May 19 2006

Agile Reading

Agile Reading

While not exactly a laugh a minute, Lean Software Development:  An Agile Toolkit, by Mary and Tom Poppendieck, is a good read for anyone who is a practitioner of agile development — or anything agile.  (Note:  if you want a laugh a minute, read Who Moved My Blackberry?, which as Brad says, is hilarious — kind of like The Office in book form).

As I wrote about here and here, Return Path now does both agile development and agile marketing.  The book draws many interesting comparisons between manufacturing and engineering, which I found quite interesting, and not just because I’m a former management consultant — there’s something that’s just easier to visualize about how an assembly line works than about how code is written.  The foundation of the book is writings and sidebar anecdotes about 22 Tools, all of which are helpful to understand the principles which underly and power a successful agile process.

Concepts such as seeing and eliminating waste, empowering a team while still managing to lead it, and why small-batch work and application of the theory of constraints makes sense across the board are made easy to understand and easy to apply by the authors.

Thanks to my colleague Ed Taussig for this book.