Additional Readings for Self-Study

AGILE & SCRUM

These are great books that have been written in the last years about Agile and Scrum. They are together a great collection of wisdom and inspiration for making your learning path enjoyable; it is highly advisable that you start/continue reading some of the books in this list:

  • Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices (Robert C. Martin)
  • Agile Software Development with Scrum (Ken Schwaber and Mike Beedle)
  • Agile Project Management with Scrum (Ken Schwaber) 
  • Scrum Mastery: From Good To Great Servant-Leadership (Geoff Watts)
  • Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love (Roman Pitchler)
  • Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process (Kenneth S. Rubin)

FOR SCRUMMASTERS

Please note that knowing Scrum well doesn’t automatically make an individual a great ScrumMaster but it is definitely required that you as a ScrumMaster be extremely knowledgeable in Scrum. These books present knowledge that you as a ScrumMaster are required to have:

  • Scrum and XP from the Trenches 2nd Edition (Henrik Kniberg)
  • Kanban and Scrum – making the most of both (Henrik Kniberg) 
  • The Great ScrumMaster: #ScrumMasterWay (Zuzana Sochova)
  • Ship It! A Practical Guide to Successful Software Projects (Jared Richardson and William Gwaltney Jr.)
  • Release It!: Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software (2nd Edition) (Michael T. Nygard)
  • The Agile Samurai: How Agile Masters Deliver Great Software (Jonathan Rasmusson)

SCRUM MASTERS COACHING AND OTHER SKILLS

There are soft skills like coaching, facilitation, motivation, mediation and non-violent communication that need to be developed in order that you as a ScrumMaster can better serve your team. This list presents some books that can help you to learn about those skills: 

  • Leading Teams: Setting the Stage for Great Performances (J. Richard Hackman)
  • Co-Active Coaching, Changing Business, Transforming Lives (Henry Kimsey-House and Karen Kimsey-House)
  • The Skilled Facilitator: A Comprehensive Resource for Consultants, Facilitators, Managers, Trainers, and Coaches (Roger Schwarz)
  • Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling (Edgar H. Schein)
  • Getting Naked (Patrick Lencioni)
  • Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition (Lyssa Adkins)
  • Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great (Esther Derby and Diana Larsen)
  • Fifty Quick Ideas To Improve Your Retrospectives (Tom Roden, Ben Williams, and Nikola Korac)
  • Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t (Simon Sinek)
  • Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (Marshall B. Rosenberg)
  • Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play (Luke Hohmann)
  • Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers (Dave Gray, Sunn Brown, and James Macanufo) 

FOR PRODUCT OWNERS

Product Owners are a vital part in a Scrum Team, without them it will be almost impossible to build a great product that delights customers. Knowing enough about this role to mentor and guide Product Owners is one of the Scrum Masters responsibilities. The techniques, responsibilities, and expectations for the Product Owner role are well described in these books:

  • Product Mastery: From Good To Great Product Ownership (Roman Pichler)
  • Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (Simon Sinek)
  • User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product (Jeff Patton)
  • Beyond Requirements: Analysis with an Agile Mindset (Kent McDonald)
  • Product Mastery: From Good To Great Product Ownership (Geoff Watts)
  • Impact Mapping (Gojko Adzic)
  • Fifty Quick Ideas to Improve Your User Stories (Gojko Adzic)

FOR DEVELOPERS

Scrum Teams need great developers because otherwise Scrum will fall short. The software development profession needs techniques to help professionals to evolve and perfect their craft; this list of books provides great material for technical people to read and learn how to acquire/evolve their software development practices:

About Software Craftsmanship

  • The Software Craftsman (Sandro Mancuso)
  • Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for theAspiring Software Craftsman (Dave Hoover)
  • The Clean Coder:ACode of Conduct for Professional Programmers (Robert C. Martin)
  • Clean Code:AHandbook ofAgile Software Craftsmanship (Robert C. Martin)
  • CleanArchitecture:ACraftsman’s Guide to Software Structure and Design (Robert C. Martin)
  • The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master (Andrew Hunt and David Thomas)

About eXtreme Programming

  • Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change (Kent Beck)
  • Planning Extreme Programming (Kent Beck & Martin Fowler)

AboutTest Driven Development

  • Test Driven Development: By Example (Kent Beck)
  • Test-Driven Development:APractical Guide:APractical Guide (David Astels)
  • Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Test (Steve Freeman and Nat Pryce)
  • Essential Test-Driven Development(Robert C. Myers)

About Refactoring

  • Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code (Martin Fowler)
  • Refactoring Workbook (William C. Wake)
  • Refactoring: Ruby Edition (Jay Fields, Shane Harvie, Martin Fowler and Kent Beck)
  • Refactoring to Patterns (Joshua Kerievsky)
  • Refactoring HTML: Improving the Design of Existing WebApplications (Elliotte Rusty Harold)
  • Refactoring Databases: Evolutionary Database Design (Scott J Ambler and Pramod J. Sadalage) 

About Design Patterns

  • Patterns of EnterpriseApplicationArchitecture (Martin Fowler)
  • Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns (Kent Beck)
  • The Design Patterns Smalltalk Companion (Sherman Alpert)
  • Implementation Patterns (Kent Beck)
  • Design Patterns in Ruby (Russ Olsen)
  • Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software (Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson and John Vlissides)
  • xUnit Test Patterns: Refactoring Test Code (Gerard Meszaros)

About Object Oriented Design

  • Object Design: Roles, Responsibilities, and Collaborations (Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Alan McKean)
  • Designing Object-Oriented Software (Rebecca Wirfs-Brock, Brian Wilkerson and Lauren Wiener)
  • Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby:AnAgile Primer (Sandi Metz)
  • Smalltalk, Objects, and Design (Chamond Liu)

About Legacy Code

  • Working Effectively with Legacy Code (Michael Feathers)
  • Object-Oriented Reengineering Patterns (Serge Demeyer, Stéphane Ducasse and Oscar Nierstrasz)
  • Beyond Legacy Code: Nine Practices to Extend the Life (and Value) ofYourSoftware (David Scott Bernstein)

About Continuous Integration

  • Continuous Integration: Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk (Paul M.Duvall, Steve Matyas and Andrew Glover)
  • Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases through Build, Test, and DeploymentAutomation (Jez Humble and David Farley)
  • The DevOps Handbook: How to Create World-ClassAgility, Reliability, and Security in Technology Organizations (Gene Kim, Patrick Debois, John Willis and Jez Humble)

FOR TESTERS

Scrum doesn’t recognize nor prescribe the role of Tester; on the contrary, there are practices and techniques that can help the whole team to focus in inserting quality while building software, creating automated tests and automate the continuous delivery pipeline. These books present a very comprehensive description for this approach:

  • More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team (Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory)
  • Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams (Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory) 
  • Fifty Quick Ideas To Improve Your Tests (Gojko Adzic, David Evans and Tom Roden)

FOR LEADERS

Scrum is great for transforming teams and creating a vibrant and motivating working environment that eventually starts infecting other departments/divisions of the organization. Upper management needs to be influenced by leaders that can convince them to help to sustain the Agile transformation. These books present some great insights for leaders on how to change things for better in traditional organizations:

  • The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization (Peter M. Senge)
  • The Future of Management (Gary Hammel)
  • The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization (Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton)
  • Reinventing Organizations (Frederic Laloux)
  • Out of the Crisis (W. Edwards Deming)
  • Rework (Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson)
  • Remote (Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson)
  • The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win (Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford)
  • Turn the Ship Around! (L. David Marquet)
  • The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement (Eliyahu M. Goldratt, Jeff Cox, and David Whitford)
  • Maverick (Ricardo Semler)
  • Management 3.0: Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders (Jurgen Appelo)
  • How to Change the World: Change Management 3.0 (Jurgen Appelo)
  • The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century (Stephen Denning)

FOR ENTREPRENEURS

ScrumMasters might be in the position of deciding to form their own companies; this happened to many that instead of transforming organizations decided to form something new form the beginning. These books present great inspiration and case studies:

  • Joy, Inc.: How We Built a Workplace People Love (Richard Sheridan)
  • The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses (Eric Reiss)
  • Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration (Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace)
  • Liftoff: Launching Agile Teams & Projects (Diana Larsen and Ainsley Nies)

FOR PROJECT MANAGERS

The Project Manager responsibilities are somehow diluted among the Scrum Roles but in several organizations a new title has emerged: Agile Project Manager. Understanding the transition/transformation to this role might help to redefine current Project Manager’s careers. This short list of books provides light on the matter:

  • The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility (Michele Sliger and Stacia Broderick)
  • Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products (James A. Highsmith)
  • Agile and Iterative Development: A Manager’s Guide (Craig Larman)

FOR RECRUITERS

Bringing the right people on board has always been challenging and more so for self-organizing Scrum Teams, these books provide some great ideas on the subject:

  • Hiring Geeks that Fit (Johanna Rothman)
  • Hiring The Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets & Science Of Hiring Technical People (Johanna Rothman)

TOYOTA AND LEAN THINKING

The Lean Thinking has been influenced by the car industry and has great contributions to the Agile way of building software. These are highly recommended readings for expanding your knowledge about Lean:

  • The Toyota Way (Jeffrey Liker)
  • Taiichi Ohno’s Workplace Management: Special 100th Birthday Edition (Taiichi Ohno)
  • Lean Product and Process Development (Allan C. Ward and Durward K. Sobek II)
  • The Lean Manager: A Novel of Lean Transformation (Michael Ballé and Freddy Ballé)
  • Lead With Respect: A Novel of Lean Practice (Michael Ballé and Freddy Ballé)
  • Leading Lean Software Development: Results Are not the Point (Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck)
  • Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility (Alan Shalloway, Guy Beaver and James R. Trott)
  • Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit (Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck)
  • Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash (Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck)

KANBAN

Kanban might be a great alternative for some teams/organizations where Scrum might not be the best choice. These books presents the fundamentals of the Kanban philosophy and methods:

  • Kanban Workbook: A Practical Guide to Using Kanban (Samantha Laing and Karen Greaves)
  • Real World Kanban: Do Less, Accomplish More with Lean Thinking (Mattias Skarin)
  • Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business (David J. Anderson)

CULTIVATING TEAMS

People are not resources, they never were and Scrum strongly emphasizes this more humane vision about software professionals. Recognizing the importance of individuals leads to the next challenge: how to help groups of individuals to evolve into great teams of happy people. These books don’t prescribe a “silver bullet” approach but instead present some interesting ideas:

  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Daniel H. Pink)
  • Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams (Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister)
  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable (Patrick Lencioni)
  • The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues (Patrick Lencioni)
  • Creating Great Teams: How Self-Selection Lets People Excel (Sandy Mamoli and David Mole)
  • Corps Business: The 30 Management Principles of the U.S. Marines (David H. Freedman)

READINGS ON SCALING SCRUM

Scaling Scrum is a controversial topic because many believe that Scrum cannot and should not be formalized and modeled like a cookie-cutter that produces identical teams with comparable results and motivation. Still some interesting books like these have been written on the topic:

  • Large-Scale Scrum: More with LeSS (Craig Larman and Bas Vodde)
  • Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum (Craig Larman and Bas Vodde)
  • Practices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Large, Multisite, and Offshore Product Development with Large-Scale Scrum (Craig Larman and Bas Vodde)
  • Lean Enterprise: How Performance Organizations Innovate at Scale (Jez Humble, Joanne Molesky, and Barry O’Reilly)
  • Lean from the Trenches: Managing Large-Scale Projects with Kanban (Henrik Kniberg)

TRAINING & ADULT EDUCATION

If you’re curious about the activities and exercises that were used during this two-day ScrumMaster training course, here are some books that present all the science and thinking behind them:

  • Using Brain Science To Make Training Stick (Sharon L. Bowman)
  • Brain Rules (Updated and Expanded): 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School (John Medina)