I’ve been blogging for quite a while, but I just realized that I have rarely (never) made recommendations for agile books to read as part of your learning journey. And as an author, I’m surprised at myself for this gap. A gap that I intend to start closing with this post.

My inspiration for starting to share on great books comes from Jeff Payne, who shared a similar post here - https://www.techwell.com/techwell-insights/2018/03/3-must-read-books-good-agile-foundation

Thanks, Jeff!

And this isn’t the end, but only the beginning. Look for the occasional post about learning advice for various aspects of your journey. Starting with this one…from the beginning.

Reading for those new to agility – where to start?

Ten to fifteen years ago, the going was much easier on the agile information front. There were only a few books, so selecting a starting place was immensely easier.

Today, with the onslaught of agile books, picking where to start is much harder. That being said, I think the following books would be useful to you to begin your journey.

Henrik Kniberg – Scrum and XP from the Trenches

First published in 2007 and updated in 2015, this is perhaps my favorite book for the beginner. It’s short and very visual. And Henrik is a wonderful storyteller, sharing his real-world experience. I used to buy copies of this book and hand them out to my beginning clients. That’s how much I think if it.

Chris Sims and Hillary Louise Johnson – Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction

This book is only 58 pages in length. But it provides a nice overview of Scrum from a practitioner’s perspective. Chris is a well-respected Scrum trainer and he’s boiled it down to its essence.

I would also recommend you read the Scrum Guide as part of this exercise. It’s only ~20 pages and it is THE definition of Scrum.

Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry – Personal Kanban

To wrap-up my set of recommendations, I think taking a personal, deep dive into Kanban would be very useful. Jim’s book does a great job of bringing it conceptually home for your own use. Which is a great place to start learning about agility. I leverage a personal Kanban board to “manage” my writing.

Wrapping Up

As I said, I want to continue publishing sets of three book/video recommendations for specific aspects of your agile learning.

My next focus will be on the role of ScrumMaster. Something many folks misunderstand and get quite wrong. So, look for it.

I hope you take the time to sample these books. I believe they’ll help you get off to a great start in your agile journey.

Stay agile my friends,

Bob.

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