Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Book Review: Agile Coaching (Davies/Sedley)

Due to the second part of the Snowpocalypse here in the Northeast (3-4 feet in less than 7 days!), I had the opportunity to work from home and catch up on some reading.

The first selection was "Agile Coaching" by Rachel Davies and Liz Sedley. This book is part of the Pragmatic Programmers publishing series.

This is a great book with lots of modern concepts included. I was surprised to find notes on Kanban and Pomodoro included in sidebars since these concepts just became common/mainstream knowledge in the community in the last year. As a whole, the flow of the book and the ideas contained were well-organized and easy to absorb.

My only disappointment with the book is that I was hoping for a whole book on improving as a coach, but this was limited to the last chapter. The majority of the book was focused on various slices of agile and how to facilitate them. Because I was lucky with my entry into agile (I was mentored by great coaches from ObjectMentor), many of these thoughts had been planted in my head years ago. It was good to refresh them in a simple condensed fashion though.

Summary- I'm glad I have this book in my library. It may not have provided new information for me, but it is a great reference in times of stress when teams slip back into old habits. It provides a great reminder for me of things that I sometimes forget. More importantly, the book can be read in slices which makes it a great tool to hand to others to learn a specific concept. I think target reader should be anyone new to agile that is in a leadership role (note I didn't say management). I have a strong feeling that I may use this book heavily as a tool to provide insight for others.