Are you considering adopting the Agile methodology? You aren't alone. As we approach 2023, countless organizations are continuing to embrace the Agile methodology and Scrum framework to improve the way their teams perform in software development and more.
We have compiled a list of our favorite books to help develop your understanding of Agile concepts and set you on the path to satisfied customers and high-performing teams.
Whether you are a team member, project facilitator, or scrum master, these Agile books will help you gain an in-depth understanding of Agile project management concepts and other frameworks that complement Agile, such as Scrum. First, let's do a quick overview of what some of these terms mean.
What is Agile Project Management?
In 2001, software development experts created the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. They found that traditional project management methods were ineffective for development projects. So, they came together to create a new approach to solving the age-old problem of having too much to do, but not enough time to do it. These four values characterized the new mindset of the Agile approach:
The Agile methodology is characterized by short lifecycles that lead to frequent, high-quality product releases. Agile has long since been recognized for its many benefits, and Agile principles have been adopted across industries.
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
Scrum is an Agile development methodology that is often used in software development. Scrum is an iterative and incremental process with three pillars: transparency, inspection, and adaptation.
Scrum is named after a rugby formation in which everyone plays an important role. Scrum teams work together by learning through their experiences, problem-solving, self-organizing, and reflecting on their wins and losses, resulting in constant improvement.
Agile vs. Scrum
The terms Scrum and Agile are often used interchangeably. While they refer to similar concepts, there is a crucial difference.
The difference between the Agile methodologies and the Scrum framework is that Agile is simply a philosophy of successfully delivering software to a customer. Scrum is a proven methodology for development teams to follow. Agile describes merely the ideas that should drive and motivate a productive development team, but the Agile Manifesto does not discuss how to implement its principles or values. The Scrum Guide, on the other hand, provides a set of defined steps to follow.
Literature and Resources
From beginning scrum masters to agile coaches, gathering resources to help continue your education is vital. If you are in the product development game and hoping for an agile transformation or want to adopt Scrum, you're in the right place. These books will help you understand the agile software development framework and learn more about implementing Scrum. Even if you have already received your Agile certification or Certified Scrum Master certification, reading literature is a great way to brush up on your training!
Let's dive into our list of the best books on Agile and Scrum:
by Mike Cohn
"Proven, 100% practical guidance for making Scrum and Agile work in any organization."
Succeeding with Agile is a practical and actionable guide to getting started fast with Scrum and agile and thriving in the long run. Leading agile consultant and practitioner Mike Cohn presents detailed recommendations, powerful tips, and real-world case studies from his experience helping hundreds of software organizations make Scrum and Agile work. This book covers every facet: getting started, helping individuals transition to new roles, structuring teams, scaling up, working with a distributed team, and finally, implementing effective metrics and continuous improvement.
by Darrel Rigby, Sarah Elk, and Steve Berez
In this book, Bain & Company thought leader Darrell Rigby and his colleagues Sarah Elk and Steve Berez debunk the myths and misconceptions that have accompanied agile's rise to prominence, like the idea that an Agile transformation can reshape an organization entirely and all at once, or that it should be used in all industries. This book illustrates that agile teams can be incredibly powerful if done correctly. When Agile is fully understood, it makes people's jobs more rewarding and maximizes innovation.
The authors outline a road map for leading the transition to a truly agile enterprise. Doing Agile Right is the must-have guide for any company trying to implement Agile transformation.
by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory
Testing is a crucial part of an Agile project, yet there are still questions surrounding the process. For example- is testing the responsibility of the development team, the testing team, or both? How much testing should be automated? Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory are the industry's most experienced agile testing practitioners and consultants. In this book, the two teamed up to offer definite answers to all your Agile testing questions.
Agile testing defines agile testing and illustrates the tester's role with examples from real agile teams. The book chronicles an agile software development iteration from the viewpoint of a tester and explains the seven critical success factors of agile testing. Industry experts believe this book to be a must-read game changer for every software professional.
by Lyssa Adkins
Agile coaches help project teams become outstanding at Agile, and organizations reap the benefits of teams that deliver both innovation and excellence. More and more frequently, ScrumMasters are being asked to coach agile teams. This challenging role requires new skills and an understanding of when to step in and when to step back.
Author Lyssa Adkins has over 20 years of project management experience and more than a decade of experience as an Agile coach and Scrum trainer. Coaching Agile Teams discusses setting expectations, why Agile coaching matters, and how to help the team get more done. Both new and experienced Scrum masters will benefit from the tools and insights in this book while enjoying real-world stories and dialogue.
By Mitch Lacey
In this book, Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) Mitch Lacey draws on years of hands-on experience helping companies succeed and helping you overcome the significant challenges of Scrum adoption.
The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice for Your First Year is an easy read that offers real-world experience and straight-to-the-point answers to build your scrum knowledge. After 35 engaging chapters, you will know how to build support and maximize value across your company.
BY Kenneth Rubin
Essential Scrum is the most popular book for all Scrum users, making it the 'Essential Scrum' book for those seeking Scrum mastery. Written by Kenneth S. Rubin, this book is a complete and well-structured look into the scrum process and methodology.
Whether you are new to Scrum or a Certified Scrum Master, this book will clarify and deepen your knowledge of the Scrum process. In this book, Rubin draws from his experience helping hundreds of organizations succeed with Scrum and provides easily digestible descriptions and illustrations.
BY Jeff Sutherland
Written by scrum pioneer Jeff Sutherland, Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time is a "brilliantly discursive, thought-provoking book" about the leadership and management processes that are constantly evolving.
Jeff Sutherland put together the first Scrum team over 20 years ago. In this book, you will read about Jeff's scrum journey from the very beginning. He talks about team interactions, accountability, and improvement in iterations. Additionally, Jeff includes insights from robotics, martial arts, advanced aerial combat, and several other disciplines, making it a riveting read.
by Ryan Ripley and Todd Miller
In Fixing Your Scrum, Ryan Ripley and Todd Miller explain how broken scrum practices can limit your organization's agility and is an essential reading for anyone who wants to be a great Scrum Master. This book reveals how experienced Scrum Masters remove organizational roadblocks and balance leadership demands.
This book will teach you how to deliver information to your team using advanced coaching and facilitation techniques supported by Scrum values and agile principles. By the end of it, you will feel confident in empowering your team to self-organize, resolve problems, and visualize their work.
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At number8, we believe it is impossible to be genuinely agile when most of your team is on the other side of the globe. There's a better option, and we want to help you discover it. It doesn't matter what tool or process you're using—having a team committed to Agile values matters, which is why number8 consultants are experienced working in an Agile environment.
Whether you're looking to augment your development teams with highly skilled and versatile Agile consultants or want to learn more about our services, we'd love the chance to connect with you. To learn more about number8, contact us today.