Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams (Review)

Liftoff: Start and Sustain Successful Agile Teams,
by Diana Larsen and Ainsley Nies. Pragmatic Programmer, 2016. ISBN 978-1680501636.

When I visit teams, I often ask them to describe what the project is trying to accomplish, from its sponsors’ viewpoint. Most teams answer either “I don’t know” or “We never talked about it.” The next most common response is a gaggle of incompatible answers, revealing why the team struggles to agree on priorities and tradeoffs. Liftoff describes an Agile chartering approach designed to reduce or eliminate that misalignment.By agreeing on the vision, the mission, and how it will be judged, the team is clear about where it’s headed. By identifying the core team, its values, and its working agreements, the team plans to work together well. By exploring the project’s context and boundaries, the community it will work with, and what the sponsor can provide, the team connects itself to the world around it.Diana and Ainsley clearly explain all the parts that contribute to successful liftoffs, provide guidance in facilitating them, and share examples of good charters. Whether you’re part of a new team or revitalizing an old project, this book will help improve the way you work and increase your chance of success.