This week marked the official start of summer in the northern hemisphere, and here at Tasktop, we’ve declared this the Summer of Agile. We got started a bit early with last week’s webinar: SAFe & Requirements Management: Oxymoron or Practical Reality? with our VP of Product Management, Nicole Bryan. To be fair, Nicole and I are based in Austin, Texas where summer has been in full swing for a while. Next month, we’ll be joined by Dave West from Scrum.org for the second part of our series: Beyond the Scrum Team: Delivering “Done” at Scale.
But, the Summer of Agile isn’t all about webinars. For one, we’re putting together a summer reading list to help everyone brush up on their Agile skills. We’d love to hear what you think should be included, and have gathered a few recommendations from the Tasktop team to get things started. We’re looking for a variety of titles ranging from introductions to the methodology to deeper discussions for more experienced practitioners.
To start us off, we have a couple of titles plucked right off the bookshelf of Tasktop CEO Mik Kersten:
Agile!: The Good, the Hype and the Ugly by Bertrand Meyer
Agile Project Management with Scrum by Ken Schwaber
Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation by Jez Humble & David Farley
Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
by Jeff Sutherland & J.J. Sutherland
This book was a great intro to Scrum from one of the framework’s co-creators. As a non-engineer in a tech company, I particularly enjoyed the stories about how Scrum has been applied outside of software development, and found the discussion of the perils of multi-tasking and the importance of the doing the job right the first time to be widely applicable.
Recommended by: Sarah Ryan, Marketing Operations Manager (Yeah, that’s me.)
Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business
by David J Anderson
Excellent introduction and in-depth look at implementing a kanban system for software delivery. Also very useful for practical implementation of kanban, and being able to grow a kanban system within a system of other constraints. The author is an authority on the subject.
Recommended by: Ryan Golbeck, Senior Software Engineer
Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams
by Lisa Crispin & Janet Gregory
One of the biggest mistakes that organizations make when adopting Agile practices is ignoring how testing fits in. Sadly, it’s all too typical among waterfall teams that testing is relegated to a phase that happens after the coders are done. If “moving to Agile” simply means that coders now operate in 2-4 week sprints, then testing gets squeezed even further. This book is a practical introduction of how to avoid this horrible circumstance.
Recommended by: Betty Zakheim, VP of Industry Strategy
As much as we love reading about Agile, sometimes you really want to sit back and watch stick figures explain concepts to you. That’s why we decided to open up our reading list to all media.
Agile Project Ownership in a Nutshell by Henrik Kniberg
This is a great intro video. It was introduced to a few of us during our CSM training and has made the rounds internally a few times. The focus is on the PO, but it gives a good overview of the whole framework.
Recommended by: Clint Morgan, Software Engineer
So…what about you? Comment to let us know which books, videos, blogs, or other media have helped you learn and improve your Agile practice.