What you can learn from ‘Agile project management for Dummies’ by Mark Layton (2012, 306 pages)
Being agile is now seen as a requirement for many companies. Start-ups are agile, innovators are agile, cool companies are agile. But what does agile mean? What are the benefits of agile? And, how do you ‘do’ agile?
There is a lot of writing about the ‘digital’ way of working, where companies are trying to learn from software development. However, the terms of often confused, and used interchangeably. I have written on the topics of ‘scrum‘, ‘sprints‘ and ‘kanban‘ in previous posts. While these separate topics are very helpful, it is commonly accepted that they all fall under the umbrella term of ‘agile’.
In his book, Mark Layton explains that the agile approach is based on the twelve ‘Agile’ principles (which can be found here). The aim of these principles is to increase transparency, have frequent inspections and adapt quickly. The desire is to shift away from the historic ‘waterfall’ approach to project management to a more iterative approach (see below).
Agile proponents argue that this more iterative approach is more reflective of how people conduct projects in real life. By not haveing a sequential (waterfall) approach, it is easier to integrate changes in requirements, as well as customer and technology changes.
‘Agile project management for dummies’ is a great introduction to ‘agile’. The book provides a great high-level overview and introduction to the topic in the first two chapters, while the following chapters articulate how to work and manage in an agile environment. Read this book if you want to learn the basic of agile.