Becoming Agile
...in an imperfect world
Greg Smith and Ahmed Sidky
  • April 2009
  • ISBN 9781933988252
  • 408 pages
  • printed in black & white

A thoughtful, practical set of steps ... to become agile.

Mary Poppendieck, author of the Foreword

Agile principles have been a breath of fresh air to many development teams stuck in the middle of a rigid, process-driven environment. Unfortunately, it's not so easy to bring Agile into an existing organization with established people and practices. Becoming Agile shows you practical techniques and strategies to move from your existing process to an Agile process without starting from scratch.

About the book

Many books discuss Agile from a theoretical or academic perspective. Becoming Agile takes a different approach and focuses on explaining Agile from a ground-level point-of-view. Author Greg Smith, a certified ScrumMaster with dozens of Agile projects under his belt, presents Agile principles in the context of a case study that flows throughout the book.

Becoming Agile focuses on the importance of adapting Agile principles to the realities of your environment. While Agile purists have often discouraged a "partial-Agile" approach, the reality is that in many shops a "purist" approach simply isn't a viable option. Over the last few years, Agile authorities have begun to discover that the best deployments of Agile are often customized to the specific situation of a given company.

As well, Becoming Agile addresses the cultural realities of deploying Agile and how to deal with the needs of executives, managers, and the development team during migration. The author discusses employee motivation and establishing incentives that reward support of Agile techniques.

Becoming Agile will show you how to create a custom Agile process that supports the realities of your environment. The process will minimize risk as you transition to Agile iteratively, allowing time for your culture and processes to acclimate to Agile principles.

What's inside

  • How to migrate to Agile
  • How to get your team to buy into the change
  • How to scale and sustain your new Agile process
  • How to create an Agile process that works for your company
  • How to use Agile in special situations
  • How to iteratively build up your Agile process and culture

About the authors

Greg Smith is a certified ScrumMaster and a Senior Project Manager. Greg is also an instructor of Agile Project Management at Bellevue Community College. Greg has over 20 years of experience as a development manager, project manager, business analyst, and product manager. He has worked for large conglomerates, tiny start-ups, and medium size companies including: Philips Electronics, R.R. Donnelley, Oh Boy! Oberto, and the Seattle Times New Media group. Greg helps companies create a custom agile process that supports the realities of their environment. Greg's focus has been on iteratively migrating a company to agile and actively involving the development team in the process. This background has given him insight into what it takes to sustain an agile culture and process over time.

Dr. Ahmed Sidky guides organizations during their transition to agile software development. His research includes a value-based agile measurement index, known as the Sidky Agile Measurement Index, and a process framework for the adoption of agile practices. Dr. Sidky developed Dr. Agile (www.dragile.com), an online readiness assessment tool that helps guide organizations aspiring to adopt agile practices. He has worked as a software developer at some of the largest software firms in the Middle East and holds a Masters degree in Software Engineering from Virginia Tech (USA) with a research focus on Requirements Engineering and a doctorate in Agile Software Development Methodologies and Process Improvement. Dr. Sidky is a frequent speaker at international agile conferences.


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