Starting Agile
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Starting Agile

Finding Your Path

About the Book

Many teams attempt to "become Agile" by adopting Agile practices. When this produces some improvements, they declare victory, print the t-shirts and order the cake. Agile achievement unlocked! What's next? 

Increased efficiency is not trivial, but this approach fails to recognize the potential of Agile. True agility requires something more fundamental than simply replacing one set of rigid inefficient practices with new ones--even if they happen to be less wasteful. Better practices alone do not an Agile team make. To be Agile, teams must go further. They must learn to deal with change as a core competency, and that means creating a base that goes deeper than Agile practices. 

The Agile principles are what provide this foundation. The principles provide the *why* below the practices and give teams a bedrock that allows the practices to adapt to change.

In this book, Mark Shead pulls from years of experience coaching Agile teams to a look at the principles behind some common practices. He discusses how successful teams use the Agile principles to chart a path toward effective practices that continually adapt to their organization's unique environment.

About the Author

Mark Shead
Mark Shead

Mark Shead is the president of Xeric Corporation where he helps organizations increase their return on investment in software development. He has worked extensively as a coach with the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve Banks implementing Agile development and deployment practices. He specializes in helping teams use DevOps to build development/deployment pipelines in organizations with legacy change management policies and turning six-month deployments cycles into something measured in hours.

In 2018 Mark published the book Productivity drawn from over a decade of experience helping people improve their productivity at In 2014 Intuit recognized Mark as one of the world’s leading experts in workplace productivity. 

Mark's YouTube channel is home to a number of videos on software engineering and productivity topics. His What is Agile? animated cartoon was viewed by over half a million people in its first year and continues to be one of the most popular videos on Agile.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • What is Agile?
  • Becoming More Agile
  • Visualize Your Work
  • Daily Face-to-Face
  • Talk to Users
  • Regular Demos
  • Retrospectives
  • Better Stories
  • Automation
  • Testing
  • Deliver Small Changes
  • Understanding Business Value
  • Sustainable Continual Improvement
  • Glossary

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