on 18 October 2008
I have a vast collection of books on Agile methods. All of them, apart from this book, leave a gap concerning how to deal with projects where deep analysis is required and yet the project still be Agile. These are the sorts of problems that Enterprise's deal with and are a million miles away from typical web-based applications, which I tend to see as broad but shallow, supporting what is unkindly called "whim-driven" requirements. This book addresses the full range of projects and shows how to preserve the benefits of Agile in large-scale, in-depth projects. The style is readable with a refreshing lack of agile dogma, replaced by attention to principles rather than rules. By doing this it provides scalable solutions. Use Cases make an appearance in the book, with the qualification that they are needed when more analysis is requried,. Exactly! User Stories, to me at least, seem to reflect the "divide and conquer" approach as well as "need to know" and "not seeing the wood for the trees". Refactoring is a great and well known concept. It is not so great if it causes the architecture to be refactored and issues such as this are well discussed in the book. The book applies a needed pinch of salt to Agile as a Religion. If you are looking for an Agile Cookbook, this is not it. If you want a book to help you understand how to get the best of Agile in more complex environments, buy it.
on 2 November 2013
Ok, if you are new to agile than i would say this is a very good book (4 stars). It gives a good overview of scrum and other methods in an easy to understand and very pedagogical writing. The parts covering RUP and how this could be used in an agile way was quite interesting.
However, the title talks about scaling and large enterprise so my expectation was not an agile introduction but i was expecting a book focusing on scaling (sure, introduction is ok, but in this case 2/3 of the book is introduction).
The scaling parts are ok, but on a very high level. There are some challenges described (like architecture, co-location etc) but i feel it miss a lot when it comes to solutions. Sure, there is not one true way to mitigate the challenges, but these areas is where i expected more focus.
In summary, an OK book, but if you already have experience in agile you will not learn a lot more.