Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My review for the book: Agile Project Management For Government

I've been privileged to ask for a review for the recently printed book Agile Project Management For Government written by Brian Wernham. My initial thought was that this was just another book about Agile Project Management complemented with some study cases for government agencies, I was totally mistaken, this is indeed a great book that covers real case studies in several countries and for very large implementations like the FBI Sentinel project.

These case studies just provoke the reader and keep him/her interested for reading the rest of the great material that this book has to offer. It's no secret the great expenditure of tax money that governments put to backup IT projects but what these cases studies made more than evident is that money is not the only enabler. On the same venue, well founded government projects are lacking agility and that is hindering their ability to deliver value.

This book provides hope for all those government projects and actors that can turn they look into more efficient ways for working close to the end user and deliver incrementally usable products. Much transformation is needed inside government officials and IT departments and for that this book offer nine Agile Leadership Behavior closely aligned to the Agile Manifesto. These behaviors if successfully implemented could turn disastrous projects into successful ones; what is even more important, government IT personnel can also deliver high quality software in shorter periods of time like their cousins in the IT private sector are already doing.

The big caveat is the rigid and bureaucratic structure that many governments enforce in their ranks. Brian did a great job describing 6 barriers that prevent Agile from success in government IT projects.  The mega-project mania really caught my attention because we're so accustomed to think that everything that governments do come in mammoth size. Smaller, faster and better seems to have been lost for the sake of complexity; this book does a great job remind us all that there is excellence in simplicity and light weight methods.

Five years from now I think that this book will still be in my bookshelf as a key reference book. What is even more important, people who have read this book would have delivered successful projects produced in an energizing work environment enabled by Agile principles and values. 


  1. We usually don’t find a full time scrum master. Scrum master is described by scrum guide as one who teaches, facilitates and removes impediments. When the team is relatively new it takes time and the team follows scrum religiously. This is when the team needs a scrum master who can teach scrum full time. Follow SBOK guide of which is a best book to understand Agile Project Management.

  2. I would say that a PMP Certification is highly respected within both IT & non-IT communities where strong project management skills are required. If you plan on a long term career as a project manager, then yes, even with your level of experience, I would suggest getting your PMP. You can prepare yourself for the exam in one of the PMP trainingproviders like You can do minimal prep-work to get 40 PMI® Contact Hours and apply to PMI for PMP Exam before the class begins.

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  4. Hi All, I am bit confused whether to opt for Scrum credentials or attend a PMP prep course / PMP classes preparing to take PMP certification exams . Whats your take?

  5. It will definitely ease your work of handling a big project. As a project manager I use scrum in my projects. One of my friends referred me to use the Guide to Scrum Body of Knowledge by I like the concepts of sprints, daily standup meetings, etc. the SBOK Helped me alot in Understanding how Agile Project Management works.