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A Seat at the Table
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A Seat at the Table

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Agile, Lean, and DevOps approaches are radical game changers, providing a fundamentally different way to think about how IT fits into the enterprise, how IT leaders lead, and how IT can harness technology to accomplish the objectives of the enterprise. But honest and open conversations are not taking place between management and Agile delivery teams.

In A Seat at the Table,
Paperback, 376 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by It Revolution Press
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Julian Dunn
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
When Mark Schwartz opens his mouth, you're not sure if you're going to get a dose of management theory or a quote from Derrida. This can be entertaining if you're just along for the ride, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance-style, but inordinately frustrating if what you want is someone who gets to the point quickly without the philosophical dialectics about the meaning of life.

When Schwartz is on, he's on: this tends to be near the beginning and ends of this book (modulo the introduction,
Toyin A
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is one of the few books that address IT leadership without mincing words. Firstly, he sets the ground work by explaining how IT fits into the overall business. Then explains how IT leadership will always have a reactionary role if it continues to see itself as having to prove value instead of actually delivering value.

Mark not only states the problems IT leaders have in providing value, he also gives useful/ practical solutions. He shows how Agile and other modern delivery methods can be be
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a story of courage. It is the up and coming CIO who needs to have the courage to run counter to several decades of IT methods that are no longer valid for the environments which we're working in.

ASatT attacks the underpinnings on many traditional methods which were based on command and control of a disparate part of the organization, the IT department. It argues that it's no longer valid for the IT department to be disconnected from "the business" and that it's no longer valid for the CI
Sebastian Gebski
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hmm, I was really struggling with rating this book. On one hand I couldn't help the impression that author sometimes falls into the trap of "generic Agile talk no 435" - by continuously repeating basic statements taken straight from Agile Manifesto or immortal classics of Agile literature, but OTOH even then I've managed to collect a nice set of notes & comments - which clearly means that the book got me thinking ...

As book is intended for the high executive profiles (CIOs), I was very inter
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: agile, devops
Interesting book particularly for those who have had little exposure to the Agile / Lean / DevOps mindsets as it will provide a high level view where no doubt you will have to dig deeper and expand your knowledge by using other more in depth references to the particular topics. This justifies the overall hodgey-podgey sensation that you get on reading the book where sometimes you feel like all the paradigms are thrown in together without the background which I think you need to get in order to u ...more
William Anderson
Philosophy for the tech leader. Schwartz delivers insightful, well-sourced points of view that will shift or evolve how you think about the teams you lead, the role you play, and your organization. The book is delivered confidently to its target audience (Sr tech leadership) and makes no apologies for assumptions of knowing jargon/arcitectural patterns and so forth. A must read for any leader in the tech space, Schwartz offers insights into how to lead teams, how to deliver business value, aspir ...more
Niels Bach
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Explaining Agile/Lean from a management perspective

Finally a book that goes beyond Kanban boards and scrum and dive into the difficult Challenge of changing the mindset to cope with a non-waterfall execution model that Can eliminate waste and cope with risk. Development and IT Security is filled with uncertainty and doubt. This book gives a Nice bid on How to handle that uncertainty and doubt while managing risk and continously deliver value. Definitely a recommendation from here.
Rajesh Kamatanam
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book to understand rationale behind why IT leaders are taking certain decisions these days and Schwartz certainly did great job elaborating it.Although target audience for this book are senior IT leaders, it can be beneficial for anyone working at any level in IT since this book mostly covers agile principles and how they are implemented across organization.Schwartz made narration of this book interesting by starting every chapter with a famous philosophical quote.
David Goade
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Seat at the Table is Mark’s follow-up to the Art of Business Value. With AoBV, he began posing troubling questions for the Agile community by explaining how we’ve been taking too narrow a view of business value. He also revealed his ulterior motives when he asks as a CIO, “If the team is not allowed to listen to anyone other than the product owner, then what exactly should I be doing to add value to the enterprise?”. That’s Mark: provocative and funny.

Maybe Mark makes trouble because he’s has
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it
A superficial account on how to 'transform' IT leadership into the agile era (that started already 20 years ago...).

Nevertheless, this book points to some inconvenient truths for most IT leaders and as such is a great wake-up call to get them thinking!
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are two kinds of projects: failed it projects and successful business projects. Good guide to agile and how it leadership and cios can fit in the agile work. Don't agree with the author on the build vs buy discussion, but useful book for it and business to work together
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
The book is a little basic and very slow. The content although true is geared to giant monolithic organisations where this stuff might not be in affect.

That being said some of the points were pretty good but the format wasn't for me.
Michael Brunton-spall

An easy read that covers the fundamentals of agile and how our management thinking needs to be turned upside down.
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great insight into the evolving relationship between business and IT.
Bart Schotten
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
The introduction is too long and the tone is a bit inconsistent, but the meat of the book is spot on. I wish every CIO would read this.
Dave Townsend
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The most pragmatic real book on agile.
Christopher Anderson
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
I enjoyed the humor and the perspective of this book. Agile is a great approach, and this was full of insight to how leaders can help make it successful, and what their role is in it.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Update two months on: Six stars! This book has been a great influence on the way I think, and on the way I carry out my work. I did not think it would have that big an effect but it has; the little (and big) things I read about have surfaced repeatedly from my unconscious (especially the ideas of the Lean Startup, which funnily enough was a book I did not like), and I cannot recommend this book enough.

Never before have I read a book with this much applicable wisdom. I suppose a lot has to do wit
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“DevOps simply adds the idea that small, cross-functional teams should own the entire delivery process from concept through user feedback and production monitoring.” 0 likes
“cumulative flow diagrams help us pinpoint process flaws;” 0 likes
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