By @SimonCocking, review of Flow: A Handbook for Change-Makers, Mavericks, Innovation Activists and Leaders by Fin Goulding and Haydn Shaughnessy. 

When organisations go in search of agility they often miss out on the culture of being truly agile. Flow is based on real-life instances of truly agile, high performing organisations and the real-life experience of the authors in bringing change about. It focuses on how to develop the core cultural attributes of agility developed from years of practice. Flow is the ultimate handbook for people who have responsibility for change at work.

This book is well put together, nicely laid out, good visuals and images. Both authors have good experience and draw from this in the examples and anecdotes that they share. There are some good visual illustrations and flow charts to help convey their points and ideas. Much of the book is readable and engaging. The style of its layout is conducive to returning to the book to refer to particular ideas. There is a lot to like about it and for those deeply emersed in the agile working world, it could be a really helpful tool.

Overall we liked it and found it useful. Our one reservation is perhaps more of a critique of the whole concept of agile rather than this book specifically. At times, particularly towards the end of the book some pages were so full of the word FLOW in bold type, that it began to devalue the meaning of the word. P170 for example, flow starts to pop up so many times that it begins to lose its value and meaning. Similarly with ‘agile’ too, it can reach the point of being over-used so much that it is either a truism ‘ let’s be agile about this’ or it becomes meaningless. If the book can help companies to achieve the goal of writing better software and achieving their targets in less time and less budget then it will have been a success.

Hopefully, these goals are achieved and the book is of value to its readers.

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