Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Scrum Books to Win Friends and Influence people

One way to help make Scrum and Agile less frightening to non-agilists in the company is to simply make information available. An easy, non-threatening way to do this is to set up a library and put it in an obvious place. What books to put in the library? Here's a list I recently gave to a customer:
  • Agile Project Management with Scrum Ken Schwaber. Start here.
  • The Art of Agile Development Jim Shore. OK, if you're a developer, you might prefer to start here.
  • Scrum and XP from the Trenches Henrik Kniberg. This is what it's really about.
  • Agile Estimating and Planning von Mike Cohn. Proof that estimating & planning are not black magic.
  • User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development Mike Cohn. After Ken's book & Mike's books I felt I was ready to conceive, plan and deliver software projects effectively.
  • Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit for Software Development Managers Mary Poppendieck. A bridge for managers between their MBA studies and real agility.
  • Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash Mary Poppendieck. Tools for putting your company on a diet.
  • The Enterprise and Scrum Ken Schwaber. An approach for Scaling Scrum.
  • FIT for Developing Software: Framework for Integrated Tests Rick Mugridge und Ward Cunningham. Tests are the bleeding edge between customer and developers. How to know that you are getting what you want and that it stays what you want.
  • Agile Software Development in the Large: Diving Into the Deep Jutta Eckstein. One of the first books on scaling agility. (Oddly, although the author is German, I found the English more readable. Maybe it's because I'm Swiss.)
  • Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great Esther Derby. The key to continuous improvement is the retrospective. The key to good retrospectives is keeping them fresh and interesting. Many good approaches for many different circumstances.
  • Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas Linda Rising. Changing the organization is the hardest part of agile.
  • The Software Project Managers Bridge to Agility Sliger & Broderwick. If your manager is a PMP, this book will help her or him understand that words "agile" and "project management" can be applied to the same project successfully.
I am generally skeptical of translated books (actually, I kind of embarrassed myself recently by recommending some well known titles, only to discover that their German translations were not great), but there are now a growing number of original German works which offer excellent places to start for native German speakers:
  • Scrum mit User Stories, Ralf Wirdemann - what you need to get started doing Scrum.
  • Scrum - Agiles Projektmanagement erfolgreich einsetzen Roman Pichler - a condensed version of Ken Schwaber's "APM with Scrum" and Mike Cohn's books. A good management introduction.
Any list is a compromise, and there are many good books that I didn't mention (and I wish I had more time to read them - sigh). So happy reading!