The term “agile” has become relatively popular in the IT industry over the last twenty years or so all because of the Principles Behind the Manifesto for Agile Software Development (https://agilemanifesto.org). Initially, the term “agile” was used to describe what was then the latest software development framework and methodology which was comprised of short-term but comprehensive cycles that leads to a frequent release of products.
This framework became even more popular because of its incremental method which was very different from the traditional time-based waterfall method. Due to its popularity, it has made its way to different industries, affecting more development aspects and business project management.
What is Agile Project Management?
Let’s have a recap, the Agile methodology is actually a set of principles that developers use when creating software. It is also the counterpart of traditional project management which is more plan-based.
The Agile project management method specifically follows certain principles. These principles are then turned into a series of methods that help project managers to further understand the ideas and inferences of agile methodologies, principles, and project management through a series of reading materials such as articles and books about agile project management.
In this blog post, we listed down our top 6 choices of the best agile project management books.
1. Agile Project Management for Dummies
This introductory book is written by Mark Layton, PMP. He is a certified Scrum Trainer, and the chairperson of the Los Angeles Agile Leadership Network. This introductory book was published sometimes in April 2012 and contains a little over 360 pages.
This particular book on agile project management features a highly informative guide about the various approaches, techniques and tool to help developers to develop and implement decent software packages. This book also teaches its readers the best ways to apply the techniques it tackles and how to empower a project team to finish their project quickly.
2. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
This is the oldest book in this list, but we have still included it because of its relevance to learning the basic principles of agile project management through the Scrum process. Its author, Jeff Sutherland has written this methodology and formalized it in 1993. He was inspired to solve a very difficult problem: his projects are getting more delayed and more expensive. He knew there had to be a better way of managing it, so he then decided to formalize the Scrum process basing it on the empirical process design.
This book is not exactly a how-to type of book, but more of like a background of agile in project management as well as the philosophy behind it. The concepts discussed in this book are highly flexible and easily adaptable to other industries such as business and also, our day to day lives.
Sutherland talks about the ways to increase a team’s productivity through improved communication, continuous improvement, and by eliminating waste.
3. Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products (2nd Edition)
Written by IT manager, project manager, and agile consultant Jim Highsmith in 2009, this book is specifically directed toward project leaders, product managers, and executives.
Although, we believe that team members will also greatly benefit from reading it as this book provides best practices on approaches for agile project management that can easily be applied to any project scale.
This book also teaches its readers the benefits of having mobility and speed while using agile methods, as well as how measuring a project member’s performance can encourage agility.
4. Project Management the Agile Way: Making it Work in the Enterprise
This project management book’s author John Goodpasture, PMP, shares with his readers his extensive experience as a project office director, as well as his broad experience as a program manager for the US DOD, as systems engineering program director, and as vice president of an enormous imaging company.
This book’s target audience is geared toward the more experienced business analyst or project expert who has been comfortable in using the traditional project management method but is seeking to understand what agile is in the business as well as the various benefits it could give a certain business.
5. The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility
Colleagues and veteran project managers, Michele Sliger and Stacia Broderick Viscardi are also PMI-certified PMPs as well as Agile coaches and Certified Scrum Trainers. Their book is considered somewhat special and rare due to the resources they have featured.
In this book, Sliger and Viscardi shows exactly how PMPs can transition effectively to the new Agile outlook and environment using the infamous PMBOK Guide language and processes. This book was published sometime in May of 2008, but it still ranks #19 in Amazon’s Best Sellers Agile category, #74 in PMP Exam category, and #1 in Quality Control – Software Design, Testing and Engineering category.
This book is certainly a must-read for both project managers and project members.
6. Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition
The author of this last book, Lyssa Adkins had a little over 15 years of experience as a project and program manager before she began teaching and coaching agile and Scrum framework and methods.
Since the agile methodology is very different from traditional project management methods, this book tackles the difference in role and responsibilities of a project manager in the traditional method to the agile methodology. This book is especially helpful to professionals who are looking to transition to the agile method. In this boo, they would learn how to adopt a brand-new mindset to be able to guide their project team better than before.
This book list might be quite short for some, but it was kept so to help the readers of this blog to have a good foundation about the agile framework and methodologies. It is of utmost importance to always remember that despite the hype, agile projects will not necessarily run smoothly and successfully by themselves without a streamlined process and good project management.