5 Best Agile / Scrum / Kanban Books to add to your Christmas List

Photo by Andreea Radu on Unsplash

Photo by Andreea Radu on Unsplash

“That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.” – Jhumpa Lahiri

During the current pandemic, we are facing changes in our lifestyle. Planning our travels for holidays is hazy, it’s time to plan them differently. 

Traveling by Reading Books 

Let’s travel together through books this year.

Books can help us travel through science and develop ourselves, we can get ready for the upcoming year. Despite all uncertainties, books can teach us to confront all the challenges and obstacles.

We gathered a list of 5 books to help you manage your work-life balance. 

  1. The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win
  2. Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition
  3. Scrum: The Art Of Doing Twice The Work In Half The Time
  4. The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback
  5. Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business

The Phoenix Project

A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

Authors: Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spafford 

Publisher: IT Revolution Press

Abstract 

Bill is an IT manager at Parts Unlimited. It’s Tuesday morning and on his drive into the office, Bill gets a call from the CEO. 
The company’s new IT initiative, code named Phoenix Project, is critical to the future of Parts Unlimited, but the project is massively over budget and very late. The CEO wants Bill to report directly to him and fix the mess in ninety days or else Bill’s entire department will be outsourced. 
With the help of a prospective board member and his mysterious philosophy of The Three Ways, Bill starts to see that IT work has more in common with manufacturing plant work than he ever imagined. With the clock ticking, Bill must organize work flow streamline interdepartmental communications, and effectively serve the other business functions at Parts Unlimited. 
In a fast-paced and entertaining style, three luminaries of the DevOps movement deliver a story that anyone who works in IT will recognize. Readers will not only learn how to improve their own IT organizations, they’ll never view IT the same way again.

“The Phoenix Project is a must read for business and IT executives who are struggling with the growing complexity of IT.” — Jim Whitehurst, President and CEO, RedHat, Inc.


Coaching Agile Teams 

A Companion for Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition

Author: Lyssa Adkins 

Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional

Abstract 

As an agile coach, you can help project teams become outstanding at agile, creating products that make them proud and helping organizations reap the powerful benefits of teams that deliver both innovation and excellence.
More and more frequently, ScrumMasters and project managers are being asked to coach agile teams. But it’s a challenging role. It requires new skills—as well as a subtle understanding of when to step in and when to step back. Migrating from “command and control” to agile coaching requires a whole new mind-set.
In Coaching Agile Teams, Lyssa Adkins gives agile coaches the insights they need to adopt this new mind-set and to guide teams to extraordinary performance in a re-energized work environment. You’ll gain a deep view into the role of the agile coach, discover what works and what doesn’t, and learn how to adapt powerful skills from many allied disciplines, including the fields of professional coaching and mentoring.

Coverage includes

  • Understanding what it takes to be a great agile coach
  • Mastering all of the agile coach’s roles: teacher, mentor, problem solver, conflict navigator, and performance coach
  • Creating an environment where self-organized, high-performance teams can emerge
  • Coaching teams past cooperation and into full collaboration
  • Evolving your leadership style as your team grows and changes
  • Staying actively engaged without dominating your team and stunting its growth
  • Recognizing failure, recovery, and success modes in your coaching
  • Getting the most out of your own personal agile coaching journey

Whether you’re an agile coach, leader, trainer, mentor, facilitator, ScrumMaster, project manager, product owner, or team member, this book will help you become skilled at helping others become truly great. What could possibly be more rewarding?


Scrum

The Art Of Doing Twice The Work In Half The Time

Author: Jeff Sutherland

Publisher: Crown Business 

Abstract 

For those who believe that there must be a more agile and efficient way for people to get things done, here is a brilliantly discursive, thought-provoking book about the leadership and management process that is changing the way we live. 
In the future, historians may look back on human progress and draw a sharp line designating “before Scrum” and “after Scrum.” Scrum is that ground-breaking.  It already drives most of the world’s top technology companies. And now it’s starting to spread to every domain where leaders wrestle with complex projects. 
If you’ve ever been startled by how fast the world is changing, Scrum is one of the reasons why. Productivity gains of as much as 1200% have been recorded, and there’s no more lucid – or compelling – explainer of Scrum and its bright promise than Jeff Sutherland, the man who put together the first Scrum team more than twenty years ago. 
The thorny problem Jeff began tackling back then boils down to this: people are spectacularly bad at doing things with agility and efficiency. Best laid plans go up in smoke. Teams often work at cross purposes to each other. And when the pressure rises, unhappiness soars. Drawing on his experience as a West Point-educated fighter pilot, biometrics expert, early innovator of ATM technology, and V.P. of engineering or CTO at eleven different technology companies, Jeff began challenging those dysfunctional realities, looking  for solutions that would have global impact. 
In this book you’ll journey to Scrum’s front lines where Jeff’s system of deep accountability, team interaction, and constant iterative improvement is, among other feats, bringing the FBI into the 21st century, perfecting the design of an affordable 140 mile per hour/100 mile per gallon car, helping NPR report fast-moving action in the Middle East, changing the way pharmacists interact with patients, reducing poverty in the Third World, and even helping people plan their weddings and accomplish weekend chores. 
Woven with insights from martial arts, judicial decision making, advanced aerial combat, robotics, and many other disciplines, Scrum is consistently riveting. But the most important reason to read this book is that it may just help you achieve what others consider unachievable – whether it be inventing a trailblazing technology, devising a new system of education, pioneering a way to feed the hungry, or, closer to home, a building a foundation for your family to thrive and prosper.


“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” – Charles W. Eliot

Photo by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash
Photo by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash

The Lean Product Playbook 

How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback

Authors: Dan Olsen

Publisher: Wiley 

Abstract 

The missing manual on how to apply Lean Startup to build products that customers love 
The Lean Product Playbook is a practical guide to building products that customers love. Whether you work at a startup or a large, established company, we all know that building great products is hard. Most new products fail. This book helps improve your chances of building successful products through clear, step-by-step guidance and advice. 
The Lean Startup movement has contributed new and valuable ideas about product development and has generated lots of excitement. However, many companies have yet to successfully adopt Lean thinking. Despite their enthusiasm and familiarity with the high-level concepts, many teams run into challenges trying to adopt Lean because they feel like they lack specific guidance on what exactly they should be doing.


Kanban 

Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business

Author: David J. Anderson 

Publisher: Blue Hole Press

Abstract 

Kanban is becoming a popular way to visualize and limit work-in-progress in software development and information technology work. Teams around the world are adding kanban around their existing process to catalyze cultural change and deliver better business agility. 

This book answers these questions:

  • What is Kanban?
  • Why would I want to use Kanban?
  • How do I go about implementing Kanban?
  • How do I recognize improvement opportunities and what should I do about them?

“This book has the immediate usefulness of a getting started guide, but also has enough content to keep me coming back for more.” — Chris Simmons, Development Manager, Sophos 


Conclusion 

It’s time to find comfort and new experiences in books. Developing and optimizing work-life balance can help us deal with these new changes, especially working-from-home better. 

What other books have you read about scrum, agile, and Kanban? 

Leave us a comment. 

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