Agile Scrum Book, Articles & Blogs


Scrum Books We Recommend:

Ecclesiastes xii. 12. “Of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”

For people about to take the CSM (Scrum) course, we recommend the following before the course:

The Scrum Guide by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland. Free, electronic, and short.

Agile Project Management with Scrum, by Ken Schwaber.  Largely in the form of stories (patterns), with lessons learned.  The Scrum rules at the end are a nice distillation, and since replaced by the Scrum Guide.

Scrum and XP from the Trenches by Henrik Kniberg.

Scrum: The art of doing twice the work in half the time, by Jeff Sutherland.

The Power of Scrum by Jeff Sutherland, Rini van Solingen, and Eelco Rustenburg. It is fairly short; from a manager’s viewpoint, and in the form of a novel (novella) or story.

More generally, we recommend the following books:

Software in 30 Days by Schwaber and Sutherland.

Agile Software Development with SCRUM, by Ken Schwaber and Mike Beedle.  This book takes a different approach to explaining Scrum, which may appeal to various business styles.

User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development (The Addison-Wesley Signature Series), by Mike Cohn. Great book on using user stories, and other topics related to Scrum and XP.

Agile Estimating and Planning, by Mike Cohn.  Another great book on this subject. Mike adds lots of tips about how to make a project run better.

The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization, Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith. This book does many things, one of which is provide evidence that teams are actually smarter than one individual. Scrum is a team sport, and it important than everyone understand what that means.

The Discipline of Teams, Kazenbach and Smith.

Managing Agile Projects by Sanjiv Augustine.

Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change (2nd Edition), by Kent Beck and Cynthia Andres. This is one of the definitive books on XP.

Test Driven Development: By Example (Addison-Wesley Signature Series) by Kent Beck.

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition) by Frederick Brooks.  A classic still.

User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development (Addison-Wesley Signature Series) by Mike Cohn.

Succeeding With Agile by Mike Cohn. Mike uses his great experience to propose practical ways to help your firm reach greater success with Scrum.

Extreme Project Management by Doug DeCarlo.

Software by Numbers: Low-Risk, High-Return Development by Mark Denne and Jane Cleland-Huang. Essential for a Product Owner.

The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management by Steve Denning.  Excellent!

Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen. Esther and Diana have great experience. Excellent advice.

Continuous Integration: Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk (Addison-Wesley Signature Series) by Duvall, Matyas, and Glover.

Working Effectively with Legacy Code (Robert C. Martin Series) by Michael Feathers. Excellent book for an extremely common, and big, problem.

Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products , by Jim Highsmith. Explains Agile more from a project manager’s perspective.

Extreme Programming Installed, by Ron Jeffries, Ann Anderson, and Chet Hendrickson. Ron makes XP work. And a great sense of humor. Practical.

Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews, by Norman Kerth. Lots of good insights about doing retrospectives, which, among other things enable continuous improvement. See his website.

A Sense of Urgency by John Kotter. About change in medium to large firms. Kotter is the expert.

Agile Portfolio Management by Jochen Krebs.

Leading with the Heart, by Mike Krzyzewski. Teams are similar no matter which game they are playing. Coach K is famous as perhaps the best coach in college basketball. Perhaps you can learn to be as good a coach in your field.

Agile and Iterative Development: A Manager’s Guide, by Craig Larman. This book provides a good overview of several of the key strands of agile, including Scrum, XP and others.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni.

More Fearless Change by Mary Lynn Manns and Linda Rising. Also about changing people and organizations. Maybe more practical than Kotter’s book.

Fit for Developing Software: Framework for Integrated Tests (Robert C. Martin Series) by Mugridge and Cunningham. We gotta get the testing better.  FIT is a great frameowrk for that, although not the only one.

The Knowledge-Creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation by Nonaka and Takeuchi.

Toyota Production System by Taiichi Ohno. A great book for managers. Sounds like non-aotomobile people would not like it, but it is a great read, very practical. And short.

The Project 50 by Tom Peters.

Drive by Daniel Pink.  About motivation. These basics are well-known. He adds some new data and new examples. Mainly and very importantly, he reminds us. I remember about 7 times a day and forget only about 2 times a day now.

Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit, by Mary and Tom Poppendieck. They explain agile from a lean perspective.

Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash, by Mary and Tom Poppendieck. Their second book.

Software Project Management by Walker Royce. His father, Winston Royce, wrote the definite paper on Waterfall in 1970. While he praises his father, he moves on to an iterative and incremental approach.  Some good ideas, to Unified Process-like and too heavy for my tastes, but many good ideas.

The Enterprise and Scrum, by Ken Schwaber. The focus here is on adoption of Scrum (and Agile more broadly) by the enterprise, and the issues that naturally arise. Includes some discussion of Scrum itself, but that is covered in more depth in the others 2 books.

Collaboration Explained by Jean Tabaka.

Hitotsubashi on Knowledge Management ed. Takeuchi and Nonaka. Wow. Many wonderful ideas here. Practical ideas.

Radical Project Management by Rob Thomsett.

The Power of a Positive No by William Ury. We have to learn to be more honest in our work. Here is one good idea in that direction.

Pair Programming Illuminated by Laurie Williams and Robert Kessler.

Extreme Programming: Pocket Guide by chromatic.

Scrum Product Ownership by Robert Galen

Software by Numbers: Low-Risk, High-Return Development by Mark Denne and Jane Cleland-Huang

Jeff Sutherland’s Recommended Reading


Scrum Articles We Recommend:

The New New Product Development Game
by Takeuchi and Nonaka.

Leading Fearless Change by Manns and Rising.

Rolling out Agile at a Large Enterprise Excellent article by Gabrielle Benefield at Yahoo!

The Concept of “Ba” by Nonaka and Konno.

Scrum and CMMI – Going from Good to Great by Jakobsen and Sutherland.

Want Better Software? Just Ask. by Mike Cohn

Software Engineering: An idea whose time has come and gone? by Tom DeMarco

Agile Specification Quality Control by Tom Gilb.  reprinted from TE magazine, March 2009

Enterprise Scrum by Dan Greening

How To Make The Whole Organization Agile by Stephen Denning.  Good overview of Steve’s thoughts, with links to his excellent blog posts.

Using Scrum in Global Software Development by Hossain, Babar, Paik

Mature Agile with a twist of CMMI by Carsten Ruseng Jakobsen, Kent Aaron Johnson. Systematic.

What is of value to customer? by John Kelly and Steven Male

Scaling Agile Development by Larman and Vodde

The Five Business Value Commandments by Chris Matts and Andy Pols

Experiences with Defect Prevention by R. G. Mays, C. L. Jones, G. J. Holloway, D. P. Studinski

Nonaka etal 2000 SECI  by Ikujiro Nonaka, Ryoko Toyama and Noboru Konno

The Product Champion by Linda Rising

Ssh! We are adding a process…  by Mark Striebeck, Google Inc.

Rapid Software Development through Team Collocation by Teasley, Covi, Krishnan, Olson

How Does Radical Collocation Help a Team Succeed? by Teasley, Covi, Krishnan, Olson

Scrum and CMMI: Going from Good to Great by Jakobsen and Sutherland

Take No Prisoners
by Sutherland and Altman

Shock Therapy
by Sutherland, Downey and Granvik

Scrum in Church
by Rev. Arlene Conan Sutherland, Jeff Sutherland and Christine Hegarty

Fully Distributed Scrum
 by Sutherland, Schoonheim, N. Kumar, V. Pandey, S. Vishal

Scrum and CMMI Level 5: The Magic Potion for Code Warriors (Systematic) by Jeff Sutherland, Ph.D., Carsten Ruseng Jakobsen and Kent Johnson

Distributed Scrum: Agile Project Management with Outsourced Development Teams HICSS 2007. Sutherland et al.

Fully Distributed Scrum: The Secret Sauce for Hyperproductive Offshored Development Teams Sutherland, Schoonheim, Rusternburg and Rijk

Organizational Transformation with Scrum: How a Venture Capital Group Gets Twice as Much Done with Half the Work by Sutherland and Altman

Teams That Finish Early Accelerate Faster by Sutherland, Harrison, Riddle.

the basics of scrum.  I believe this is by Jeff Sutherland, or mainly by him.


Other Agile documents:

Work on One Project  A slide to convince people to do less task-switching.  Originated, I think, by Henrik Kniberg.

Generic Iteration Backlog2.xls  Basic Scrum “tool” by Joe Little.

Managing Change (Surfing the Wave), by Joe Little.

Communication Nodes

AppendixFebruary2011.doc  Fearless Change Patterns, from Mary Lynn Manns’ and Linda Risings’ book: Fearless Change.


Harvard Business Review Articles:

(see  Cost about $7-9 per article.)

One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees by Frederick Herzberg.  This is a classic.  Everyone should know this article.

Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail by John Kotter. Again, a classic.

The New New Product Development Game by Takeuchi & Nonaka. Essential for Scrum.

The Knowledge-Creating Company by Nonaka (Cf the book with the same title by Takeuchi and Nonaka)

The Contradictions that Drive Toyota’s Success by Takeuchi and others. (Cf the book Extreme Toyota by Takeuchi and others)

Six Myths of Product Development by Thomke and Reinertsen. I love this article.

The Discipline of Teams by Katzenbach and Smith.  The article. They also wrote a book.


Agile Scrum Blogs We Recommend:

Scrum Log by Jeff Sutherland. An excellent source, from the co-creator of Scrum.

Esther Derby’s blog– Esther has excellent ideas about making teams more effective and about Agile Retrospectives. This is her blog.

Succeeding With Agile by Mike Cohn

Crisp’s Blog by Henrik Kniberg and others.

Partnership and Possibilities – Diana has wonderful ideas about making teams more effective, and, again, about Agile Retrospectives.

Steve Denning’s site at Forbes

Organizational Agility by Pete Behrens

Ken Schwaber’s Blog

Tom Peter’s Site

Agile Advice – Here is a blog, mainly from Mishkin Berteig, with lots of good advice about agile.

Jim Highsmith – Jim Highsmith is one of the originators of the Agile Manifesto. Great thinking about Agile and running projects.

Sanjiv Augustine – I recommend Sanjiv’s book about Agile Project Management. This is his blog site.

Martin Fowler – Martin Fowler is a very bright guy, with much to say. This is a link to his web article on “the new methodology” (namely, agile).  Look around also.

The Poppendiecks – Mary and Tom Poppendieck are leaders in Lean Software Development, a flavor of agile. Brings in many of the ideas of Lean, Lean Manufacturing, and the Toyota Production System. While developed fairly independently of agile, Lean is remarkably similar. Gives you new insights into why agile works.

Rachel Davies – This is Rachel Davies blog. You will find her comments wise and humane.