The next four chapters describe specific practices that align with the agile values and guiding principles for each of the APM framework phases. These practices should be considered a "system of practices," because as a system, they reinforce each other as they align with values and principles. But they do more than align; they implement. Principles without practices are empty shells , while practices without principles tend to be implemented by rote, without judgment. Without principles, we don't know "how"to implement practicesfor example, without a Simplify principle we tend to overdo the formality and ceremony of almost any practice. Principles guide practices. Practices instantiate principles. They go hand in hand.
Aligning principles and practices prompts the realization that the holy grail of "best practices" is a sham. A wonderful practice for one project team may be a terrible practice for another. Practices are just practicesvarious ways of carrying out some goal. A practice is only good or bad within some context, which might include principles, problem type (e.g., exploratory), team dynamics, and organizational culture.
The practices in the following chapters have proven useful in a variety of situations. Some could be useful in production-style projects, just as practices not included may be very useful in agile projects. In selecting and using these practices, I've used these guiding principles:
Few, if any, of the practices described in the following chapters are new. Some of them are variations on a theme of practices described by others. Some are well known; others are not so well known. For example, risk management practices are widely described in the project management literature, while others, like participatory decision making, are not. Therefore, common practices such as risk management will be briefly described and other resources will be referenced, while less well-covered practices such as decision making will be described in more detail.
The Agile Revolution
Guiding Principles: Customers and Products
Guiding Principles: Leadership-Collaboration Management
An Agile Project Management Model
The Envision Phase
The Speculate Phase
The Explore Phase
The Adapt and Close Phases
Building Large Adaptive Teams