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Agile management : leadership in an agile environment
Medinilla Á., Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated, London, UK, 2012. 196 pp.  Type: Book (978-3-642289-08-8)
Date Reviewed: Jan 25 2013

Agile management is the natural extension of the rapid prototyping techniques and technologies for software development of the 1980s. It is sometimes referred to as agile project management. Although there is a fair amount of literature on the subject, each work defines the term somewhat differently. In essence, however, “agile” implies an iterative approach for requirements development, reflecting its old rapid prototyping roots. In addition, it implies flexibility, empowerment at various levels in development, and explicit input from customers and various third-party suppliers. Agile management, although derived from agile software development, is technically different from agile software development and covers a broader context. However, from the standards perspective, both techniques follow the Agile Manifesto (http://agilemanifesto.org/). It is generally recognized that extreme programming and Scrum software development methods are derived from agile principles. In our undergraduate software project classes, we use Braude and Bernstein’s book [1], which uses agile techniques. It should also be noted that the Agile Manifesto has been extended with a Declaration of Interdependence that includes the business nature of development.

This book introduces comprehensive information on agile in a manageable length of less than 200 pages. The book is primarily intended for managers, and is written from the perspective of a consultant with experience in agile techniques. However, by introducing information from many other sources and experts, it manages to include all levels of readers. It will save a lot of time for managers who are generally unfamiliar with these techniques. It can also be used as a launch pad for anyone who is new to the topic. Ample reference material is provided at the end of each chapter.

The first of two parts is composed of three chapters, which present a history of management and agile techniques, as well as the role of the manager in an agile environment. The second part includes six chapters: “Motivating the Agile Workforce,” “Self-Organization,” “Agile Structures: Scaling Agility,” “Managing Capacity and Workload,” “Agile Culture and Driving Change,” and “Final Thoughts.”

The book ends with a famous statement of the great teacher and Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba: Masakatsu agatsu (true victory is victory over oneself). The message is for managers to control their own egos and dogmatic attitudes, and learn to be flexible and agile.

In conclusion, get this book if you need an introduction to agile development.

Reviewer:  M. M. Tanik Review #: CR140876 (1304-0276)
1) Braude, E. J.; Bernstein, M. E. Software engineering: modern approaches (2nd ed.). Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, 2011.
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