Sunday, October 27, 2013

A great Agile book - Being Agile: Your Roadmap to a Successful Adoption of Agile

Being Agile is your roadmap to successfully transforming to an Agile culture. In this unique book, veteran Agile Coach Mario Moreira advises new and current adopters how to implement a robust Agile framework that emphasizes Agile values and principles over the mechanical elements. This book focuses on the business benefit of implementing Agile which focuses on delivering customer value and having a positive impact on revenue. 

This book begins by explaining that in order to truly cross the Agile chasm, there must be a transformation to the Agile culture that focuses on delivering customer value.  Mario shows maturing early adopters how to bridge the chasm between going through the motions of “doing Agile” and genuinely “being Agile.” 

It then delves into the business benefits of Agile and the often missing discussion that Agile supplements your strategy to help your business succeed.  The book highlights the important objectives of customer and employees matter, another area that often is underserved.  It briefly discussions some of the methodologies (including Scrum, Kanban, DSDM, Lean, VFQ, and XP), and the roles a team and organization can play within an Agile context. 

After a high-level synopsis of Agile, Mario reminds us that Agile is nothing more and nothing less than a set of values and principles.  This book delves deeply into a focus on the Agile values and principles.  This book dissects each value and principle that conveys whether they are really exhibited within a culture.  These values and principles must be observed, believed, and translated into actions as an important to precipitate a cultural shift. The book emphasizes the importance of keeping the values and principles always in mind.

The author then plunges into the nitty-gritty of the deploying Agile in a manner that will better achieve an Agile transformation.  He does this by introducing the reader to the Ready, Implement, Coach, and Hone (RICH) Deployment model.  The rubric of readiness engages and begins conditioning the mind toward the Agile mindset as well as focusing on the areas that need to be considered as you are embarking on your Agile journey.  He asks you to consider such factors as:
·         Evaluating team candidates for skills, behavior, and willingness 
·         Assessing Stakeholder buy-in and engagement
·         Determining Suitability for applying Agile
·         Identifying measures to see if you are Agile and if you are deriving the business benefits
·         Establishing a customer validation vision to engage in the critical customer feedback
·         Implementing Agile roles and identifying those best for these roles
·         Establishing an adaptable and scalable Agile framework
·         Determining your User story writing and grooming approach
·         Understanding story points for sizing and establishing a relative sizing framework
·         Establishing Educational needs and building an Agile community
·         Constructing Done criteria and how it helps with quality

Implement focuses on the timely application of agile elements within a team or organization while still maintaining emphasis on the Agile values and principles. Coach focuses on on-boarding teams, coaching teams and management through initial implementation, grooming in-house talent, ensuring Agile values and principles are a focus, while acting as a navigator on the path to Agility. Hone emphasizes the inspect-and-adapt model where periodically the current state is reflected upon and opportunities for improvement identified and acted upon.

This book is geared toward Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters, Product Owners, Team members, product managers, project managers, middle, senior, and executive management in software engineering and development divisions and enterprises.  Learning opportunities include:
·         Comprehending Agile values and principles with an in-depth discussion on each principle and how they may be exemplified within an Agile culture.
·         Advocating a framework in which values, customer engagement, employee engagement, and an Agile framework can lead to an increase in sales and productivity, incorporated in the Agile Value to Incentive Differentiator (AVID) framework.
·         Presenting a methodical yet adaptable approach toward Agile transformation, encapsulated in a Ready–Implement–Coach–Hone (RICH) deployment model that can help establish an adaptable roadmap toward your Agile destination.   
·         Introducing the importance of an Agile Customer Validation Vision that emphasizes a disciplined approach to engaging customers and gaining their valuable customer feedback
·         Providing a mechanism for evaluating your level of alignment to the Agile values and principles, encapsulated in the Agile Mindset Values and Principles (Agile MVP) Advisor.
·         Promoting a special focus on value-added work (VAW) that features customer work as valuable and an accompanying value capture metric.
·         Introducing Gamification concepts to engage and motivate employees toward Agile behaviors with the goal of achieving an Agile transformation
·         Advocating a change in your IT governance toward collaborative governance and performance review process places a focus on team rewards. 

This book ends with three case studies—stories of a smaller colocated project, a medium distributed project, and a large distributed team—to help you understand how the readiness activities, deployment approach, and commitment to Agile lead to different results. This book can help you focus on truly “being Agile” and gain the business benefits of doing so.  What will your case study look like?  Let this material in Being Agile help you achieve a successful one.


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