Agile Project Management for Government: Leadership skills for implementation of large-scale public sector projects in months, not years Paperback – 30 Jul 2012
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“a unique, insightful and readable leadership perspective of agile government”
Winner of Best Agile Coach Award 2011
“A forceful, evidence-based argument for the role of agile within government.”
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Most books on agile are aimed at programmers and their team leaders, but this one aims at a broader management audience. It aims to convince the reader that the agile approach is right for most projects.
Part I shows how 5 large-scale government projects have actually been delivered using agile. I was surprised at the size and importance of these projects - for example, how the FBI replaced a team of 125 that had taken a conventional 'waterfall' approach to developing the new FBI case management with an agile team of 55 - still a large team - and they implemented the system over 2 years; the previous team had taken 4 years to deliver very little.
Part II of the book goes on to argue that it is leadership, not process that delivers agile success, and 9 'Agile Leadership Behaviours' are described. The third and final part of the book examines the barriers in government to adopting agile project management: procurement, addiction to process, audit and assurance. Lots of practical examples are given to back up the case made in each chapter - and each is fully referenced; I used some of the endnotes provided to read more on the FBI project since it was so interesting.
The examples are international - from the USA, UK, Australia and elsewhere, so it shows that agile can work in any government environment.
The book concentrates on the Scrum and DSDM methodologies and explains how these can be used together rather than seeing them as competing approaches - which I found very interesting. I would have found a more detailed description of each method useful, but I guess that is the programmer in me talking!
This book is easy to read and makes a compelling argument for agile government.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great book. Accessible to non-technologists, clearly explained and with interesting case studies. Very informative.Published 1 month ago by PPMinHK
Excellent. A first class book. Evidence based, well structured with genuinely insightful case studies.Published 11 months ago by jason nickels
I wanted to learn more about Agile. I likecthe case Studies followed by the Agile Manifesto Principles and Leadership Behaviours. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Graham conway
Excellent for students of agile - it has a great set of references to compliment the case studies.Published 22 months ago by Sailingman
An interesting and important insight into what goes wrong with government IT projects - and why it doesn't need to happenPublished on 31 July 2014 by *
"Agile project management for government" is a must read for all project management professionals.
Free of gimmicks and clichés, Brian adds substance to any... Read more
Although you might find it useful most of the examples are US and VERY much based on government projects. Read morePublished on 17 Mar. 2013 by Setay Alan
In Agile Project Management for Government, Brian Wernham refers to three main agile approaches, providing examples of how combining these produces a rounded guidance to how... Read morePublished on 28 Jan. 2013 by Nicola Caswell-Thorp - The CV Righter
This book is a real call to arms for all government departments. It clearly demonstrates how government departments can be successful using agile methods to deliver projects. Read morePublished on 6 Jan. 2013 by Iain McKenna - Certified Scrum Trainer at Project Success Ltd