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Head First Agile

Book Description

What will you learn from this book?

It’s an exciting time to be agile! Finally, our industry has found a real, sustainable way to solve problems that have perplexed generations of software developers. Agile not only leads to great results, but teams say they also have a much better time at work. Yet … if agile is so great, why isn’t everyone doing it? It turns out that agile can work well for one team and cause serious problems for another. The difference is team mindset. With this brain-friendly guide, you’ll change the way you think about your projects—for the better!

Preparing for your PMI-ACP certification? This book has everything you need to pass the exam: a complete study guide, tips, exam questions, and a full-length practice PMI-ACP exam.

Why does this book look so different?

Based on the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory, Head First Agile uses a visually rich format to engage your mind, rather than a text-heavy approach that puts you to sleep. Why waste your time struggling with new concepts? This multi-sensory learning experience is designed for the way your brain really works.

Table of Contents

  1. Dedication
  2. Praise for Head First Agile
  5. How to Use This book: Intro
    1. Who is this book for?
      1. Who should probably back away from this book?
    2. We know what you’re thinking.
      1. And we know what your brain is thinking.
    3. Metacognition: thinking about thinking
      1. So just how DO you get your brain to think that the material about agile is a hungry tiger?
      2. Here’s what WE did:
    4. Here’s what YOU can do to bend your brain into submission
    5. Read me
    6. The technical review team
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. O’Reilly Safari®
  8. Praise for Head First Agile
  9. 1. What is Agile?: Principles and practices
    1. The new features sound great...
    2. ... but things don’t always go as expected
    3. Agile to the rescue!
      1. A daily standup is a good starting point
    4. Kate tries to hold a daily standup
    5. Different team members have different attitudes
    6. A better mindset makes the practice work better
    7. So what is agile, anyway?
      1. Mindset versus methodology
    8. Scrum is the most common approach to agile
      1. XP and Lean/Kanban
    9. The PMI-ACP certification can help you be more agile
  10. 2. Agile Values and Principles: Mindset meets method
    1. Something big happened in Snowbird
      1. Meeting of the minds
    2. The Agile Manifesto
    3. Adding practices in the real world can be a challenge
      1. The four values of the Agile Manifesto guide the team to a better, more effective mindset
    4. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
    5. Working software over comprehensive documentation
    6. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
    7. Responding to change over following a plan
    8. Question Clinic: The “which-is-BEST” question
    9. They think they’ve got a hit ...
    10. ... but it’s a flop!
    11. The principles behind the Agile Manifesto
    12. The agile principles help you deliver your product
    13. The agile principles help your team communicate and work together
    14. The new product is a hit!
    15. Mindsetcross
    16. Exam Questions
    17. Exam
    18. Mindsetcross Solution
  11. 3. Managing Projects With Scrum: The Rules of Scrum
    1. Meet the Ranch Hand Games team
    2. The Scrum events help you get your projects done
    3. The Scrum roles help you understand who does what
    4. The Scrum artifacts keep the team informed
      1. The Increment is the sum of all backlog items that are actually completed and delivered at the end of the Sprint
    5. The Scrum values make the team more effective
    6. Question Clinic: The “which-comes-next” question
    7. A task isn’t done until it’s “Done” done
    8. Scrum teams adapt to changes throughout the Sprint
    9. The Agile Manifesto helps you really “get” Scrum
      1. The Product Owner makes sure the team delivers value
      2. Self-organizing means deciding as a team what to work on next
    10. Things are looking good for the team
    11. Exam Questions
    12. Exam
  12. 4. Agile Planning and Estimation: Generally Accepted Scrum Practices
    1. Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
    2. So... what’s next?
    3. Introducing GASPs!
    4. No more 300-page specs... please?
    5. User stories help teams understand what users need
    6. Story points let the team focus on the relative size of each story
    7. The whole team estimates together
    8. No more detailed project plans
    9. Taskboards keep the team informed
    10. Question Clinic: The red herring
    11. Burndown charts help the team see how much work is left
    12. Velocity tells you how much your team can do in a sprint
    13. Burn-ups keep your progress and your scope separate from each other
    14. How do we know what to build?
    15. Story maps help you prioritize your backlog
    16. Personas help you get to know your users
    17. The news could be better...
    18. Retrospectives help your team improve the way they work
    19. Some tools to help you get more out of your retrospectives
      1. Tools to help you set the stage:
      2. Tools to help you gather data:
      3. Tools to help you generate insights:
      4. Tools to help you decide what to do:
      5. Cubicle Conversation
      6. Pizza party!
    20. Exam Questions
    21. Exam
  13. 5. XP (extreme programming): Embracing change
    1. Meet the team behind CircuitTrak
      1. Gary’s the founder and CEO
      2. Ana and Ryan are the lead engineers
    2. Late nights and weekends lead to code problems
    3. XP brings a mindset that helps the team and the code
    4. Iterative development helps teams stay on top of changes
      1. XP teams use stories to track their requirements
      2. XP teams plan their work a quarter at a time
      3. XP teams use one-week iterations
      4. Slack means giving the team some breathing room
    5. Courage and respect keep fear out of the project
    6. Teams build better code when they work together
      1. A whole team is built on trust
      2. Trust means letting your teammates make mistakes
      3. XP teams don’t have fixed or prescribed roles
    7. Teams work best when they sit together
    8. XP teams value communication
    9. Teams work best with relaxed, rested minds
    10. Question Clinic: The “which-is-NOT” question
    11. XP teams embrace change
    12. Frequent feedback keeps changes small
    13. Bad experiences cause a rational fear of change
    14. XP practices give you feedback about the code
    15. XP teams use automated builds that run quickly
    16. Continuous integration prevents nasty surprises
    17. The weekly cycle starts with writing tests
    18. Agile teams get feedback from design and testing
      1. Wireframes help the team get early feedback about the user interface
      2. Build spike solutions to get an idea of a feature’s technical difficulty
      3. Usability testing means testing your user interface on real users
    19. Pair programming
    20. Complex code is really hard to maintain
    21. When teams value simplicity, they build better code
    22. Simplicity is a fundamental agile principle
      1. When units are tightly coupled, it adds complexity to the project
      2. It’s tempting to sacrifice simplicity for reusability
    23. Every team accumulates technical debt
    24. XP teams “pay down” technical debt in each weekly cycle
    25. Incremental design starts (and ends) with simple code
    26. Exam Questions
    27. Exam
  14. 6. Lean/Kanban: Eliminating Waste and Managing Flow
    1. Trouble with Audience Analyzer 2.5
    2. Lean is a mindset (not a methodology)
      1. Lean, Scrum, and XP are compatible
    3. Lean principles help you see things differently
    4. More Lean principles
    5. Some thinking tools you haven’t seen before
    6. More Lean thinking tools
    7. Cubicle Conversation
    8. Categorizing waste can help you see it better
    9. Value stream maps help you see waste
    10. Trying to do too many things at once
    11. Anatomy of an Option
    12. Systems thinking helps Lean teams see the whole
    13. Some “improvements” didn’t work out
      1. A failed experiment (and that’s a good thing!)
    14. Lean teams use pull systems to make sure they’re always working on the most valuable tasks
      1. Set up a pull system by establishing WIP limits
    15. Question Clinic: Least worst option
    16. Kanban uses a pull system to make your process better
    17. Use Kanban boards to visualize the workflow
    18. How to use Kanban to improve your process
    19. The team creates a workflow
      1. Cubicle Conversation
    20. The team is delivering faster
    21. Cumulative flow diagrams help you manage flow
    22. Kanban teams talk about their policies
    23. Feedback loops show you how it’s working
      1. Kanban teams use lead time to create feadback loops
    24. Now the whole team is collaborating on finding better ways to work!
    25. Lean/Kanbancross
    26. Lean/Kanbancross Solution
    27. Exam Questions
    28. Exam
  15. 7. Preparing for the PMI-ACP® Exam: Check your knowledge
    1. The PMI-ACP® certification is valuable...
      1. ... but you really need to know your stuff
    2. The PMI-ACP® exam is based on the content outline
      1. The content outline is an important preparation tool
    3. “You are an agile practitioner...”
    4. A long-term relationship for your brain
    5. Domain 1: Agile Principles and Mindset
    6. Domain 1: Exam Questions
      1. Exam Questions
      2. Exam
    7. Domain 2: Value-Driven Delivery
    8. Agile teams use customer value to prioritize requirements
    9. Value calculations help you figure out which projects to do
    10. Domain 2: Exam Questions
      1. Exam Questions
      2. Exam
    11. Domain 3: Stakeholder Engagement
    12. Domain 4: Team Performance
    13. Domain 3: Exam Questions
    14. Domain 4: Exam Questions
      1. Exam Questions
      2. Exam Questions
      3. Exam
      4. Exam
    15. Domain 5: Adaptive Planning
    16. Adapt your leadership style as the team evolves
      1. Situational leadership
    17. A few last tools and techniques
      1. Risk-adjusted backlog, pre-mortem, and risk burn down charts
    18. A few last tools and techniques
      1. Collaboration games
      2. Tools Solution
      3. Exam Questions
      4. Exam
    19. Domain 6: Problem Detection and Resolution
    20. Domain 7: Continuous Improvement
      1. Exam Questions
      2. Exam Questions
      3. Exam
      4. Exam
    21. Domain 5: Exam Questions
    22. Domain 6: Exam Questions
    23. Domain 7: Exam Questions
    24. Examcross Solution
    25. Are you ready for the final exam?
  16. 8. Professional Responsibility: Making good choices
    1. Doing the right thing
      1. The main ideas
    2. Keep the cash?
    3. Fly business class?
    4. New software
    5. Shortcuts
    6. A good price or a clean river?
    7. We’re not all angels
    8. Exam Questions
    9. Exam
  17. 9. Practice Makes Perfect: Practice PMI-ACP Exam
    1. Before you look at the answers...
  18. Index
  19. Copyright