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Head First Agile

Book Description

Head First Agile is a complete guide to learning real-world agile ideas, practices, principles.

What will you learn from this book?

In Head First Agile, you'll learn all about the ideas behind agile and the straightforward practices that drive it. You'll take deep dives into Scrum, XP, Lean, and Kanban, the most common real-world agile approaches today. You'll learn how to use agile to help your teams plan better, work better together, write better code, and improve as a team—because agile not only leads to great results, but agile teams say they also have a much better time at work. Head First Agile will help you get agile into your brain... and onto your team!

Preparing for your PMI-ACP® certification?

This book also has everything you need to get certified, with 100% coverage of the PMI-ACP® exam. Luckily, the most effective way to prepare for the exam is to get agile into your brain—so instead of cramming, you're learning.

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. Praise for Head First Agile
  2. Praise for other Head First books
  3. how to use this book: Intro
    1. Who is this book for?
    2. Who should probably back away from this book?
    3. We know what you’re thinking.
    4. And we know what your brain is thinking.
      1. This must be important! Don’t forget it!
    5. Metacognition: thinking about thinking
      1. So just how DO you get your brain to think that the material about agile is a hungry tiger?
    6. Here’s what WE did:
    7. Here’s what YOU can do to bend your brain into submission
    8. Read me
      1. The redundancy is intentional and important.
      2. The Brain Power exercises don’t have answers.
      3. The activities are NOT optional.
      4. Try the exam questions—even if you’re not studying for the exam!
    9. The technical review team
    10. Acknowledgments
    11. O’Reilly Safari®
      1. More Praise for Head First Agile
  4. 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. there are no Dumb Questions
    10. The PMI-ACP certification can help you be more agile
  5. 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. Manifesto Magnets
    5. there are no Dumb Questions
    6. Question Clinic: The “which-is-BEST” question
    7. They think they’ve got a hit ...
    8. ... but it’s a flop!
    9. The principles behind the Agile Manifesto
    10. The agile principles help you deliver your product
    11. Fireside Chats
    12. there are no Dumb Questions
    13. The agile principles help your team communicate and work together
    14. there are no Dumb Questions
    15. The new product is a hit!
    16. Exam Questions
    17. Exam Answers
    18. Manifesto Magnets Solution
  6. 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. there are no Dump Questions
    6. The Scrum values make the team more effective
    7. Story Time
    8. there are no Dumb Questions
    9. Question Clinic: The “which-comes-next” question
    10. A task isn’t done until it’s “Done” done
    11. Scrum teams adapt to changes throughout the Sprint
    12. there are no Dumb Questions
    13. 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
    14. there are no Dumb Questions
    15. Things are looking good for the team
    16. Exam Questions
    17. Exam Answers
  7. 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
      1. How story points work
    7. The whole team estimates together
    8. No more detailed project plans
    9. Taskboards keep the team informed
    10. there are no Dumb Questions
    11. Question Clinic: The red herring
    12. Burndown charts help the team see how much work is left
    13. Velocity tells you how much your team can do in a sprint
    14. Burn-ups keep your progress and your scope separate from each other
    15. How do we know what to build?
    16. Story maps help you prioritize your backlog
    17. Personas help you get to know your users
    18. there are no Dumb Questions
    19. The news could be better...
    20. Retrospectives help your team improve the way they work
    21. 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!
    22. Exam Questions
    23. Exam Answers
  8. 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. Venn Magnets
    7. Venn Magnets Solution
    8. there are no Dumb Questions
    9. 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
    10. Teams work best when they sit together
    11. XP teams value communication
    12. Teams work best with relaxed, rested minds
      1. Leave yourself enough time to do the job
      2. Let yourself make mistakes
      3. Get rid of interruptions
      4. Work at a sustainable pace
    13. there are no Dumb Questions
    14. Question Clinic: The “which-is-NOT” question
    15. XP teams embrace change
    16. Frequent feedback keeps changes small
    17. Bad experiences cause a rational fear of change
    18. XP practices give you feedback about the code
    19. XP teams use automated builds that run quickly
    20. Continuous integration prevents nasty surprises
    21. The weekly cycle starts with writing tests
    22. 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
    23. Pair programming
    24. there are no Dumb Questions
    25. Complex code is really hard to maintain
    26. When teams value simplicity, they build better code
    27. 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
    28. Every team accumulates technical debt
    29. XP teams “pay down” technical debt in each weekly cycle
    30. Incremental design starts (and ends) with simple code
    31. there are no Dumb Questions
    32. Exam Questions
    33. Exam Answers
  9. 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. Venn Magnets
    6. Venn Magnets Solution
    7. Some thinking tools you haven’t seen before
    8. More Lean thinking tools
    9. Cubicle Conversation
    10. Categorizing waste can help you see it better
    11. there are no Dumb Questions
    12. Value stream maps help you see waste
    13. Trying to do too many things at once
    14. Anatomy of an Option
    15. Systems thinking helps Lean teams see the whole
    16. Some “improvements” didn’t work out
      1. A failed experiment (and that’s a good thing!)
    17. 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
    18. there are no Dumb Questions
    19. Question Clinic: Least worst option
    20. Kanban uses a pull system to make your process better
    21. Use Kanban boards to visualize the workflow
    22. How to use Kanban to improve your process
    23. The team creates a workflow
    24. Cubicle Conversation
    25. there are no Dumb Questions
    26. The team is delivering faster
    27. Cumulative flow diagrams help you manage flow
    28. Kanban teams talk about their policies
    29. Feedback loops show you how it’s working
      1. Kanban teams use lead time to create feadback loops
    30. Now the whole team is collaborating on finding better ways to work!
    31. Exam Questions
    32. Exam Answers
  10. 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. there are no Dumb Questions
    5. A long-term relationship for your brain
    6. Pool Puzzle
    7. Pool Puzzle Solution
    8. Exam Questions
    9. Exam Answers
    10. Agile teams use customer value to prioritize requirements
    11. Value calculations help you figure out which projects to do
    12. Exam Questions
    13. Exam Answers
    14. Exam Questions
    15. Exam Questions
    16. Exam Answers
    17. Exam Answers
    18. Adapt your leadership style as the team evolves
      1. Situational leadership
    19. A few last tools and techniques
      1. Risk-adjusted backlog, pre-mortem, and risk burn down charts
    20. A few last tools and techniques
      1. Collaboration games
    21. Exam Questions
    22. Exam Answers
    23. Exam Questions
    24. Exam Questions
    25. Exam Answers
    26. Exam Answers
    27. Are you ready for the final exam?
  11. 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 Answers
  12. 9. Practice makes perfect: Practice PMI-ACP Exam
    1. Before you look at the answers...
  13. Index