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Liftoff: Launching Agile Projects & Teams

Liftoff: Launching Agile Projects & Teams [Kindle Edition]

Diana Larsen , Ainsley Nies , James Shore

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Product Description

Product Description

Liftoff-it's the unexplored, often ignored, Agile project practice. As the first act of flight, a rocket launch requires an entire set of systems to lift the vehicle into orbit-not just the vehicle itself, but all the systems needed for smoothly moving off the ground into space. Likewise, your project needs its entire set of supporting systems in place to begin a successful journey to delivery. Whatever you call it (project kickoff, bootcamp, inception, or jump start), liftoff gives your team its trajectory, and launches your project. This critical practice informs, inspires, and aligns everyone to a singular purpose: the successful delivery of software. This success is in your hands! Agile veterans Diana Larsen and Ainsley Nies teach you how to organize and conduct liftoffs, hold team activities to discover what's most important, and offer a working framework for effective and lightweight agile chartering.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1617 KB
  • Print Length: 170 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Onyx Neon Press; 1 edition (31 Oct 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007SZNL4W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #248,541 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vital book for any team that values collaboration and starting smart 22 Jan 2012
By Ellen Gottesdiener - Published on
Diana Larsen and Ainsley Nies' Liftoff is destined to be vital book for any team -- agile and otherwise -- that values collaboration and starting smart. Diana and Ainsley reach into their vast store of experience and wisdom to share essential practices to launch teams through agile chartering. They explain how to plan, design and facilitate activities for these critical chartering elements: purpose, alignment, and context. Diana and Ainsley explain the "what"s and "why"s, sprinkled with useful stories to underscore the rationale for this important work. Liftoff will raise your awareness of--and appreciation for--the simple yet profound imperative to launch teams so they truly ascend to great work and joyful collaborations.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential (and only) guide on starting agile teams 19 Sep 2013
By Bas Vodde - Published on
Liftoff is a wonderful little book that probably isn't getting enough attention. Regrettable. The authors Diana Larsen and Ainsley Nies are skilled facilitators and coaches and they got to write a book about starting agile teams or projects. Diana Larsen is known for her excellent Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great and Liftoff is similar in its concreteness. It is one of these books that, as a facilitator, you take with you and browse and at times simply copy to experiment with the ideas in it.

Probably one reason the book is not getting the attention is deserves (as far as I can see) is its title. The authors chose to use the term "liftoff" which is a new term over more descriptive titles such as "starting agile teams" or "agile chartering". They seem to have done so to not limit the scope and try to include all kind of kick-offs in the book. Personally, I think a bit more focus would have improved the book. Personally I think it should have been called "agile chartering" as more than half of the book is about that. Anyways, liftoff it is :)

The book consists of 2 parts and a bunch of appendixes. The first part is about Liftoffs in general and the second part about Agile chartering. The first part contains five chapters which describe what a liftoff is, what kind of liftoffs there are and how to plan, design and improve using liftoffs to launch teams.

The second part is about chartering. The authors define the PAC model, which stands for Purpose, Alignment, and Context. These are the parts that need to be clarified during the Agile Chartering session and each of these has its own chapter. The appendixes give example charters of a few different projects.

This book is a useful book. It isn't a wow book that changes your way of thinking, but it is a book that tells you very concretely how to do something. In this case, it tells you how to facilitate effective liftoffs and charters. As far as I know, it is the only book of its kind and it is so concrete and small that you take probably want to take it with you every time you are facilitating a liftoff. Browse it again, steal some ideas and experiment. From that perspective, this book is highly recommended for people who want to facilitate the launch of new teams. Four stars.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A proper beginning is useful...even in "agile" 11 May 2012
By Robert L. Galen - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I see it all the time in my agile coaching. Teams who, in their effort to be agile and get going, start sprinting/iterating too soon--before they know where they're going. It feels good to be moving, developing working software--so often this is the attraction. It's an intoxicating combination of feel good forward progress on the part of the team and leadership.

But more times than not, the team started too soon. They're building software but they haven't connected it towards the customers higher level problems & needs--so they're not delivering the value the customer desperately needs. Nor can they communicate what they'll deliver for a "release" and when.

They should have listened to Stephen Covey - about "Beginning with the End in Mind".

And they should have read this book. Diana and Ainsley have written what I think is the seminal work on how to properly START agile projects. They put a focus on the front of the line that is necessary and welcome.

Should every agile project perform a Liftoff? Probably not. But for the vast majority that should...this is the guide for how to get your goals established and feet underneath you before you start iterating towards delivery. How to charter to connect the team to the business and have a clarity around expectations.

And it's effective as a project recovery mechanism as well, for when you've started too soon but realize that fact and want to realign your efforts. So new liftoffs and recovery liftoffs are covered.

For me, if you're an agile coach, product owner, scrum master or literally anyone who is charged with starting agile projects, this book is a must read. And if you're a traditional project manager who is familiar with the notion of Project Charters, then this book will help map that knowledge to agile contexts. Either way, let's start Beginning with the End in Mind.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars starting projects is one of the most important steps 24 Nov 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is probably the only book on lifting off projects that recognizes the amazing amount of work required to spin off a project. The most important aspect of agile charter is that it is living and ongoing agile chartering for the duration of the project.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! 26 Oct 2013
By Luiza N. G. Henry - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really useful for all the agile newbies! Easy to read and helpful to apply agile on your work/ life. The chapters are well divided and its easy to find the topics
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