Project Management the Agile Way: Making It Work in the Enterprise

Project Management the Agile Way: Making It Work in the Enterprise
John C. Goodpasture
19 Jan 2010
Purchase online

Project Management the Agile Way is for experienced project managers, system engineers, architects, and business analysts who are comfortable in traditional methods of project management, but now need to understand how to make agile work effectively in the enterprise. This book presents practical, day-to-day tips and application advice for how to harmonize agile methods with mainstream project processes and how to integrate these practices with other methodologies used in the business.

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  1. Editorial Reviews
  2. Customer Reviews

Customer Reviews

Gregory D. Githens said
In recent years, the bookshelf has become crowded with a number of books on agile software development, with some of them taking on the topic of agile project management. I've read many of them. Goodpasture's Project Management the Agile Way is clearly at the top of the heap, and if there is one book to had to someone on the topic, this is it.

The book appropriately covers the conceptual background, but provides useful applications for people who are trying to make things work.

I particularly like Goodpasture's treatment of Benefits Realization in Chapter 12. Here he tells us about how to start the benefit stream earlier by delivering increments of value. He explains the need to sequence work to deliver foundational capability (the necessary foundation of the product), then moving to high-priority functions, and then (interestingly!) to functional capabilities according to their impact on benefit cash flow. He shows how agile projects can "amplify the benefit value" and possibly make agile projects self-paying.

M. E. Martinez said
This book addresses the manager's long-dreaded uncertainty of project development under fluid requirements. The methods and approaches described provide a framework for dealing effectively with this condition, which is more in concert with the way humans create and evolve systems in response to customer wants and needs. Although most of the project examples cited in the book relate to software, the principles described in this book are generally applicable to most commercial product development efforts.

I recommend this book to managers responsible for developing products in new application areas, where the need to tap into customer reactions as the product is being developed, is highly desirable. The book offers a thorough perspective for both, the technical manager and the project manager. Both views are covered in detail.

For those interested in the evolutionary history of methodologies, Goodpasture offers a good amount of information on the various agile methodologies and how they came into being (this aspect of the book gives the analytical part of your brain a bit of a rest). He also provides the reader with information about projects not suitable for agile methods and provides excellent comparisons among these methodologies allowing you to make an informed decision as to the one most suitable to the projects under consideration.

The book's format is easy to follow with call-out boxes that summarize important points. The graphics and templates in the book are simple, but powerful.

Alexander Walton said
I thorough enjoyed reading the book - "Project Management the Agile Way (Making it Work in the Enterprise)". I'm a system engineer and project manager who has worked on both large military, midsize commerial and a few start-up efforts for hard/software development and services. In the past I've used a wide range of complexity, rigor and formality in managing a project. With a basic belief - as simple as possible that works, and measure that it is works.

Goodpasture has created a well written and content rich (dense) book Project Management the Agile Way: Making It Work in the Enterprise that reviews the elements of "classic" project management with the assumption the reader has a basic understanding, agile variants and how they work in the same topic space and adds his expertise in quantitative methods for a more sophisticated decision making processes for planning, estimating and managing a project. The reader is given a 3 dimensional look at the chapter topics - classis, agile and quantitative view. Actually a fourth is provided for some with history and overview of the concept. There are "take aways" at the end of each chapter which is the author's blend as a baseline, or you can pick your own mix for your specific needs.

The book reads much better than most text books I've read on project management subject, and I've read many over the last 15 years. I was introduced to concepts and techniques that I had not read elsewhere, especially in the synthesis of different techniques, the authors insightful summaries of what is important. Hopefully these ideas will improve your ability to successfully manage future efforts.

I think the ideal use of this book is in a project management course (quarter or semester) that is focused on software/systems for IT or new product development. This could be tied to either a business, computer science or engineering focused curriculum.

It is also a good study and then reference for a project manager that has the basics of a project management methodology and wants a more complete understanding of the chapter topics.

From a teacher's perspective, using this book in an advanced project management seminar allows the student to be challenged with understanding the application of concepts, rather than just learning (reciting) a concept. Each chapter or two is a good sitting and has enough references for a class to explore a different one for each student.

This book is a well-blended compilation of classis PM, agile methods and quantitative methods and tools. Though the "theme" is agile methods, the author actually give as much coverage of the quantitative methods and the blending of the agile methods with classical approaches, for example to improve scaling agile techniques for enterprise level projects.

By the time you finish the book, concepts like Best Value will become part of your thinking process moving forward.

The first couple of chapters set the history, vocabulary and framework for the remaining chapters. Each chapter stands alone with a few references to earlier chapters as the reader go through the book. If you want to really understand the concepts with examples that force you to go beyond "OK, I got that" thinking - this is a very good book.

So my only warning is - if you don't like quantitative discussions (math), then you will most likely get lost or bored in the examples.

I've gone online to check out some of the references, which are extensive. I will probably spend the next couple of months of free time exploring the reference lists for more insights. Just the research and filtering of past writing goodness made the book reading worthwhile.


I agree with other reviews that Goodpasture stays neutral on methodologies, providing overviews and then detailed examples of good ideas and practices regardless of source and age. He is thorough and thoughtful in his considerations and descriptions. Examples, tips and most graphics make the reading both educational and enjoyable. One or two graphics could use some design changes to improve understanding.

This is a good study and course book that will require most to limit their readings to one or two chapters at a time so they absorb the details of each chapter. There is very little "fluff" in the 296 pages and the 2 appendixes. Once read, I have started to use the book as a reference when thinking through how I want to handle the various elements of project management for my current project.

Paul E. Shaltry said
Goodpasture's book is a readable treat. It clarifies what agile is about with much common sense for those who are interested in understanding how agile and traditional project management stack up. He recognizes using good ideas and practices regardless of source and how long they may have been around have value in particular circumstances. His approach is very much a treatment of workable ideas without being ideological.

According to the author it's not an either-or proposition when it comes to agile versus classical, it's a matter of adapting to the demands of the situation. Classical plan-driven project management tends to work best in well-known environments where products are clear. Agile tends to work best in software development environments where requirements are vague and/or unknowable except through intense, iterative collaboration to deliver continuously useful on-going benefits to customers. There are certainly other application areas, such as product R&D, where a version of agile principles would work, but that was not the scope of this book.

He explores uses and nuances of both methodologies in 12 familiar domains ranging from the essential business case to benefits realization. The chapters on governance and quality are particularly outstanding. The one on benefits was good but could have used some real examples for illustrating benefits.

As an aside, in looking at how agile, as a methodology, might align with the existing PMI standard for a single project (PMBOKĀ® Guide, Chapter 3, 4th Edition) it is fairly easy to see how it relates to the five major processes - Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling and Closing.

Goodpasture did his homework, offering history and context. He is thorough and thoughtful in his considerations and descriptions. Examples, tips and graphics make the read through a rich experience. Researched references are there. This would be a great resource for managers, practitioners, and students alike.

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