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Liftoff: Launching Agile Teams & Projects Paperback – October 31, 2011
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About the Author
As principal of Acorn Consulting, Ainsley Nies' work focuses on developing sustainable work environments for learning and improvement. With more than 20 years' experience as a program/project manager in a Fortune 100 company, Ainsley enables clients to capitalize on the insights they have and discover the knowledge they need. She teaches a variety of agile management courses in university programs.
From the Publisher
|Liftoff||Creating Great Teams||Real-World Kanban||Lean from the Trenches||Manage Your Project Portfolio, 2nd edition|
|Covers||Align your team to one purpose: successful delivery. Start projects and teams the right way, with expanded concepts for planning, organizing, and conducting liftoff meetings.||People are happiest and most productive if they can choose what they work on and who they work with. Self-selecting teams give people that choice - here's how to set them up.||People are happiest and most productive if they can choose what they work on and who they work with. Self-selecting teams give people that choice - here's how to set them up.||When systems need a serious overhaul, you need to see how it works in real life, with real situations and people. See how to deliver a successful project using Lean principles.||You have too many projects, and firefighting and multitasking are keeping you from finishing any of them. Discover agile and lean ways to collect all your work and decide which projects you should do first, second, and never.|
Top Customer Reviews
Probably one reason the book is not getting the attention is deserves (as far as I can see) is its title. The authors chose to use the term "liftoff" which is a new term over more descriptive titles such as "starting agile teams" or "agile chartering". They seem to have done so to not limit the scope and try to include all kind of kick-offs in the book. Personally, I think a bit more focus would have improved the book. Personally I think it should have been called "agile chartering" as more than half of the book is about that. Anyways, liftoff it is :)
The book consists of 2 parts and a bunch of appendixes. The first part is about Liftoffs in general and the second part about Agile chartering. The first part contains five chapters which describe what a liftoff is, what kind of liftoffs there are and how to plan, design and improve using liftoffs to launch teams.
The second part is about chartering. The authors define the PAC model, which stands for Purpose, Alignment, and Context. These are the parts that need to be clarified during the Agile Chartering session and each of these has its own chapter.Read more ›
But more times than not, the team started too soon. They're building software but they haven't connected it towards the customers higher level problems & needs--so they're not delivering the value the customer desperately needs. Nor can they communicate what they'll deliver for a "release" and when.
They should have listened to Stephen Covey - about "Beginning with the End in Mind".
And they should have read this book. Diana and Ainsley have written what I think is the seminal work on how to properly START agile projects. They put a focus on the front of the line that is necessary and welcome.
Should every agile project perform a Liftoff? Probably not. But for the vast majority that should...this is the guide for how to get your goals established and feet underneath you before you start iterating towards delivery. How to charter to connect the team to the business and have a clarity around expectations.
And it's effective as a project recovery mechanism as well, for when you've started too soon but realize that fact and want to realign your efforts. So new liftoffs and recovery liftoffs are covered.
For me, if you're an agile coach, product owner, scrum master or literally anyone who is charged with starting agile projects, this book is a must read. And if you're a traditional project manager who is familiar with the notion of Project Charters, then this book will help map that knowledge to agile contexts. Either way, let's start Beginning with the End in Mind.
A practical hands-on framework with explanations on why each element is necessary and how it fits into the whole through the chartering process. This is not a philosophical guide but a go-to hand-book.
Author Ainsley is a great professor, too.
Important part is the beginning for any project, if you do it right, then you the rest of the project life cycle can go smoothly. By giving advises about how to handle different cases especially during liftoff, this book shows right direction to team members. And at the end of the book, there are some sample charters are given, they summarize: how important the chartering is and how easy it is if the steps described in the book are followed.
Some feedback: I have the Kindle version: remaining minutes and percentages are not showing correctly; always shows 1 or 2 minutes left on chapter. And I recommend someone non-technical should read the book: some sentences and maybe some paragraphs should be re-written: since I am technical it was easy to understand, what the sentence or paragraph intended; sometimes it requires to stop, to re-read and to think.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really useful for all the agile newbies! Easy to read and helpful to apply agile on your work/ life. The chapters are well divided and its easy to find the topicsPublished on October 26, 2013 by Luiza N. G. Henry
This is probably the only book on lifting off projects that recognizes the amazing amount of work required to spin off a project. Read morePublished on November 23, 2012 by Amazon Customer
I really like the book as a guide on how to get a team started. I myself use the Tuckman model to describe how a team develop and I feel that the great benefits of going agile is... Read morePublished on October 27, 2012 by Magnus Salgo
"Lift off" is a must have for anyone who is working as a Scrum Master or an Agile Coach and, even if, you're not into Agile, the approach for Lift-off can help the kick-off meeting... Read morePublished on September 19, 2012 by Sunish Chabba
The most important things are often the hardest to explain well. Getting started as an agile team sounds deceptively simple. Read morePublished on July 26, 2012 by N. Vanschooenderwoert
Before I was 10% into this book, I was already learning new practices I could put to work with my clients. Read morePublished on July 5, 2012 by Jeffrey Lopez-stuit