Top critical review
6 people found this helpful
Useful insights but poorly put together
on 7 November 2007
I bought this book as an experienced project manager who has worked historically in organisations espousing either overly-prescriptive or overly-free development methods, wanting to learn a little more about the standard "Agile" practices.
Larman includes lots of good information on why iterative and incremental delivery pays dividends over more "traditional" methods such as the Waterfall, but I found the presentation to be overly fussy and a little too evangelical.
The text is overburdened with references to other publications which may be great if you're fighting an organisational struggle to implement agile methods but if you are looking for practical advice these are of little value. Likewise some of the tables and diagrams liberally sprinkled through the book are probably of little practical benefit to many.
One of the key strengths of the book is that it provides a manager-level overview of the four main agile methods : XP, Scrum, RUP and Evo, whereas many books focus on the nitty gritty of one specific practice.
I'd say it broadly delivers on what I was looking for - a good understanding of what people mean when they bandy the term "Agile" about - my main criticism is that it would be much more readable if it dropped some of the weighty academic argument and concentrated more on the practical.
Its not that the practical advice isn't there - just that the reader can easily get bogged down due to the style of presentation and aspirations to be used as an intellectual sledgehammer to get Agile adopted.