Agile Excellence™ for Product Managers
A Guide to Creating Winning Products with Agile Development Teams™
By Greg Cohen, 280 Group consultant & trainer
Agile Excellence covers the following topics:
- The why and how of Agile development, including Scrum ,XP, and Lean
- The role of product management
- Release planning
- Release management
- Road mapping
- Creating and prioritizing a product backlog
- Organizational implication
- and more
It is a must-read for product managers making the switch to Agile development as well as Product Owners and project managers looking for better ways to organize and lead in their companies.
This book also serves as the text for the 280 Group’s Agile Product Management Excellence in-person training course and Agile Self-Study course, which prepare you to take the exam and become an Agile Certified Product Manager.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Brian Lawley
1. Why Agile is Good for Product Management
1.1 Traditional Software Development
1.2 The Cost of Change
1.3 Agile Software Development
1.4 What’s In It For You?
1.5 Why now?
1.6 The Agile Manifesto
1.7 The Common Threads of Agile
1.8 Why Agile Works
1.9 Product Management Just Got Better
2. Understanding Scrum
2.1 Overview of Scrum
2.2 An Iteration
2.3 The Scrum Team
2.4 Sprint Planning
2.5 Daily Standup
2.6 Feedback and the Role of Unit Testing
2.7 Sprint Review
2.8 Sprint Retrospective
2.9 Sprint Termination
3. Release Management
3.1 Sizing Requirements
3.2 Managing Velocity and Tracking Releases
3.3 Managing an Iteration
4. Release Planning
4.1 Create the Product Backlog
4.2 Map Sprints to the Release and Product Backlog
4.3 Iteration Planning Exercise
4.4 Iteration Planning Exercise Answer
4.5 Working Across Multiple Iterations
4.6 Defining Requirements as Needed
4.7 The Role of User Experience Design in Agile
5.1 User Stories
5.2 Non-Functional Requirements
5.3 Splitting Stories
5.4 Other Documents
6. Starting Out
6.1 Selecting the Team
6.2 Creating a Product Strategy
6.3 The Release Plan
6.4 Creating the Product Backlog in a Hurry
6.5 Prioritizing the Product Backlog by Business Value
6.6 Selecting an Iteration Length
6.7 Estimating Stories
6.8 Testing and Beta Strategies
6.9 Impact on Sales and Marketing
7. Organizing Around Agile
7.1 Who Should Be Doing What?
7.2 Managing Multiple Projects
7.3 Obstacles to Team Performance
8. A Look at Extreme Programming and Lean Software Development
8.1 Extreme Programming
8.2 Lean Software Development
9.1 Process Maturity and Agile
9.2 Sweet Spots for Agile Development
9.3 Organizational Agility Trade-Offs
9.4 Agile Product Management Review
9.6 Visibility, Flexibility, and Quality
Appendix: Additional Resources
If making the move to Agile seems daunting, then read this book. Greg Cohen lays out the necessary steps to succeed with Agile.
- Anar Taori, Senior Product Manager, VMware
There are plenty of books that explain Agile but they are mostly from the development point of view. Agile Excellence provides the unique perspective of how Product Management professionals fit into the Agile framework and described how Agile and Product Management fit together. Cohen providesa comprehensive treatise on being an Agile Product Manager.
- Ivan Chalif, Director of Product Marketing at Alterian & Chief Blogger at TheProductologist.com
Greg Cohen makes a compelling case why Agile development is a boon for product managers and offers keen insight into leveraging it to win in the marketplace. It is a must read for any product manager looking to make the change.
- Gina Han, Senior Product Manager, Intuit
This is an outstanding book. With insight and clarity, Greg Cohen shoes the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of Agile product management. It is an essential guide for any Agile team member—even if not a product manager. Agile Excellence for Product Managers will help teams focus effort where it really counts.
- Therese Padilla, President, AIPMM (Association of International Product Marketing and Management)
This book is invaluable for any product manager looking to learn how to fully leverage Agile development to create better products faster.
- Bob Hsiung, Development Manager at MIT MediaLab
This book is a treasure chest of practical advice on working with Agile teams that can be immediately applied.
- Jeff Smith, VP Solutions, Vizu
Today’s companies need to be responsive to market opportunities, competitive dynamics, and customer needs. Agile methods can help get you there, and this book shows you how.
- Dave Karel, Vice President Product Makrketing, SuccessFactors
If you’re looking for a primer on Scrum that is slanted toward the product manager without going into too much detail, this is an excellent choice that can easily be read on a cross-country plane ride. You can read each chapter alone, but together they form a relatively cohesive picture of generic agile processes. …I plan to recommend this book to all of the product managers in our organization to augment what they’ve already learned. It is an easy read and worth the investment.
- Bill Simpson
If you’re a product manager and deal with software projects of any knd, Agile development methods are the key to being able to compete in the 21st century. Agile can ensure you and your company remain adaptable to shifting market conditions and deliver the right product, to the right customer, at the right time. If you use or are planning to use Agile methods, then Agile Excellence is a must read guide to help you maximize your success.
- Bill Takas, Director of Product Management, Gear6