Project Lifecycles (PragProg)

Learn to design project lifecycles to create valuable products and a culture of agility.


Johanna Rothman @jrothman

Do you dread your agile rituals? You might if you have a years-long backlog, rampant multitasking, and little chance to do great work. That’s waterfall masquerading as an agile approach—fake agility.

Instead, assess your risks and culture to design your lifecycle. Based on your organization’s culture and risks, learn to design your lifecycle to create valuable products and a culture of agility.

You and your project team can decide how and when to iterate over features and when to deliver value—real agility.

Does your agile project feel like a death march, with immovable deadlines, long backlogs, and no time to do the work right? If so, you’re not alone. Fake agility has your project by the throat and won’t let go.

You don’t have to work like this. Instead, you can design your approach to manage the project, product, and organizational risks.

Neither a waterfall nor an agile approach fits all projects in all organizations. Given your risks, use your culture to create as much agility as possible. You can design your project lifecycle and deliver what your customers need.

This book will help you learn how to:

  • Assess your project, product, and organization risks that affect how you can choose to work.
  • Determine which feedback loops and decisions your project and product need for success.
  • Recognize an agile team culture and characteristics.
  • When to consider which lifecycle.
  • How to design a lifecycle that works for you in this project, with this team, for this product, with as much agility as possible.

Don’t settle for fake agility and a joyless workplace. Buy this book now to incorporate real agility into your work.

This work was written and produced entirely by the author. We are proud to be distributing it.

Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” offers frank advice for your tough problems. She helps leaders and teams do reasonable things that work. Equipped with that knowledge, they can then decide how to adapt their product development.

With her trademark practicality and humor, Johanna is the author of 20 books about many aspects of product development. Find her Pragmatic Manager newsletter, articles, and blogs at and

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