particularly like his emphasis on focusing all decisions around the project's
mission and using that mission as a way of continually asking - are we on the
right track? He draws from the fields of cybernetics, engineering, chaos theory
and economics for insights into how to take precise and relevant measurements.
. . I recommend this book to anyone who would like some sound advice on facing
and becoming more effective in the chaotic reality of systems development."
"Adaptive Software Development is
probably one of the most important books about the software development process
that you will ever read. . . .
"Should you read this book? If you want
to succeed at developing software, the answer is a resounding yes. If you can
accept having your belief structure challenged, yes. If you enjoy working on failed
projects, political fighting, or users who are frustrated with the quality of
the work that you produce, then don't bother reading Adaptive Software Development.
I'm sure there's a 'Teach Yourself A New Technology in 21 Days' book that's more
suited to your mindset."
Jolt Award Review
major contribution is a thoughtful examination of the environment required for
flexible adaptive development teams and organizations . . .
software people must be able to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses
of various approaches, and select what is appropriate for their respective environments
and project/product constraints. They will benefit most from this book. . . .
would hope Highsmith continues with the development of his vision, publishing
more specific (if condensed) case studies . . . It would be fascinating to be
able to study organizations instituting various changes and applying these principles
in difficult situations in order to become more flexible, adaptable, and ultimately,
"If you are working in an environment where there
is tremendous pressure to ship quickly, and where change happens constantly, then
you may have seen some successful projects emerge from fuzzy beginnings. Highsmith
has suggestions for creating a project environment that not only helps people
live with those fuzzy starts, but also helps people create a project and
a product of which they can be proud. . . .
"Highsmith shows the reader
how to recognize when development practices need to change and how to acquire
the skills to adapt. For a fresh approach to software development, be sure to
check it out."
"This is very likely the best book about software process that you will
ever read. Highsmith has captured the fundamentals of how to succeed at software
development in the modern age, presenting a framework of concepts and philosophies
that can help your organization to adapt to the current realities of software
development. Instead of following a strict set of tasks and processes, and then
optimizing them over time, Highsmith instead suggests that your organization should
strive for an adaptive culture that recognizes that uncertainty and change are
the natural state. The material in this book is an excellent addition to that
of eXtreme Programming (XP) and will help you to temper your tailoring
of the Unified Process, OPEN Process, and/or the process patterns of the OOSP
by also addressing the cultural aspects of your software organization."
President, Ronin International
"Highsmith's book has been highly praised in many circles
and deservedly so. He applies many of the theories of complex adaptive systems
to teams trying to build software in today's marketplace. This is a well written
book that expounds a fundamentally different approach to developing software.
. . . If you find yourself trying to force your classic approach to a new slippery
problem(s), look at this book."
Systems and Computer Engineer/ Author of
The Software Project Manager's
". . . the first few chapters clearly
indicated Adaptive Software Development (ASD) well suited my current projects.
Your narrative style makes ASD easy to understand and caused me to read it again
to gain even more subtleties. . . . ASD is what real product development is like.
I have improved our results over previous projects by letting loose the employee
reins while setting positive goals and necessary landscape contraints. The ASD
approach allowed team members to invent solutions to the always present unexpected
problems and yet deliver the product on time."
Wolter Works, Inc.
Ann Arbor, MI
. . . decided to tell us the truth, uncomfortable as it will surely make some
of us: Managers do not simply plant a light at the end of a narrow tunnel, and
then drive work effort down that tunnel to reach the light. . . . Rather, development
teams need to seek a light that emerges along a discovered path, incrementally
illuminating sign posts. . . . Adaptive Software Development gives us .
. . the vocabulary we need to discuss the truth, and still create results. Bravo!"
Founder and CEO of Neometron
. . successfully rebuts software development traditionalists with results over
process. . . . a must read for the thinking developer."
Former CEO of ST Labs, Inc.
. . contains many examples and analogies that I can use in helping clients be
more effective in using teamwork and group learning on software development projects
. . ."
"This book, more than any I've
read, best captures my philosophy of software management. . . .
. . what the author advocates. . . is a sensible balancenot too much process
nor too little. This book, along with Rapid Development, are my two favorite
'handbooks' for software management. . . ."
posted on Amazon.com
Highsmith . . . writes for those of us who have to develop real software in a
competitive, constrained, high-change environment. . . . There can be no canned
answers to the problems of modern, rapid software development. Adaptive Software
Development heralds an emerging discipline of inventing and adapting strategies
to fit each situation. This discipline requires that we study the dynamics of
software projects and software people, not merely their practices or documents."
Principal Consultant, Satisfice, Inc.
". . . Highsmith shatters longstanding beliefs on the optimization
of complex systems . . . which in turn lead to frameworks or models that employ
adaptive principles. Collaboration, joint creativity and innovation are the keys
on Highsmith's path to successfully managing large projects."
posted on Fatbrain.com
there is to be a case for light and flexible software development processes, methods
and techniques, Jim Highsmith's book is it. He presents a thoroughly researched
and cited argument for using what we know about complexity and chaos in software
development. . . .
"The book is sprinkled with short and incisive words
of wisdom that will spark debate among the 'just do it' and 'software must be
disciplined' crowds. For example, 'Adaptation depends on leadership and collaboration
rather than on command and control,' 'Adaptation is significantly more important
than optimization' and in a complex environment, following a plan produces the
product you intended, but not the product you need.' . . .
"In an ideal
world, business sponsors of extreme project should read this book. It is must
reading for the growing legions of developers intrigued by the idea of 'extreme
programming' XP and need to have a deeper understanding of why it makes sense.
. . ."
posted on Fatbrain.com
"This is an excellent book for any software developer,
manager, QA analyst, or tester that wants to understand an intelligent way to
build software in a rapidly changing environment. Unlike other works on Rapid
Application Development (RAD) . . . this book lays a very strong foundation in
the concepts of complex adaptive systems theory. . . .
Software Development] goes beyond concepts and shows plenty of ways to apply
Quality Advisor Online
"If fast-paced, high requirements
volatility, and uncertainty characterize your development environment, and you
can't figure out how to succeed, then Adaptive Software Development by
James Highsmith can help. It offers an innovative approach grounded in the theory
of complex adaptive systems, and it's both well researched and timely.
real attraction, however, is that it provides a holistic approach to software
development and management adaptively, of course and covers
the crucial aspects of learning in software process environments. . . . a useful
contribution to the changing profession of software engineering. . . . I am sure
the software soldiers and their commanders operating in turbulent times stand
to gain from this book."
"In my experience, management
is the most critical component of a project, and the hardest to change. I particularly
enjoyed Jim's discussion of how some managers who are stuck in command-and-control
have a static view of the world, which prevents them from making sense of their
current environment. Adaptation is a necessary and critical skill of competent
managers. He contrasts the command-and-control managers to leader-collaborator
managers, who learn how to make sense of the world, even if it doesn't conform
to their well-understood beliefs. . . . Adaptive Software Development is
a thought-provoking book. I enjoyed the mountain-climbing examples, and was able
to adapt those examples to projects that I have worked on."
"A great introduction
to applying complexity theory to the software development process. . . . for every
project manager that wants to know how the next generation of systems will be
and Coauthor of
done! . . . a plethora of provocative ideas."
a theory for software development management that suggests an adaptive culture
in which change and uncertainty are assumed to be the natural state, as opposed
to the conventional belief that optimization is the only solution to increasingly
complex problems. The approach combines customer focus groups, versioning, time-boxed
management, and active prototyping. The book does not provide a set of prescriptive
rules or tasks, but a framework of concepts, practices, and guidelines."
"For many years there has been a natural tension
between the textbook approach to software development and the market forces that
encourage software to be produced quickly and cheaply. . . .
Highsmith now aligns the goals of the two camps the academics and the practitioners
in a process that allows for both rigor and creative learning. . . . The
book uses mountain climbing as a metaphor throughout, so that we clearly see how
accomplishing something difficult requires us to deal with the realities of risk
and uncertainty on the way to our goal. . . . the book is full of important questions
that should be addressed by managers and developers alike. . . "
are many points of sound advice in this book.
". . . reading this book
made me think a little harder about some aspects of the software development process.
The author's metaphors of biological adaptation and mountain climbing have many
equivalencies in software development that should be seriously considered."
posted on Amazon.com
"Today's businesses operate in a quick-changing environment, where competitive
edge can be measured in days and weeks rather than years. At the same time, the
systems that service these markets must be reliable. The Adaptive Software Development
cycle outlined in this book addresses these challenges and provides giudelines
for functioning successfully in a fast-paced environment. It outlines the need
for a collaborative environment in the organization as a whole and a new leadership
style that doesn't attempt to control all aspects of a project. . . .
book takes the reader through each stage of a high change project, from initial
conception, planning, development, and delivery. It provides insight on the models,
techniques, and life cycle management as well as outlining the team interactions
and roles. It provides a thought-provoking guide to project management in the
"The book introduces a new way of thinking about IT development
and a different approach to project management that uses new terminology and requires
a change in mindset. . . .
"The concepts being presented are well worth
learning, and I'd encourage the reader to take the time to absorb them.
require participation from all team members, and Jim's approach stresses collaboration.
It should be read by all members of the team, from programmer to business unit
representative. . . .
"This is an easy-to-read-book that outlines specific
strategies to empower a team."
SQL Server Professional