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Agile and Iterative Development: A Manager's Guide
Reviewed by Lasse Koskela, October 2003
(9 of 10)
I was expecting a lot from this book, having read and enjoyed Larman's prior work. On the other hand, I expected it to be somewhat simplistic as the title implied the target group being managers, which I am not. One of these expectations was correct.
Larman's latest presents a wonderful introduction into what iterative and evolutionary development is about. The word "agile" in the title seems a bit displaced as the text mostly discusses about "iterative" and "evolutionary" rather than "agile", but that really is no big deal because what's inside the covers is pure gold for any one.
After a thorough introduction to the theory, Larman drops a bomb on the table; the chapter titled "Evidence" is worth the salt alone. Larman has collected an impressive list of references to early, large projects employing iterative and evolutionary development. He also reminds us how the creators of predictive planning based methods have themselves preferred an iterative approach from day one.
The book also packs nice descriptions of four iterative and evolutionary processes, namely XP, Scrum, UP, and Evo. The descriptions are clear but, to some degree, repetitive.
Although the chapter on evidence is definitely the gold chip, the last 70 pages proved to be a very pleasant surprise. Larman presents a list of practical tips and tricks for adopting and running iterative processes, as well as answers the toughest questions in a Q/A section.
Highly recommended. Have your boss read it as well.
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