Most organizations are constantly struggling with complex development products and are in search for a few straightforward and easy to learn methods to help deal with their problems.
Some of these books provide great actionable tips on planning, development and team building.
1. Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great
By Esther Derby and Diana Larsen
Agile Retrospectives shows how to mine the experience of your software development team throughout the project lifecycle. The tools and recipes in this book will help you uncover and solve hidden (and not-so-hidden) problems with your technology, methodology, and those difficult “people” on your team.
Best Quote: This is “The Book” on Retrospectives. All serious Agilists must have this in their library. Esther and Diana do a masterful job of explaining various retrospectives as well as reminding us as readers, and Agilists, it is about the “team” – making the “team” great. We are encouraged to try new and creative techniques!
2. Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition
By Lyssa Adkins
In Coaching Agile Teams, Lyssa Adkins gives agile coaches the insights they need to adopt this new mindset and guide teams to extraordinary performance in a re-energized work environment. You’ll gain perspective into the role of an agile coach, discover what works and what doesn’t, and learn how to adapt powerful skills from many allied disciplines, including the fields of professional coaching and mentoring.
Best Quote: This is a must read for each and every person in charge of leading an agile team. The book presents insights into the role of an agile coach – for me it was a great opportunity to tune myself into the role of a scrum master. After reading this book once, I keep coming back to the parts I find useful in a given situation. Great point of reference in your agile journey.
3. Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit
By Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck
In Lean Software Development, Mary and Tom Poppendieck identify seven fundamental “lean” principles, adapt them for the world of software development, and show how they can serve as the foundation for agile development approaches that work. Along the way, they introduce 22 “thinking tools” that can help you customize the right agile practices for any environment.
Best Quote: Definitely worth the money! It gave me a lot of thoughts about the problem of our workflow. It is very inspiring. At the same time, it also requires a lot of practice and some kind of autonomy in the company.
4. Agile Estimating and Planning
By Mike Cohn
Agile Estimating and Planning provides a view of planning that’s balanced between theory and practice, and it is supported by enough concrete experiences to lend its credibility. Mike Cohn has, for the first time, brought together everything that the agile community has learned about the subject.
Best Quote: It’s one of the best books that I have ever read. With the easy way to make familiar with agile. Easy to understand language with real and meaningful practices. Even if I have worked as a scrum master, but I can find many gaps and new knowledge each time I read this book. It is worth my money. Thank you Mike Cohn.
5. Agile Software Development with Scrum (Series in Agile Software Development)
By Ken Schwaber and Mike Beedle
eXtreme Programming is an ideal many software shops would love to reach, but with the constant pressures to produce software quickly, they cannot actually implement it. The Agile software process allows a company to implement eXtreme Programming quickly and immediately-and to begin producing software incrementally in as little as 30 days!
Best Quote: After many years, this is still my favourite Agile book. Makes Agile clear and approachable. I highly recommend this. I have read many agile books and still believe this is the best introduction to Agile. Also, there are some very good YouTube videos about Agile now to supplement this. From a certified Agile practitioner
6. The Business Value of Agile Software Methods: Maximizing ROI with Just-in-time Processes and Documentation
The Business Value of Agile Software Methods offers a comprehensive methodology for quantifying the costs and benefits of using agile methods to create innovative software products and shows a complete business value comparison between traditional and agile methods.
Best Quote: The authors have provided interesting research on the business value of agile methods, and I enjoy seeing serious financial analyses being done on Agile. I had a chance to see David Rico present some of this research, and the differences between Agile and traditional methods were even greater than I expected, despite my support of Agile methods. I think books like this can go a long way to convince traditional software development shops to consider more Agile methods.
Management 3.0: Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn))
In many organizations, management is the biggest obstacle to successful agile development. Unfortunately, reliable guidance on agile management has been scarce indeed. Now, leading agile manager Jurgen Appelo fills that gap, introducing a realistic approach to leading, managing, and growing your agile team or organization.
Best Quote: This is an entertaining, well researched, and well written book on managing self-organizing, agile teams. I found myself alternating between saying “hmm…”, nodding, and laughing as I read. But I was learning throughout.
8. Software in 30 Days: How Agile Managers Beat the Odds, Delight Their Customers, And Leave Competitors in the Dust
By Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland
The authors explain powerful concepts such as the art of the possible, bottom-up intelligence, and why it’s good to fail early – all this with no risk greater than thirty days. The productivity gain vs traditional “waterfall” methods have been over 100% on many projects. Author Ken Schwaber is the co-founder of the agile software movement, and co-creator, with Jeff Sutherland, of the “Scrum” technique for building software in 30 days. Co-author Jeff Sutherland was co-signer of the Agile Manifesto, which marked the start of the Agile movement.
Best Quote: Ken and Jeff’s latest book nails it. It starts off with a very real case study involving the FBI and their wasting of millions of dollars in failed software development efforts. The authors then present the why and the how the management team chose and adopted Scrum, getting the product to code complete
9. Agile Excellence for Product Managers: A Guide to Creating Winning Products with Agile Development Teams
By Greg Cohen
Agile Excellence for Product Managers’ is a plain speaking guide on how to work with agile development teams to achieve phenomenal product success. It covers the why and how of agile development (including Scrum, XP, and Lean), the role of product management, release planning, release management, roadmapping, creating and prioritizing a product backlog, documentation, product launches and organizational implications.
Best Quote: Quick, concise read on agile development. You can read it cover to cover on a cross-country flight, yet its jam packed with useful information. Great book. I’ve recommended it to many friends who are getting started with Agile and Scrum. Note that this book focuses on the Scrum style a lot
Did I miss out on any book? Please leave a comment if you’ve got a different favorite.
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