting it and spreading it through your organization then this book is for you.
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