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SDLC 3.0: Beyond a Tacit Understanding of Agile Paperback – January 18, 2010
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"It isn't very often that a software process book comes along that truly impresses me, and SDLC 3.0 is one of the few that has. ... other such books include Extreme Programming Explained, Lean Software Development, ..."--Scott W. Ambler, Chief Methodologist/Agile, IBM Rational
A refreshing view - Mark provides a balanced perspective across many methods and processes without coming across as a zealot...That objectivity and the diverse insights were well worth the time.
--Walker Royce, Chief Software Economist, IBM Rational
About the Author
Mark Kennaley is a senior consultant who provides services focused on improving the Enterprise IT Value-Stream. With over 20 years experience within the Information Technology industry, he has served clients as a trusted advisor on numerous engagements. He has delivered value in various roles including Mentor/Coach, Enterprise Architect, Project Manager/Lead, Process Improvement Analyst, Solution Architect and Management Consultant. Mark is President and Principal Consultant for Fourth Medium Consulting Inc., a Canadian IT Management consultancy.
His insights for this work come from broad and deep experience within large scale programs such as the US Department of Defense HR COTS acquisition program (DIMHRS) and the re-engineering program for the Japanese banking system (BankingWeb21). Additionally, Mark holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, and leverages his profession and its rigor to deepen industry norms and challenge popular views. (edited by author)
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The bottom line is that software development practitioners are far better served by a hybrid of best practices than the sectarian dogma of purists driven by profit. There were lots of hmm and ah hah moments for me, such as:
- Debates over what is "Agile" and what is "Scrum-but" are silly and unhelpful; every methodology has to be adapted to context and situation.
- The Agile community is plagued by "a lack of diversity:" "What is needed is not homogeneity of thought, but rather...people having differing knowledge backgrounds" who are willing to challenge "the established dogma."
- The Agile community has been less than forthcoming about the challenges of political and economic realities on the ground, distributed teams, and scale. Solutions may be derived by "leveraging the entire field of modern software engineering practices." I was hoping the author would also address the challenge of estimating large, fixed scope programs but didn't find it.
There is also a helpful discussion on optimizing the length of iterations by project phase, risk, and complexity.
In the end, Kennaley seems to favor Lean with an appreciation of UP's emphasis on architecture and risk mitigation and Agile's focus on human factors.
Towards a "SDLC 3.0" is an ambitious undertaking; I recommend this book as an important step in the right direction.
If you are looking for a book the explains the various Agile approaches without taking sides, as well as where things are going, this book is a great one for it.
At times, though, I felt that Mr. Kennaley could have delved deeper into some of the sections he painted with a broad brush. For example, while the diagrams are good (would have been nice for some of them to be bigger though) the explanations, at times, seem lacking. The last chapter, chapter 9, the one that paints the road ahead, seemed not to wrap the story enough. Hence four and not five stars.
These are minor issues in comparison to the work Mr. Kennaley has done in pulling all these methodologies together and pointing the way forward.
After the book thoroughly explains what SDLC 3.0 is, it shows how it relates to current processes like PMBOK, Enterprise Unified Process, TOGAF, Zachman, and Acquisition (COTS).
The author has created a plugin for IBM Rational Method Composer, but it is not available to the public. It is used during the author's consulting engagements. Having the process repository available in a configurable format is a must to make it usable for anything beyond an educational resource.
I really like the fact that the author introduces Systems Thinking. One major resource the author missed is the book Software Process Dynamics.
I like the way the author breaks down the decision process of deciding whether or not to do a detailed architectural analysis. Not often found in pro-agile books.
This is my favorite 'Agile' book to date. It is by far the most practical and down to earth. It doesn't slam tradition software development processes, but rather points out their strengths and shows how to use those strengths.
All in all I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about software development processes.
If you're a software professional and truly serious about understanding your craft, then this book is a must read.