Agile Software Development with SCRUM: United States Edition (Anglais) Broché – 11 octobre 2001
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"Agile development methods are key to the future of flexible software systems. Scrum is one of the vanguards of the new way to buy and manage software development when business conditions are changing. This book distills both the theory and practice and is essential reading for anyone who needs to cope with software in a volatile world." ― Martin Fowler, industry consultant and CTO, ThoughtWorks
"Most executives today are not happy with their organization's ability to deliver systems at reasonable cost and timeframes. Yet, if pressed, they will admit that they don't think their software developers are not competent. If it's not the engineers, then what is it that prevents fast development at reasonable cost? Scrum gives the answer to the question and the solution to the problem. ― Alan Buffington, industry consultant, former Present, Fidelity Systems Company
Présentation de l'éditeur
eXtreme Programming is an ideal many software shops would love to reach, but with the constant pressures to produce software quickly, they cannot actually implement it. The Agile software process allows a company to implement eXtreme Programming quickly and immediately-and to begin producing software incrementally in as little as 30 days! Implementing eXtreme Programming is easier said than done. The process can be time consuming and actually slow down current software projects that are in process. This book shows readers how to use SCRUM, an Agile software development process, to quickly and seamlessly implement XP in their shop-while still producing actual software. Using SCRUM and the Agile process can virtually eliminate all downtime during an XP implementation.
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What's unique is that it wraps around the "Design it first" school that I follow, as well as the Extreme Programming (XP) school that follows a proto-typing approach.
SCRUM provides the mechanisms for organizing and controlling the development of your software project. You develop a short list of deliverables for the next 30 days and have a series of daily meetings. Oh, there's more to it than this.
In software projects I have followed a process where the design is fully thought out in advance. I say it is 85 % accurate as I know that mid-course corrections will be made as the software is developed and delivered to the client.
On large projects we typically work in 2 week deliverables, the author suggests 30 day "sprints". We break all the projects up into many packages of deliverables. One advantage to this was the client could see progress, give on course corrections, and you'd be sure to get paid. On small projects we have not followed any formal procedures.
What SCRUM does is give me a better, more thought out process for what the author calls these 30 day "sprints." I wish I had read this book earlier.
I picked up the book at a computer store and bought it reluctantly. I had heard good things about SCRUM, but the book looked too small and a quick read at the store didn't really turn me on that much.
But after I sat down to read it at home, I was very pleased. It is a very well-underlined book now.
I agree with the XP folks on the productivity of 2 person programming teams and have found their "test first" approach to be very interesting. However, I do find that their design-on-the-fly approach to be flawed. When XP works, I think it is because it attracts good programmers... it's not the XP proto-typing approach itself. In fact, I think any methodology that relies on proto-typing wears out the goodwill of the client. The clients time is limited and they value it highly.
I will say that I found many interesting ideas in XP. And, I recommend that anyone interested in the subjec of this book, go to the XP websites and read their books (about 6 or so at this time).
SCRUM fits around XP just as well as the design-it-first approach. What I disagree with in SCRUM (and XP) is the use of open office areas for programming. I believe studies have actually been done on this and closed offices, no windows, white walls, lots of marker boards... wins out. Anything beyond trivial programming requires concentration. Noise and movement kills concentration.
The graphics in the book really suck, as they look like they were printed out in some kind of old 320x200 screen resolution. But there is great depth to this book. It's a smaller sized book with small type (but still easy-to-read). So you actually get a lot of meat.
In the future, I will refer to this great book often and recommend all software people read it.
Sugar Land, TX
Additionally, you'll need this book if you're going to read his other SCRUM book (Agile Project Management w/ SCRUM) from Microsoft Press, because you'll want the background from this book for that one.
One thing that is not covered in this book is how you get management approval when you have a "process by not having a process," or how SCRUM might scale to more that 7-11 people (other than a SCRUM of SCRUMs.)
Schwaber is the "Godfather of Scrum" and essentially invented the techniques; Beedle was one of the first converts to Scrum and together they definitely know their stuff.
The book covers everything from the theoretical basis for Scrum to how to organize your teams, conduct daily Scrum meetings to keep things moving along, to planning your Scrum project, to tracking the "backlog" of items that need to be completed to finish a project.
Scrum is not a rehash of another methodology. As the authors say, "Scrum is different." Some of the things you'll learn in this book will seem counterintuitive but they work and the authors do a great job of laying out enough information to, if not fully convince you, then at least persuade you to give Scrum a try. (And once you've done that, you'll be convinced!)
I think this book is especially important for anyone reading any of the XP books that have come out over the past two years. Scrum provides an excellent management wrapper around the techniques of XP.
This book is great because it's only 150 pages but everything is succinct and clear--very different from some other books on project management techniques that are needlessly long.
After reading this book you will know everything needed to get started with a Scrum project--and most likely that project will be more successful with Scrum than with whatever process you're using currently.
Agile/Scrum is a very hot topic now and I really wanted to "freshen my game" so to speak and get up to speed on this apparently powerful concept. I wanted to augment the very limited training I got on Agile/Scrum and I got this book due to the many recommendations that said that this is, essentially, the mother of all Agile/Scrum books. Well, while it may be influential, I was disappointed. First off, it is very short (158 pages complete), especially considering it's $34 Amazon price tag. That wouldn't be so bad except that it is very repetitive - I think the book could have easily been captured in about 30 pages including diagrams (which were very lame, I might add). However, my biggest gripe is that it read like Agile/Scrum was the greatest thing to happen to SW development ever and would solve all problems. Granted, the authors are passionate about their subject, but for a book to be useful it should be reasonably complete and this book is far from that.
I believe that A/S can be a powerful tool, but it needs to be tempered. For instance, it says that the team must have complete freedom in choosing the backlog to work on in a scrum. That is nonsense. Marketing and other management (indeed, many other actors) must be involved and it must be a negotiated prioritization. In addition, one of the worst things that could happen to a software project is feature creep, and this book doesn't even touch on that. The creation and maintenance of a feature/task backlog could be an entire book in itself, and yet this book gives that only passing attention.
Another example is the lip service they give to documentation and modeling - giving the reader the impression that these "traditional" tools are not really important. That is dangerous as interface controls and adequate functional/design specifications are critical to complex systems development and long-term maintenance. The authors probably believe that code is self-documenting and documentation is for losers. While traditional software development approaches may fall short for many modern software development projects, many "traditional" features and techniques are still useful and should be practiced even in A/S environments. It should also be pointed out that there are application spaces (such as medical and aerospace) where A/S techniques probably should be avoided or at least approached with great care due to safety/reliability concerns or testing overheads.
I'm going to next read "Succeeding with Agile: Software Development using Scrum" by Mike Cohn Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn)). Its reviews are good as well and is said to include a lot of real-life case study. I hope that it is more useful and balanced than this book.
I'm now a convert.
But it could have been done in about 10 pages.
The figures are laughable. They look like poorly enlarged bitmaps and rarely convey anything useful or intelligible. They will make you angry.
The formating of the text is confusing and short on structure. It's as if the editors had never heard of bullets.
Finally, the cost of the book is absurd for what could be condensed into a pamphlet.
In summary, you can learn all you need about scrum from browsing the internet.