Whether you are a project practitioner, scrum master, or a project team member who is practicing traditional project management or working in an Agile development environment, these Agile books will aid you in gaining an in-depth understanding of Agile project management concepts and other frameworks that complements Agile such as Scrum, Kanban, and Extreme Programming (XP).
If you are thinking to implement Agile concepts for your next project, then reading these books and practical application of these concepts will help you to develop cutting edge products / services that will help you to deliver greater customer satisfaction than ever before.
Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process:
This ‘Essential Scrum’ book by Kenneth S. Rubin is the most popular book for all scrum users or those who are new to scrum / part of scrum team. It is a complete book which gives better insights of the methodology. The book is well-structured and explains all the aspects of scrum in detail. Though the book explains clearly about the development team, it also includes chapters on scheduling strategies, release planning, communicating, product portfolio management, and more.
Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time:
Jeff Sutherland, a scrum pioneer has written a brilliant thought-provoking book about the management, which is constantly evolving on a day-to-day basis.
In this book, you will read Jeff’s scrum journey from the beginning which offers accountability, team interaction, improvement in iterations, and his various other feats. The book also brings his feats into the picture with regards to scrum implementation to bring the FBI into the 21st century, changing how pharmacists interact with patients, creating a perfect design of an affordable 100 mile per gallon car, and helping National Public Radio (NPR) report actions in the Middle-East.
The book is very interesting and refreshing to read, it is filled with insights from martial arts, robotics, advanced aerial combat, and from many other entities. Applying scrum in various forms of life and its experiences make it a riveting experience to read the book.
Agile Estimating and Planning:
This book by Mike Cohn addresses everything in estimating and planning stage of a project. People know how to create project plans and manage them, but when change happens, embracing that change is the most challenging thing for project managers and team members. This is where this book comes in handy and it fills the gap in Agile practices. The book shows a workable approach to Agile estimating and planning and delves into every aspect of the subject that anticipates logical questions about the topic. Many Agile experts believe, this book will be very useful for people who are new to Agile processes and bridges the gap between many practices from both Scrum and Extreme Programming (XP).
Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great:
It is during project retrospectives, that the team and project manager understand what went wrong and what went right. Usually, these retrospectives which are also known as “post-mortems” are done at the end of the project and there is no time to fix the problem. Whereas in Agile retrospectives, everything is iterative and incremental, and fixing a problem is very easy, and it can happen from the very beginning of the development cycle and not wait till the end of the project.
This book by Esther Derby, Diana Larsen, and Ken Schwaber offers insights into Agile retrospectives, and the tools, tips, and techniques to fix problems faced by your team in software development. You will learn more about how to: architect retrospectives for your team and organization; make the changes required; run them effectively; and to scale the techniques according to the project requirement. The book offers sound knowledge about how to deal with problems mid-project and address them by providing solutions throughout the project. With regular tweaks, your team will fine tune themselves to run like a well-oiled machine with Agile development.
The Project Manager’s Guide to Mastering Agile by Charles G. Cobb:
As the profession of project management is going through rapid transformation due widespread adoption Agile methodologies, there is a constant change in the role of a project manager. This change from traditional project management to Agile is still in an early stage and there is a lot of confusion about the impact that it will have on project managers.
Because of misconceptions about Agile and traditional project management and how they are treated as separate domains with little or no integration between the two. These things are making the life of a project manager very confusing and difficult.
It is here where this book offers its insights to untangle the confusion that exists between the two globally-recognized methodologies. The book gives you a new perspective with regards to how Agile and traditional project management complement each other than having a stand-off between them. You will be able to gain knowledge on developing an adaptive approach to combine both the principles and practices in equal amount to your project and its processes.
Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams:
This book by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory offers a holistic approach to Agile testing. The authors have captured the culture shift in testers and how teams are willing to raise the bar with regards to test effectiveness.
In an Agile project, everybody is keen on testing. Is testing the development team’s responsibility, the testing team, or a collaboration between the both? And how much testing should be automated? The book answers these questions and much more. Irrespective of your job role in an Agile project, you will learn a host of things with apt real-world examples. Industry experts believe, this book to be game changer and every software professional should read it.
The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility:
This book will be useful for traditional project managers who want to acquire Agile knowledge. Authored by Michele Sliger and Stacia Broderick, this book offers explanations and builds a bridge between the two methodologies. If you are a part of Agile development team, this book will help you to effectively communicate with traditional project managers, software developers, and CXOs.
This book by Agile coaches Rachel Davies an Liz Sedley offers insights on how to coach your team to be more Agile. To create a robust Agile team, as a project manager you have to de-mystify Agile practices and integrate them to your existing processes in an seamless manner. The book also gives you Agile coaching tools that can be applied by anyone (project manager, software developer, technical lead, and more) irrespective of their job role.
The main objective of Agile coaching is to work with people to create great Agile teams. The book helps you to gain understanding building a team that produces great software. You will also find chapters which introduces you to test-driven development, designing retrospectives, and ensuring progress is visible.
Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility:
Agile methodology has made its foray into software development and as one of the best frameworks to manage a project in enterprises across the globe. Agile helps to deliver effective and high-quality software that meets customer requirements. However, when you try to scale these to enterprise level, that is where the real challenge is.
This book by Alan Shalloway, Guy Beaver, and James R. Trott offers proper solutions to integrate Agile principles and practices of Lean software development. As a product owner you can leverage Lean and Agile to manage business critical projects in an enterprise.
Agile Change Management: A Practical Framework for Successful Change Planning and Implementation:
This book by Melanie Franklin offers really good insights about how Agile adoption helps enterprises to respond to new demands and challenges in this complex business landscape.
The book emphasizes a lot on collaboration practices and shows you how to build trust in a team, create a project roadmap, influence and motivate team members, and all other information required to manage a change initiative. The book also gives you an in-depth explanation about each stage of the lifecycle, which tasks need to be completed at what stage, who should be involved in each of the stages, concept of change in both large and small transformation projects, and the benefits behind those changes.
As a professional, learning never stops. Continual learning is what sets you apart in your professional career, and it clearly sets you apart from your peers. If you are already following a methodology of your choice, understand how Agile can help you to streamline critical processes. And this you can start by reading any one of the books mentioned in this list to expand your knowledge in managing projects. Do let us know how Agile has helped you in the comments section.