Archive for October, 2007|Monthly archive page

Found a missing piece

I’ve currently read the book Agile Management for Software Engineering written by David J. Anderson and I have to say that the book really fill a gap in the description of agile practices. Anderson describes very well why agile methods work and that maybe have the same impact as the Toyota production system models had on the manufacturing side. Besides explaining the advantages very well, the book provides to not so common highlights: the comparison of a cost oriented management method against throughput oriented, the reasoning why most resources used for software development are constrained ones and, unique for a book on this topic, metrics to keep track of an project, plan buffers and quantify the output value.
An other interesting point, and rightfully so, is that he emphasis that the phases of software development are always the same, analysis, design, implementation, test and deployment, only the the time then and the way how they are executed are different.
The second part of the book makes a very good comparison between traditional management methods and various agile ones, namely XP, SCRUM and FDD (Feature Driven Development). All methods are presented with metrics for planning, tracking and costs so he can directly show how and then each has advantages.
The book is available since some years but because I was not so fond of the ideas behind FDD, which I misunderstood somehow, I never read it until now. After reading, I highly recommend it for everyone who thinks that a piece of knowledge was missing if you have to argument in favor of agile methodologies and practices.