Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products (Agile Software Development Series) / Edition 1

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Overview

“Jim Highsmith is one of a few modern writers who are helping us understand the new nature of work in the knowledge economy.”

—Rob Austin, Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School

“This is the project management book we’ve all been waiting for—the book that effectively combines Agile methods and rigorous project management. Not only does this book help us make sense of project management in this current world of iterative, incremental Agile methods, but it’s an all-around good read!”

—Lynne Ellen, Sr. VP & CIO, DTE Energy

“Finally a book that reconciles the passion of the Agile Software movement with the needed disciplines of project management. Jim’s book has provided a service to all of us.”

—Neville R(oy) Singham, CEO, ThoughtWorks, Inc.

“The world of product development is becoming more dynamic and uncertain. Many managers cope by reinforcing processes, adding documentation, or further honing costs. This isn’t working. Highsmith brilliantly guides us into an alternative that fits the times.”

—Preston G. Smith, principal, New Product Dynamics/coauthor, Developing Products in Half the Time

Now, one of the field’s leading experts brings together all the knowledge and resources you need to use APM in your next project. Jim Highsmith shows why APM should be in every manager’s toolkit, thoroughly addressing the questions project managers raise about Agile approaches. He systematically introduces the five-phase APM framework, then presents specific, proven tools for every project participant. Coverage includes:

  • Six principles of Agile Project Management
  • How to capitalize on emerging new product development technologies
  • Putting customers at the center of your project, where they belong
  • Creating adaptive teams that respond quickly to changes in your project’s “ecosystem”
  • Which projects will benefit from APM—and which won’t
  • APM’s five phases: Envision, Speculate, Explore, Adapt, Close
  • APM practices, including the Product Vision Box and Project Data Sheet
  • Leveraging your PMI skills in Agile environments
  • Scaling APM to larger projects and teams
  • For every project manager, team leader, and team member
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321219770
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 3/29/2004
  • Series: Agile Software Development Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 277
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

JIM HIGHSMITH is Director, Agile Project Management Practice, and Fellow, Business Technology Council at Cutter Consortium. He is also a Member of the Software Development Productivity Council, Flashline, Inc. Highsmith authored Adaptive Software Development, which won the prestigious Jolt award for excellence, and Agile Software Development Ecosystems (Addison Wesley). A recognized leader in the Agile movement, he co-authored the Agile Manifesto and co-founded the Agile Alliance.

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Read an Excerpt

When the Manifesto for Agile Software Development (www.agilealliance.org) was written in spring 2001, it launched a movement—a movement that has raced through the software development community; generated controversy and debate; connected with related movements in manufacturing, construction, and aerospace; and been extended into project management.

The essence of this movement, whether in new product development, new service offerings, software applications, or project management, rests on two foundational goals: delivering innovative products to customers (particularly in highly uncertain situations) and creating working environments in which people look forward to coming to work each day.

Innovation continues to drive economic success for countries, industries, and individual companies. While the rates of innovation in information technology in the last decade may have declined from prodigious to merely lofty, innovation in areas such as biotechnology and nanotechnology is picking up any slack.

New technologies such as combinatorial chemistry and sophisticated computer simulation are fundamentally altering the innovation process itself. When these technologies are applied to the innovation process, the cost of iteration can be driven down dramatically, enabling exploratory and experimental processes to be both more effective and less costly than serial, specification-based processes. When it takes a pharmaceutical company months to develop a chemical compound and test it, errors are costly and careful laboratory design becomes the norm. When combinatorial chemistry can create hundreds, if not thousands, of compounds in a day and sophisticated instruments can test them in a few more days, careful specification and design can be less effective and more costly than careful experimentation. This same dynamic is at work in the automotive, integrated circuit, software, and pharmaceutical industries. It will soon be at work in your industry.

But taking advantage of these new innovation technologies has proved tricky. When exploration processes replace prescriptive processes, people have to change. For the chemist who now manages the experimental compounding process rather than designing compounds himself, and the manager who has to deal with hundreds of experiments rather than a detailed, prescriptive plan, new project management and organizational processes are required. Even when these technologies and processes are lower cost and higher performance than their predecessors, the transformation often proves difficult.

Experimentation matters, as the title of Harvard Business School professor Stefan Thomke's recent book exclaims (Thomke 2003), but many project managers are still mired in a prescriptive, conformance-to-plan mentality that eschews that very experimentation.

Project management, at least that sector of project management dealing with new product development, needs to be transformed, but to what? It needs to be transformed to move faster, be more flexible, and be aggressively customer responsive. Agile Project Management (APM) and agile product development answer this transformational need. APM brings together a set of principles and practices that enables project managers to catch up with the realities of modern product development.

The target audience for this book is project managers, those hearty individuals who shepherd teams through the exciting but often messy process of turning visions into products—be they cell phones or medical electronic instruments. APM rejects the view of project managers as functionaries who merely comply with the bureaucratic demands of schedules and budgets and replaces it with one in which they are intimately involved in helping teams deliver products. Agile project managers focus on products and people, not paperwork.

There are four broad topics covered in Agile Project Management: opportunity, principles, framework, and practices. The opportunity lies in creating innovative products and services—things that are new, different, and creative. These are products that can't be defined completely in the beginning but evolve over time through experimentation, exploration, and adaptation.

The principles of APM revolve around creating both adaptive products that are easy and less expensive to change and adaptive project teams that can respond rapidly to changes in their project's ecosystem. The framework is a set of high-level processes, or phases—Envision, Speculate, Explore, Adapt, and Close—that support exploration and experimentation and deliver results reliably, even in the face of constant change, uncertainty, and ambiguity. Finally, the practices—from developing a product vision box to getting the right people —provide actionable ways in which project teams can deliver results.

At its core, APM focuses on customers, products, and people—delivering value to customers, building adaptable products, and engaging talented people in collaborative work.

Jim Highsmith January 2004
Flagstaff, Arizona



Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface.

Introduction.

1. The Agile Revolution.

Innovative Product Development.

Reliable Innovation.

Continuous Innovation.

Product Adaptability.

Reduced Delivery Schedules.

People and Process Adaptability.

Reliable Results.

Core Agile Values.

Responding to Change.

Working Products.

Customer Collaboration.

Individuals and Interactions.

Agile Project Management.

Agility Defined.

The APM Framework.

Thriving in a Chaordic World.

Our Journey.

2. Guiding Principles: Customers and Products.

Herman and Maya.

The Guiding Principles of Agile Project Management.

Deliver Customer Value.

Innovation and Adaptability.

Planning and Control to Execution.

Delivery versus Compliance.

Employ Iterative, Feature-Based Delivery.

Creating a Better Product.

Producing Earlier Benefits.

Progressive Risk Reduction.

Champion Technical Excellence.

Customers and Products.

3. Guiding Principles: Leadership-Collaboration Management.

Management Style.

The Business of APM.

Reliable, Not Repeatable.

Progress Reporting.

Leadership-Collaboration Management.

Encourage Exploration.

Shared Space.

Encouragement Isn't Enough.

Build Adaptive (Self-Organizing, Self-Disciplined) Teams.

Getting the Right People.

Articulating the Product Vision.

Encouraging Interaction.

Participatory Decision Making.

Insisting on Accountability.

Steering, Not Controlling.

Self-Discipline.

Simplify.

Generative Rules.

Barely Sufficient Methodology.

Principles to Practices.

4. An Agile Project Management Model.

Principles and Practices.

An Agile Process Framework.

Phase: Envision.

Phase: Speculate.

Phase: Explore.

Phase: Adapt.

Phase: Close.

Judgment Required.

Project Size.

Agile Practices.

5. The Envision Phase.

Get the Right People.

Phase: Envision.

Practice: Product Vision Box and Elevator Test Statement.

Objective.

Discussion.

Practice: Product Architecture.

Objective.

Discussion.

Guiding Principles.

Practice: Project Data Sheet.

Objective.

Discussion.

Tradeoff Matrix.

Exploration Factor.

Practice: Get the Right People.

Objective.

Discussion.

Practice: Participant Identification.

Objective.

Discussion.

Practice: Customer Team-Developer Team Interface.

Objective.

Discussion.

Practice: Process and Practice Tailoring.

Objective.

Discussion.

Self-Organization Strategy.

Process Framework Tailoring.

Practice Selection and Tailoring.

Early Planning.

Envision Summary.

6: The Speculate Phase.

Scope Evolution.

Phase: Speculate.

Practice: Product Feature List.

Objective.

Discussion.

Practice: Feature Cards.

Objective.

Discussion.

Practice: Performance Requirements Cards.

Objective.

Discussion.

Practice: Release, Milestone, and Iteration Plan.

Objective.

Discussion.

Iteration 0.

Iterations 1-N.

Next Iteration Plan.

First Feasible Deployment.

Estimating.

Scope Evolution.

Risk Analysis and Mitigation.

Speculate Summary.

7. The Explore Phase.

Individual Performance.

Phase: Explore.

Practice: Workload Management.

Objective.

Discussion.

Practice: Low-Cost Change.

Objective.

Discussion.

Technical Debt.

Simple Design.

Frequent Integration.

Ruthless Testing.

Opportunistic Refactoring.

Practice: Coaching and Team Development.

Objective.

Discussion.

Focusing the Team on Delivering Results.

Molding a Group of Individuals into a Team.

Developing Each Individual's Capabilities.

Providing the Team with Required Resources and Removing Roadblocks.

Coaching the Customers.

Orchestrating Team Rhythm.

Practice: Daily Team Integration Meetings.

Objective.

Discussion.

Practice: Participatory Decision Making.

Objective.

Discussion.

Decision Framing.

Decision Making.

Decision Retrospection.

Leadership and Decision Making.

Set- and Delay-Based Decision Making.

Practice: Daily Interaction with the Customer Team.

Objective.

Discussion.

Stakeholder Coordination.

Explore Summary.

8. The Adapt and Close Phases.

Progress.

Phase: Adapt.

Practice: Product, Project, and Team Review and Adaptive Action.

Objective.

Discussion.

Customer Focus Groups.

Technical Reviews.

Team Performance Evaluations.

Project Status Reports.

Adaptive Action.

Phase: Close.

Adapt and Close Summary.

9. Building Large Adaptive Teams.

An Achilles' Heel?

The Scaling Challenge.

A Scaled Adaptive Framework.

A Hub Organizational Structure.

Self-Organization Extensions.

Team Self-Discipline.

The Commitment-Accountability Protocol.

Is It Working?

Structure and Tools.

Summary.

10. Reliable Innovation.

The Agile Vision.

The Changing Face of New Product Development.

Agile People and Processes Deliver Agile Products.

Implementing the Vision.

Reliable Innovation.

The Value-Adding Project Manager.

Conviction.

Bibliography.

Index.

Read More Show Less

Preface

When the Manifesto for Agile Software Development (www.agilealliance.org) was written in spring 2001, it launched a movement-a movement that has raced through the software development community; generated controversy and debate; connected with related movements in manufacturing, construction, and aerospace; and been extended into project management.

The essence of this movement, whether in new product development, new service offerings, software applications, or project management, rests on two foundational goals: delivering innovative products to customers (particularly in highly uncertain situations) and creating working environments in which people look forward to coming to work each day.

Innovation continues to drive economic success for countries, industries, and individual companies. While the rates of innovation in information technology in the last decade may have declined from prodigious to merely lofty, innovation in areas such as biotechnology and nanotechnology is picking up any slack.

New technologies such as combinatorial chemistry and sophisticated computer simulation are fundamentally altering the innovation process itself. When these technologies are applied to the innovation process, the cost of iteration can be driven down dramatically, enabling exploratory and experimental processes to be both more effective and less costly than serial, specification-based processes. When it takes a pharmaceutical company months to develop a chemical compound and test it, errors are costly and careful laboratory design becomes the norm. When combinatorial chemistry can create hundreds, if not thousands, of compounds in a day and sophisticated instruments can test them in a few more days, careful specification and design can be less effective and more costly than careful experimentation. This same dynamic is at work in the automotive, integrated circuit, software, and pharmaceutical industries. It will soon be at work in your industry.

But taking advantage of these new innovation technologies has proved tricky. When exploration processes replace prescriptive processes, people have to change. For the chemist who now manages the experimental compounding process rather than designing compounds himself, and the manager who has to deal with hundreds of experiments rather than a detailed, prescriptive plan, new project management and organizational processes are required. Even when these technologies and processes are lower cost and higher performance than their predecessors, the transformation often proves difficult.

Experimentation matters, as the title of Harvard Business School professor Stefan Thomke’s recent book exclaims (Thomke 2003), but many project managers are still mired in a prescriptive, conformance-to-plan mentality that eschews that very experimentation.

Project management, at least that sector of project management dealing with new product development, needs to be transformed, but to what? It needs to be transformed to move faster, be more flexible, and be aggressively customer responsive. Agile Project Management (APM) and agile product development answer this transformational need. APM brings together a set of principles and practices that enables project managers to catch up with the realities of modern product development.

The target audience for this book is project managers, those hearty individuals who shepherd teams through the exciting but often messy process of turning visions into products-be they cell phones or medical electronic instruments. APM rejects the view of project managers as functionaries who merely comply with the bureaucratic demands of schedules and budgets and replaces it with one in which they are intimately involved in helping teams deliver products. Agile project managers focus on products and people, not paperwork.

There are four broad topics covered in Agile Project Management : opportunity, principles, framework, and practices. The opportunity lies in creating innovative products and services-things that are new, different, and creative. These are products that can’t be defined completely in the beginning but evolve over time through experimentation, exploration, and adaptation.

The principles of APM revolve around creating both adaptive products that are easy and less expensive to change and adaptive project teams that can respond rapidly to changes in their project’s ecosystem. The framework is a set of high-level processes, or phases-Envision, Speculate, Explore, Adapt, and Close-that support exploration and experimentation and deliver results reliably, even in the face of constant change, uncertainty, and ambiguity. Finally, the practices-from developing a product vision box to getting the right people -provide actionable ways in which project teams can deliver results.

At its core, APM focuses on customers, products, and people-delivering value to customers, building adaptable products, and engaging talented people in collaborative work.

Jim Highsmith January 2004
Flagstaff, Arizona

Read More Show Less

Introduction

When the Manifesto for Agile Software Development (www.agilealliance.org) was written in spring 2001, it launched a movement—a movement that has raced through the software development community; generated controversy and debate; connected with related movements in manufacturing, construction, and aerospace; and been extended into project management.

The essence of this movement, whether in new product development, new service offerings, software applications, or project management, rests on two foundational goals: delivering innovative products to customers (particularly in highly uncertain situations) and creating working environments in which people look forward to coming to work each day.

Innovation continues to drive economic success for countries, industries, and individual companies. While the rates of innovation in information technology in the last decade may have declined from prodigious to merely lofty, innovation in areas such as biotechnology and nanotechnology is picking up any slack.

New technologies such as combinatorial chemistry and sophisticated computer simulation are fundamentally altering the innovation process itself. When these technologies are applied to the innovation process, the cost of iteration can be driven down dramatically, enabling exploratory and experimental processes to be both more effective and less costly than serial, specification-based processes. When it takes a pharmaceutical company months to develop a chemical compound and test it, errors are costly and careful laboratory design becomes the norm. When combinatorial chemistry can create hundreds, if not thousands, of compounds in a day and sophisticated instruments can test them in a few more days, careful specification and design can be less effective and more costly than careful experimentation. This same dynamic is at work in the automotive, integrated circuit, software, and pharmaceutical industries. It will soon be at work in your industry.

But taking advantage of these new innovation technologies has proved tricky. When exploration processes replace prescriptive processes, people have to change. For the chemist who now manages the experimental compounding process rather than designing compounds himself, and the manager who has to deal with hundreds of experiments rather than a detailed, prescriptive plan, new project management and organizational processes are required. Even when these technologies and processes are lower cost and higher performance than their predecessors, the transformation often proves difficult.

Experimentation matters, as the title of Harvard Business School professor Stefan Thomke's recent book exclaims (Thomke 2003), but many project managers are still mired in a prescriptive, conformance-to-plan mentality that eschews that very experimentation.

Project management, at least that sector of project management dealing with new product development, needs to be transformed, but to what? It needs to be transformed to move faster, be more flexible, and be aggressively customer responsive. Agile Project Management (APM) and agile product development answer this transformational need. APM brings together a set of principles and practices that enables project managers to catch up with the realities of modern product development.

The target audience for this book is project managers, those hearty individuals who shepherd teams through the exciting but often messy process of turning visions into products—be they cell phones or medical electronic instruments. APM rejects the view of project managers as functionaries who merely comply with the bureaucratic demands of schedules and budgets and replaces it with one in which they are intimately involved in helping teams deliver products. Agile project managers focus on products and people, not paperwork.

There are four broad topics covered in Agile Project Management: opportunity, principles, framework, and practices. The opportunity lies in creating innovative products and services—things that are new, different, and creative. These are products that can't be defined completely in the beginning but evolve over time through experimentation, exploration, and adaptation.

The principles of APM revolve around creating both adaptive products that are easy and less expensive to change and adaptive project teams that can respond rapidly to changes in their project's ecosystem. The framework is a set of high-level processes, or phases—Envision, Speculate, Explore, Adapt, and Close—that support exploration and experimentation and deliver results reliably, even in the face of constant change, uncertainty, and ambiguity. Finally, the practices—from developing a product vision box to getting the right people —provide actionable ways in which project teams can deliver results.

At its core, APM focuses on customers, products, and people—delivering value to customers, building adaptable products, and engaging talented people in collaborative work.

Jim Highsmith
January 2004
Flagstaff, Arizona



Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2004

    Agile Project Management - the art and science from the Master

    With this latest book ¿Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products¿, Jim Highsmith completes what could be considered his trilogy on adaptive and agile software development and he does so masterfully with practical guidance around the maturation of his adaptive vision. In his first book ¿Adaptive Software Development¿, Jim introduced his premise around the lessons that software development can learn from the scientific study of complex adaptive systems (CAS) as applied in biology, chemistry, and even physics: primarily, that software development cannot be straitjacketed into a prescriptive process but rather most benefits from adaptive and emergent-oriented approaches. To that end, much of his approach emphasizes the need for greater communication and collaboration in project teams in order to be effectively adaptive. His second book ¿Agile Software Development Ecosystems¿ provides the survey and guidance to understand and apply some of the extant adaptive frameworks: DSDM, Scrum, XP, FDD, Lean Development, Crystal, and his own Adaptive Software Development. In this way, he reinforces his initial vision by moving the discussion from one approach to multiple approaches. He then closes the book with a simple vocabulary to apply at an organizational level for developing one¿s own agile approach. Finally, with ¿Agile Project Management¿ Jim truly completes the journey by bringing us the innovative and emergent theme that underscores his two previous works; that is, that we cannot just adapt software development techniques per se, but must also be clear in our project management approaches around those practices. He compels us to do so by offering 5 fundamental phases agile project management that shift our emphasis from control and plan to innovation through exploration and experimentation: Envision, Speculate, Explore, Adapt, and Close. Coupled with this road to innovation, Jim provides very clear and practical guidance around the specific project management practices that make the steps come alive in the team context such as collaboration through participatory decision making. For my part, I have dog-eared practically every other page in this Highsmith version of ¿Return of the King¿ for the rich, straightforward guidance therein. I highly recommend this book, whether you choose to read it alone, or consider enjoying the adaptive journey fully by reading Jim¿s other two books as well. Whichever path you choose, you won¿t be disappointed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2004

    Perhaps best for software and small hardware projects

    APM claims to be a fresh approach to developing better products, be these hardware or software. Highsmith writes gracefully and most of the book sounds sensible. To me, the key point in APM is the continuous innovation. If the cost of experimenting falls sufficiently, then the people working on a project should seriously consider an overall strategy of attempting development phases that are, say, a week or so in length. And iterating. The idea is to explore as much as possible, with the cost in time being minimal. This is in contrast to the conventional method of drawing up detailed specifications and a timeline, at the start of a project, in Pert or Gantt charts, and then forcing development to conform to those specifications and schedule. [The continuous innovation and reduced delivery schedules are also explored at length in a companion book, 'User Stories Applied' by Cohn, ISBN 0321-205685.] Perhaps the best nugget I found in Highsmith's book is that 'agility' involves an optimal amount of structure. He illustrated that by saying that in a highly changing development environment, a rigorous configuration management discipline is essential as the bedrock framework. In software, that is spot on. The quicker your group's code changes, the more the need for strict checkin. Invariably, rollbacks (oops!) are necessary. APM may work best for software and small hardware projects. Where you can experiment cheaply, especially with simulations. For large hardware projects, this basic premise may not hold. The widespread use of Pert and Gantt charts, and the techniques behind these, exist not entirely, or even mostly, because of inertia. Expert judgment does usually go into these, and sometimes there is no other alternative. His putdown of Business Process Reengineering is that its greatest flaw was in elevating process over people. Some of you will surely have wry grins over this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2004

    A wonderful book full of immediately practical advice

    This is a wonderful and highly practical book. Within hours of putting it down I was already putting some of its advice into practice. A highly thought-provoking book, arguing, for instance, that agility is more attitude than process and more environment than methodology. Because of the complexity of today¿s software projects, one new product development project can rarely be viewed as a repeat of a prior project. This makes Highsmith¿s advice to favor a reliable process over a repeatable one particularly timely and important. Interwoven into the book is a dialog between two project managers, one an agile development manager and the other a more traditional manager. Their conversations start each chapter and do an excellent job of introducing the main ideas of the chapter. Unlike many other agile books, the advice in this book can be applied to teams that are dipping their toes into agile waters or that are already fully immersed. Highsmith¿s writing, full of both wisdom and anecdotes, is both informative and fun. This book is a pleasure to read. More importantly, though, you will leave this book with some very specific practices you can immediately apply to your projects.

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    Posted July 7, 2010

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    Posted May 13, 2011

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    Posted June 2, 2010

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