[Review] Agile Estimating and Planning

November 14, 2014

Agile Estimating and Planning, a book written by Mike Cohn (who writes an excellent blog you should all follow), is the de facto “classic” book for learning about Agile Planning. With great examples, illustrations for learning, and just the right amount of detail, Agile Estimating and Planning is a book I’ll be coming back to from project to project to reflect on our goals, process and outputs.

As with most books I read related to software, I’ve found that their true value comes from the introspection performed while reading them, and this book had many interesting insights which caused me to reflect on my experiences and they apply to the reading and how if I had applied the reading to them things may have been different. From this reflection I’ve discovered a few things I’ll be applying to my present situation. I found this book to be well worth the read.

The downside to the book, however, is that as I’m presently working in an Agile company, I found myself going for several chapters (in particular the early chapters) without any ‘wow’ moments where anything just clicked as the ideas were things I apply on a day to day basis. The book does pick up beyond that
(or at least better apply to my present role as a Scum Master), and I can see their value to someone unfamiliar with Agile practices and methodologies.

All in all, I’m a fan of the book, but I plan to use it as more of a reference and re-read chapters which apply to my current situation when I come back to it. In fact, that’s my recommendation for everyone – read the chapter/part titles, read the portions which most interest you and read Chapter 23 for the end-to-end application of the whole book in case-study form. The last chapter is around 50 pages, but everyone should read it from SMs, POs, PMs to Devs. Well, what are you waiting for? Go read it.