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Scaling Lean and Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum: Successful Large, Multisite and Offshore Products with Large-scale Scrum (Agile Software Development)
Scaling Lean and Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum: Successful Large, Multisite and Offshore Products with Large-scale Scrum (Agile Software Development)
by Craig Larman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £29.59

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for software development project managers, 15 May 2009
This book from Craig Larman and Bas Vodde is a classic example of the fact that it is better to teach somebody to fish than to give him fish. It emphasizes that it is important to "be agile" more than to "do agile". Approaches like Scrum or Lean are more frameworks to think about continuous improvement than tools that should be applied blindly like cooking recipes. The book will therefore tell you that "large-scale Scrum is Scrum" or that lean is not just kanban or waste reduction. The first part of the book is focused on thinking tools (systems thinking, lean thinking, queueing theory) that are presented with software project management related examples. Those who are looking for practical advice should not believe that the book remains only at the conceptual level. The authors distill many "try..." and "avoid..." recommendations that will help you implement agile and lean ideas in your organization. The second part of the book is devoted to organizational tools and the final chapter proposes frameworks to adapt Scrum to larger contexts.

This book is a must for those who believe that software development project management goes beyond the simple application of "silver bullet" recipes. It is a rich source of both thinking and practical content that is well suited for non-linear reading. A very good "Scrum primer" chapter at the end of the book will provide an introduction for those who are not familiar with this approach and a large number of "recommended readings" items will allow readers to explore more in details each concept.


Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams (Addison-Wesley Signature)
Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams (Addison-Wesley Signature)
by Lisa Crispin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £31.32

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very valuable resource for every people involved in software testing, 15 May 2009
Some authors are good at presenting theories but unable to connect them to practice. Other are good at telling stories from the trenches, but without being able to produce an analysis of the situation and propose some solutions. On the less examined domain of agile testing, Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory are, luckily for us, presenting a book that covers both the personal experience of being a tester in agile projects and a conceptual vision of the place of quality assurance in software projects. Thus you will find in this book "stories" that comes from past projects and "mind maps" that helps to have a high-level vision of the material of each chapter.

The book offers resource to organize the quality assurance and testing activities in an agile project. It explains also the relationship between test automation and agility. It provides also a part dedicated to the chronicle of the agile testing activities during project life, showing how every member of the team could contribute to quality.

I think however that the more interesting contribution of the book is Testing Quadrants. This concept classifies testing activities depending on their focus (technology or business) and their intent (supporting the team or validating the product). Adding an agile perspective to the original work of Brian Marick, the authors provide resources and examples for each quadrant to make sure that you will cover all the aspects of testing for your project.

This book is certainly a very valuable resource for every people involved in software testing, even if this is not in an agile project. It will also be valuable for ScrumMasters and project managers that have to think on how to integrate the testing activities in their projects.


UML 2.0 in Action: A project-based tutorial: A detailed and practical walk-through showing how to apply UML to real world development projects
UML 2.0 in Action: A project-based tutorial: A detailed and practical walk-through showing how to apply UML to real world development projects
by Patrick Grassle
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good introduction to the power of modeling with UML, 2 Jun. 2008
This book is a very good introduction to the power of modeling with UML. After an initial presentation of the basic principles of modeling and UML, the book presents the diagrams used to model both business and software views of systems. The final part is devoted to the models that can be used for system integration.

All the diagrams are presented through the same case study. This book does not claim to be a detailed presentation of UML. It achieves with its case study to reach a good balance between providing enough knowledge to be used in real life situations, without being lost in features that are rarely used. The nicest aspect of this book is that it is not only a technical manual on UML diagrams, but it provides also valuable information and tips on how to create and verify them, by providing questions that will help you to conduct your analysis.

This is a book that I will recommend as a reference for developers performing system analysis and design activities. It is also a good practical book for students that follow an UML course.


Competitive Engineering: A Handbook For Systems Engineering, Requirements Engineering, and Software Engineering Using Planguage
Competitive Engineering: A Handbook For Systems Engineering, Requirements Engineering, and Software Engineering Using Planguage
by Tom Gilb
Edition: Paperback
Price: £32.39

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thinking... further ;o), 12 Mar. 2006
In a period where the trend is to follow agile approaches with condensed guidance (see the 12 principles of the Agile Manifesto for instance), it could seem strange to publish a book on software development with more than 500 dense pages. You should however not be frightened by this book. Beneath the size and the structured form lies an approach based on practical experience that incorporates change and flexibility without abandoning the quest for precision and delivering value.
The main concept of Competitive Engineering is Planguage, a word created mixing plan and language. Communication is the basis for working together. This is why Tom Gilb emphasises first the creation of a common vocabulary. He states that his glossary could be considered as the best contribution of this book. Beneath the definition of a common language, for me the "hidden agenda" of the book is to help us to think... further. The common language is only a tool that helps us express our thoughts more precisely and completely.
Fortunately for us, Tom Gilb didn't only write a dictionary of system engineering. A large part of the book is devoted to the activities of system engineering and project management. Based on Planguage, Gilb gives us a framework to elicit clearer requirements. He emphasises a measurable vision ("bad numbers beat good words") and presents tools to achieve this objective. He also helps us separate requirements from design. He devotes an entire chapter to quality control. Finally, there is a presentation of the techniques of evolutionary project management that supports incremental development based on the priority and impact techniques described in previous parts of the book.
In every chapter you will find examples and case studies that help to visualise how the concepts translate into practice. There is also an "additional ideas" part that presents material for further thinking. Beneath the seriousness of the topic, Gilb also manage to place some lighter parts and you will find how to compare seriously apples with oranges.
At the end, your realise that you have a book where process is not opposed to people, structure is not opposed to flexibility, precision is not opposed to allowing change, documentation is not opposed to active refinement, Gilb's proposed solution is not opposed to customisation for you needs. It is just a book that gives you new inspiration to deliver better software solutions to your customer.
If you are interested in software process improvement, you can read this book from the beginning and find practical material to examine your current practices with a different vision. If you are a lonesome project manager or developer, you could begin by just using the index to get Gilb's view on your current activity or problem. Be cautious, because there are many chances that you will be tempted to read more material ;o)
After reading this book, I browsed again my old copy of "Principles of Software Engineering" that I bought when it was published in 1988. I saw that many ideas from "Competitive Engineering" where already presented in this book. Tom Gilb just applied to his ideas the same concepts he proposes for system engineering. He refined, expanded and structured them to get a better product. The printing industry has just prevented evolutionary delivery, but you can bet that he will find a way to include this in the future.


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