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Agile Project Management for Government Paperback – 31 Jul 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Maitland and Strong (31 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957223404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957223400
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 310,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


Brian Wernham has more than 30 years' experience in adaptive project leadership. He is an independent consultant and works in both the public sector and the private sector. He has extensive international experience, having worked in the USA, UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Germany and on offshore development in Bangalore.

By the time that the term 'agile' was first coined, Brian had already been successfully leading iterative, adaptive projects for over 10 years on both sides of the Atlantic. He works as a hands-on program manager and has real-world implementation expertise together with a comprehensive understanding of the related international research. He has consulted for major strategic international organizations such as Gartner Group, the National Audit Office in London and Seer Technologies in North Carolina. His comprehensive public sector experience includes the Department for International Development, the World Bank, the United Nations (Geneva), and local government authorities.

Brian is a Fellow of the Association for Project Management, a Fellow of the BCS and has a MBA from Henley Management College. He applies adaptive planning approaches as an offshore Yachtmaster and as a keen off-piste skier. He is currently consulting for the UK Government in London.

Product Description


“a unique, insightful and readable leadership perspective of agile government”

Dot Tudor
Winner of Best Agile Coach Award 2011

“A forceful, evidence-based argument for the role of agile within government.”

Andrew Bragg
CEO, Association for Project Management (APM)

“A wonderful collection of real case studies … a stream of practical advice … as broad a scope as one could hope for … A broad view sorely needed in a field long dominated by dogmatic developers and code-centric softcrafters … I found myself ‘hooked’ on this and read it cover to cover in a weekend.” - Tom Gilb, the ‘grandfather’ of evolutionary project management.

“An enlightening insight into grand failures and successes in government projects.” Neil Coutts, Director, Project Management Institute (PMI)

About the Author

Written by change management expert Brian Wernham, who has more than 30 years experience in adaptive project management, this guide is essential reading for leaders in central, federal and local government and for senior managers in companies with government clients.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Maggie Wakefield on 28 Sep 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Agile Project Management has been around for far too long to be considered a novel concept, but not long enough to be totally and universally assimilated into management's collective subconscious. In some circles it's still regarded with a certain amount of mistrust, and sometimes it is met with that instinctive resistance that stems from an incomplete understanding of a concept.

Brian Wernham's book should go a long way towards overcoming this resistance. It takes a multi-pronged approach that is part illustrative, part didactic and part comparative.

Illustrative, in that a series of case studies are used to demonstrate the specific strengths of agile project management in different contexts. These case studies, covering a range of outstandingly successful major projects drawn from the UK, the US and Australia, are followed step by step and described in great detail.

Overtly didactic, in that the author takes us through the Agile Manifesto and the principles of Agile Leadership Behaviour, and here again the precepts and principles are illustrated in the context of specific projects. Throughout the book, specific discussion questions are posed to encourage readers to focus on certain aspects of the case studies, and to extrapolate ways to apply Agile principles to their own projects.

Comparative, in that the author also looks at the wider picture and sets Agile up against traditional, once more using case studies to show, in context, the gulf between the two approaches.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Craig Cockburn on 28 Oct 2012
Format: Paperback
Agile has been around for many years and the Agile manifesto was signed back in 2001, yet despite the advances of Agile across the board from small software houses to big banks the take up of Agile within government has until recently been comparatively thin. This is despite the high profile failures experienced by traditional waterfall projects and the resultant need to find a more successful approach. Agile when used properly embodies a set of principles and techniques which help to reduce the risk associated with more waterfall like big bang approaches, yet in the risk averse public sector there has been a hesitancy in adopting Agile - a project management method which by all accounts reduces risk.

Brian's book in in three parts, the first draws on his extensive experience in the UK, US and around the world to explain where Agile has been used successfully in government (US, UK and Australian examples). The second part explains Agile leadership behaviours in line with the Agile manifesto and the third talks about barriers to success. In my view the second and third parts are closely interlinked because all too often a barrier to success is linked to a lack of change in behaviour. It is all very well having developers do daily standups and sprints, but if the rest of the organisation has not embodied the agile culture, you are merely "doing" agile rather than "being" agile and importantly you have insufficient appreciation of why you are needing agile and the behaviours across the department which are necessary to allow Agile to succeed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rus Slater on 14 Sep 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`Agile Project Management For Government' by Brian Wernham would earn four and a half stars from me (but as I can't award a half, it would be churlish to not give five for the reasons below.)
Firstly, let me explain why it wouldn't get five.

1. The title lets it down; it just doesn't make your heart beat faster, not even, I suspect, if you work in government.

Ok, that is the ' bad' bit out of the way, now on to what I like about this book.

1. The title: `Agile Project Management For Government: Leadership Skills For Implementation Of Large Scale Public Sector Projects In Months, Not Years'.... it 'does exactly what it says on the tin.'

2. In spite of the title, or at least the 'government' bit, this book is also of great value to senior managers in commerce and industry. The case studies may all be set in government departments, but they mostly include the involvement of civilian contracting companies. The problems and opportunities he describes, and the conclusions that you reach, are mirrored in most large, and many smaller, enterprises the world over.

3. At the end of each chapter, there is a set of self-coaching questions for senior managers, which Wernham has written in such a way as to need little amendment to make it entirely relevant to any director, function head or project manager in any organization.

4. The focus is on the massive IT projects so beloved of governments in developed nations, but again the lessons are just as relevant for non IT projects; relocations, construction, major changes in work practices, product launches, pretty much anything in fact.

5. Not including the footnotes and indexes, this book is 298 pages of relatively small looks like a tome.
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