In 2008, I fell in love with Agile.

I was working as a product manager at MaestroConference, a startup in Oakland CA, and Agile helped us create not only a product that delighted our customers but also a development methodology that delighted our team. Agile had, in fact, taken us from a team that argued and struggled to a group that collaborated and produced.

I’ve been a manager and designer for most of my career—in newspapers, the web, and software. Most organizations I’ve worked for have experienced challenges, if not open war, between technology and business. At Maestro, I realized that never before had I worked with a technology team so well. I knew something special was happening, and we had Agile to thank for it. It was then that I became a believer.

I decided I needed to share what I’d learned with others like myself: people who care about technology but are not ourselves overly technical. Although Agile is generally perceived as an IT process, I saw so clearly that it could have a massive impact on the business side of companies.

I started blogging, coaching, and sketching out ideas for a book. That was over over three years ago. Today I’m happy to announce the release of the first iteration of The Art of Agile Business, a book I’ve co-written along with my incredible colleagues at Rally Software. This book explains Agile and Agile transformations in the plain business-focused language that we non-technical people need.

Rally coaches have extensive experience in the implementation and deployment of Agile techniques across organizations. The Rally team has added their passion and experience to my original vision—and I couldn’t be more proud of the result.

An important part of Agile is shipping things in a continuous and real-time manner. This is our effort of practicing what we preach. We are releasing the first increment of the book at the Agile 2012 conference to test how you think we’ve done—it’s not a complete copy of the book but enough we hope to whet your appetite.

We invite you to download the PDF now and share your feedback honestly and abundantly.

From everyone at Rally, we sincerely hope you enjoy.

Bob Gower is passionate about innovative products and the people who make them. An author, speaker, and consultant, Bob has spent more than 15 years leading complex, creative projects. He helps companies leverage the power of their people, and create truly collaborative cultures that improve product quality and employee morale. Bob is currently an Agile coach for Rally, where he specializes in enterprise-level Agile transformations. When not traveling, Bob lives in New York City.

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