Agile Product Management with Scrum

Author: Roman Pichler
Publisher: Addison Wesley
Pages: 160
ISBN: 978-0321605788
Aimed at: Beginning  product owners
Rating: 4
Pros: Clear explanations, well-written
Cons: Doesn't go very far
Reviewed by: Andrew Johnson

The role of the product owner is explored within the agile philosophy.

 

Author: Roman Pichler
Publisher: Addison Wesley, 2010
Pages: 160
ISBN: 978-0321605788
Aimed at: Beginning or prospective product owners
Rating: 4
Pros: Clear explanations, well-written
Cons: Doesn't go very far
Reviewed by: Andrew Johnson

You need to pay attention to the title of this book - it's product management not project management. To get anything out of it at all you have to already subscribe to the whole scrum flavour of agile philosophy. You probably also have to be a prospective or current "product owner".

A product owner is roughly speaking the person or entity responsible for the product, its success and its general well being -  a definition that could be argued over for hours. The idea is that the role of the product owner is necessary to counteract the "team" mentality where mistakes can be passed off to another and where there is perhaps a lack of focus on the task of building a great product rather than just getting the job done.

 

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This is very slim book and a lot of it is basically the art of the obvious. If you have been working with agile for a while it isn't going to tell you much you don't already know. Chapter 1 starts off the consideration with a look at the product owner's role. Chapter 2 is about envisioning the product and it covers the usual ground but it does so very well and occasionally goes a bit further  - minimal marketable product, ways of creating the vision, product variants and finishing up with common mistakes.

Chapter 3 is all about working with the product backlog; Chapter 4 is about planning the release; Chapter 5 is about collaborating in sprint meetings and the final chapter is on transitioning into the product owner role.

The whole book can be best summed up as a guide to scrum from the product owner's point of view. It's well written and hence easy to read. It's also short enough to read and not feel too cheated if it turns out not to be what you are looking for.

It's recommended if you are a beginning product owner or about to have to take on that role.


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Hello! HTML5 & CSS3

Author: Rob Crowther
Publisher: Manning
Pages: 560
ISBN: 978-1935182894
Audience: JavaScript programmers looking for a "fun" approach
Rating: 4.5
Reviewer: Mike James

Can a fun approach to technical topics ease the learning process? Is this a good way to learn about HTML5 and CSS3?



Defensive Database Programming with SQL Server

Author: Alex Kuznetsov
Publisher: Red Gate
Pages: 200
ISBN: 978-1906434458
Aimed at : Experienced developers who want to look at database programming from another angle
Rating: 4.5
Pros: Practical guide with unique examples, no boring theory
Cons: SQL Server specific
Reviewed by Nikos Vaggalis

 

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