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Interesting Books I regularly recommend to Persons interested in Agile/Scrum Approaches

posted Feb 6, 2012, 12:43 PM by Marcel Baumann   [ updated Feb 6, 2012, 12:48 PM ]
Often I am told that it is difficult to use Agile/Scrum approaches for brown field projects or for big projects or for distributed projects or for any other situation or reason. Interestingly these persons also state that the same problem exist for RUP/OpenUP, Waterfall model DIN XT, Swiss variant called Hermes. Currently agile approaches are the standard for new projects and are thought in technical universities. Scrum is the main agile method and state of the industry approach for the realization of software projects.

To open the discussion and bring the discussion back to objective arguments I often recommend the following books
  • Big Projects and Distributed Projects
    • Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum, Craig Larman and Bas Vodde, Addison-Wesley 2009
      This book and the one below are a very extensive presentation about the challenges and trade-offs of big distributed agile projects. Don't expect pre-cocked solutions but a tool set how to lead successfully such projects. Not always a easy reading but worth the effort
    • Practices fot Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Large, Multi-side, and Offshore Product Development with Large-Scale Scrum, Craig Larman and Bas Vodde, Addison-Wesley 2010
      See above for a review of the book
    • Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams, Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory, Addison-Wesley 2009
      The seminal reference book how to blend testing with agile projects. Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory provides insights and a proven track how to guaranty agile quality assurance and agile testing. A must read book for everyone seriously developing agile projects
    • Agile Estimating and Planning, Mike Cohn, Prentice-Hall 2006
      The seminal reference about estimating agile projects. The experienced readers will understand why Mike Cohn used the words estimating and planning instead of estimates and plan.
    • The Enterprise and Scrum, Ken Schwaber, Microsoft Press 2007
      The work of one of the Scrum founders how a company can adopt Scrum. You should read the standard works of Scrum to understand the concepts.
    • Agile Project Management with Scrum, Ken Schwaber, Microsoft Press 2003
      The work of one of the Scrum founders how Scrum influence project organization and management. You should read the standard works of Scrum to understand the concepts.
  • Brown-Field Projects
    • Refactoring Improving the Design of Existing code, Martin Fowler, Addison-Wesley 1999
      How to implement continuous improvement on the code level. If you are not refactoring you are not agile.
    • Working Effectively with Legacy Code, Michael C. Feathers, Prentice-Hall 2005
      Most of us work on existing code bases. Based on the above statement you have to find a way to unit test and refactor legacy code if you want to be agile.
  • Extreme Programming
    • Test Driven Development by Example, Ken Beck, Addison-Wesley 2003
      How can a programmer be sure his code is working before and after refactoring
    • Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship, Robert C. Martin, Prentice Hall 2009
      We are professional developers and uncle Bob shows how we should work
    • The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers, Robert C. Martin, Prentice Hall 2011
      Uncle Bob define what a professional developer is. I know quite a few developers shocked by his requirements
  • Agile and Lean Concepts
    • Lean Software Development, An Agile Toolkit, Mary & Tom Poppendieck, Addison-Wesley 2003
      Classical work what lean development means
    • Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash, Mary & Tom Poppendieck, Addison-Wesley 2007
      The hand-ons how to implement lean approaches
    • Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love, Roman Pichler, Addison-Wesley 2010
      Requirement engineering done the agile way
    • Scrum and XP from the trenches: How we do Scrum, Henrik Knieberg, InfoQ 2007
      Short book how to implement Scrum and XP in projects
  • Change Management
    • Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas, Mary Lynn Manns & Linda Rising, Addison-Wesley 2005 
      The introduction of Scrum and agile principles means change in the organization and the teams. Linda Rising shows how changes are introduced with success in existing organizations.
  • Books everybody should have read
    • Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, Tom DeMarco & Timothy Lister, Dorset House 1987
      How to growth teams and lead successful projects
    • The Mythical Man-Month 2nd Edition, Frederick P. Brooks, Addison-Wesley 1995
      The first version was published in 1975. The rules postulated by Brooks are still actual. Sad is that a lot of project leaders have no clue of these rules.
    • Becoming a Technical Leader: An organic Problem-Solving Approach, Gerald M. Weingartner, Dorset House 1986
      How a gifted technical engineer can become a manager.
    • Slack: Getting past burnout, busywork, and the myth of total efficiency, Tom DeMarco, Broadway Books 2001
      In one sentence, the tremendous difference between efficiency and effectivity.
    • The Dilbert Principle, Scott Adams, Harper Collins 1996
      An entertainment presentation of all the mistakes companies are doing and still thinking they are smart
    • Death March: The complete Software Developer's Guide to Surviving "Mission Impossible" Projects, Prentice Hall 1997
      In my current coaching activities I still encounter departments where burnouts are common. Either these managers are criminals or so plain stupid that they cannot be held responsible. I am still unsure
I am curious about books you recommend for agile or other approaches. Just drop me an email.