Feeds

All you need to know to get agile

Part 1: Agile planning books round-up

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Book review In the last couple of articles I wrote about the problems addressed by agile planning, and the sometimes problematic nature of the approach itself. Perhaps it's not so surprising that for such a relatively new subject, much has been written about it.

The following books are either specifically about agile planning, or are about agile project management and therefore have something to say about planning as well. They're presented here in the order that they fell off my overcrowded bookshelf:

  • Agile Estimating and Planning
    Mike Cohn; Prentice-Hall, 2005

    This book has an XP flavour because it talks about user stories and project velocity. But its wisdom can be applied to just about any agile project. It begins with an outline of the purpose of planning - what makes a good plan, and what makes planning agile. There are also chapters on why planning fails, and why, by contrast, agile planning (ostensibly) works.

  • Planning Extreme Programming
    Kent Beck and Martin Fowler; Addison-Wesley, 2000.

    If any book is really going to have an XP flavour, it's this one. This title explains the XP "planning game" in detail, and basically describes how to plan an XP project - assuming you're into that sort of thing. Unfortunately, this book seems to have gone out of print recently, but may be available second-hand – the web is your friend.

  • Managing Agile Projects
    Sanjiv Augustine; Prentice-Hall, 2005.

    Near the end of this book, Augustine rightly disparages the myth of the "perfect plan":

    "This perfect plan, as the legend goes, lists every task for every required milestone. It identifies all dependencies between said tasks. It uncovers all risk and levels all resources. It yields nearly perfect level of effort estimates within + or -1 percent of the final figures. The lure of the perfect plan concept is strong. Its attraction gets even stronger when risk is high and projects are complex."

    Truth be told, I found this book to be rather a dry read. I also got the impression that the author was repeatedly trying to tell me how clever and knowledgeable he is: with comments like: "Communities of practice are human kind's natural system for the ownership of knowledge and its management," instead of just saying: "Like-minded people tend to learn from each other."

    Once I realised this, I found the book quite fun to read, but for the wrong reason. If you're prepared to get past sentences like: "Organic teams require the design of holographic structure to reproduce the bureaucracy's stability and management of work while avoiding its stated dysfunctions", then you might extract some value from this book: but I was too busy laughing (yes, I know that says more about me than it does about the book...)

  • Agile Software Development, Second Edition
    Alistair Cockburn; Addison-Wesley, 2006.

    This book is primarily about the people side of agile development, although it does have a few tidbits here and there about agile planning; e.g. a discussion of the effects of plan-driven projects. There's a Reg Developer review by Pan Pantziarka here.

Check back in a couple of weeks for Part 2 of this agile planning books round-up.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork
One Heartbleed vuln was too many for Theo de Raadt
Got Windows 8.1 Update yet? Get ready for YET ANOTHER ONE – rumor
Leaker claims big release due this fall as Microsoft herds us into the CLOUD
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
Patch iOS, OS X now: PDFs, JPEGs, URLs, web pages can pwn your kit
Plus: iThings and desktops at risk of NEW SSL attack flaw
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Apple inaugurates free OS X beta program for world+dog
Prerelease software now open to anyone, not just developers – as long as you keep quiet
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.