Peter Ilas is pretentious in his primer Become an Agile Project Manager: Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Agile Project Management with Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban, Lean, Six Sigma, and Extreme Programming. The false promise in the book title is the main weakness of its content. Others compared a transformation to an agile way of working with running a marathon instead of a sprint. Any non-agile practice of project management is labeled “waterfall” (where sequential should be read) and “old-fashioned” (although alive and kicking, as Ilas himself also confirms). Every project is unique and so there is no one size fits all project management methodology. But, please, don’t sell Scrum as a methodology, let alone project management. Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland crafted Scrum as a framework for complex product development, agnostic of the context of a single team. You can read the content of the Scrum guide, the main tenets of eXtreme Programming (XP), Kanban, Lean, and Six Sigma in many other places.
That leaves Become an Agile Project Manager a very thin booklet if it comes down to contemporary generic project management approaches, of which none of the popular frameworks e.g. PRINCE2, DSDM Agile Project Management, Disciplined Agile Delivery, which was recently bought by the Project Management Institute are present in this book. The same goes for scaled agile frameworks like SAFe, Spotify-inspired instances, and LeSS. Instead, Agile Project Management (APM) is provided as an alternative to Waterfall, although the disadvantages and pitfalls mentioned in addressing the agile frameworks, don’t get a proper counterbalance or solution in APM’s description which is still focused on software delivery. Modifying the Agile Manifesto’s principles without mentioning to do so, isn’t fair. If Become an Agile Project Manager really is written to make you enthusiastic to embark on the journey to becoming one, start with the necessary soft or relational skills you need to differentiate and succeed.
About the author
Peter Ilas (1973) is the founder of Ready Set Agile publishing company and author of its books. He is certified finance professional with extensive project management experience. Peter has worked as a group director leading over 50 people and led cross-regional and transformation projects for one of the largest companies in the world. Diverse and rich 25-year experiences led him to an exceptional understanding of managerial processes. Currently, he is an independent management consultant.
His passion is to give exceptional value and support to project managers. Why? Because they are best placed to change a project into reality and thus fulfill the company’s dreams (aka strategic goals). Project managers must be equipped with leadership, technical, and business skills like CEOs.