Practical Agility

‘Being agile’ rather than ‘doing Agile’

Available today at LeanPub!

When you buy this book, you get it in PDF, EPUB and MOBI formats, so you can read it on your computer, iPad, Kindle or other ebook reader!

This book is a collection of observations over the past 10 years or so, looking at agility from the perspective of someone that doesn’t depend on selling it to make a living.

There are plenty of models for software development out there, some may even be relevant to your culture, your product, and your industry space. It is highly unlikely that any of these will be a perfect fit right out of the box, and you should never let anyone tell you it is OK to turn off your brain. Learn about as many as possible, use the bits that work, and continuously reflect and improve upon the past.

There are many good things to come out of the agile movement. It’s finally OK to talk about how we develop software, something that was taboo when ‘process improvement’ was a catch phrase. There are a number of good ideas that have been borrowed from other domains and applied to software development, and many good practices have been recast in terminology that makes it easier for technologists to buy into the ideas.

There are also some glaring challenges.

The blatant demonizing of pre-agile approaches would suggest that there were no successful software projects before the manifesto came out, whereas in my experience there hasn’t been significant change (at least not nearly as significant as agile apologists would have you believe with their biased data).

There are things that remain unsaid and are taken for granted in many of the agile pitches that need to be explicitly stated, such as effective configuration management and mature team interaction.

Many of the practices that are touted as new inventions are simply reincarnations of good things that people have done for decades (the down side of that recasting mentioned above).

On balance, if we think of agility as an adjective rather than a verb, we’ll be better off. This book talks about how to be agile, rather than how to do agile.

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  • What’s Happening

    September 15, 2016: Thanks to the Vancouver chapter of the IIBA for inviting me to present a talk about Real Analysis agility - the bottom line is thoughtful application of effective analysis over Cargo Cult application of the latest fashionable approach! - fabulous interaction, great feedback!
    November, 2016 - A workshop series to help you develop resilience in the workplace and in your life!
    Next open enrolment sessions start soon - contact us to get involved!
  • On The Road Again

    Jim frequently travels across Western Canada for engagements, and welcomes opportunities to meet, run a workshop, Diagnostic or Lunch and Learn session.


    Contact Jim if you would like to connect around any of the upcoming dates:

    • March 1-3, 2017 - Winnipeg, MB
    • March 6-8, 2017 - Edmonton, AB
    • March 15-17, 2017 - Victoria, BC
  • What People are Saying

    I was just writing to a partner about what you wrote today. Incredible because I received your newsletter just as I was ready to click the Send button. I forwarded it to him because it was soooo appropriate. Thank you for having me on your mailing list.

    — M. Lambert, CEO, Scadax International