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A Practical Approach to Large-Scale Agile Development

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Title           : A Practical Approach to Large-Scale Agile Development: How HP Transformed LaserJet FutureSmart Firmware (Agile Software Development Series)
Author/s    : Gary Gruver, Mike Young, Pat Fulghum
Publisher   : Addison-Wesley Professional
Category   : Project Management, Process and Best Practices
Review by : Junilu Lacar
Rating        : 9 horseshoes

This little gem comes in at about 200 pages but is by no means a lightweight in content. It is chock-full of useful information and advice based on practical, real-world experience. While it has the obligatory section to review the Agile Manifesto and Twelve Agile Principles, this book is by no means just a rehash of topics you'll find in introductory books on Agile. It is a full case study of a large-scale, long-term agile transformation in a large corporate setting.

The authors, who include an executive, a program manager, and an architect, detail their journey in transforming the Hewlett Packard LaserJet FutureSmart Firmware program with agile principles and practices. They walk through many of the key technical and management decisions, explaining the principles on which those decisions were made and describing the practices and tools they used. They cover just about everything too, from architecture to tools and practices, from team culture to team management.

What I found most interesting and valuable in this book is its emphasis on a clean and flexible software architecture as a key driver and enabler for agile transformation. The only thing I thought was missing was a mention of the kind of coaching they had and the dynamics around that. It's hard to imagine a large-scale agile transformation without any kind of coaching going on. Otherwise, you really can't go wrong with a book that says software architects should also code.

This book is definitely worth a thorough reading and re-reading if you are undertaking a large-scale agile transformation.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.
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