Getting started with Agile. 5 books you should read.

By December 21, 2012blog

“This agile thing seems to be interesting. What should I read to get started?”

Many people ask me this question, and so did Felix last week. A nice opportunity to make a list of what I think are good starters.

  1. The Scrum Guide (Sutherland, Schwaber)
    This guide was written by the two founding fathers of scrum, and gives you clear definitions in less than 20 pages.
  2. Scrum and XP from the Trenches (Kniberg)
  3. Lean from the Trenches (Kniberg)
    Two books that inspired me tremendously. They tell the actual story of the author applying scrum and lean, without ending up in a theoretical exposé. Down to earth and funny. Read a review or an application of Lean from the Trenches.
  4. The Lean Startup (Ries)
    A very popular book, but justified. Especially the first part of the book will help you really understand what lean is actually about.
  5. User Stories Applied (Cohn)
    This one is the least accessible of the five, but I think it’s worth the read. I believe that a good use of user stories is essential when applying agile and lean. And this book is a very useful resource on the subject.

Important: I’m not saying these are the top 5 agile books. I just believe they are good resources when you’re a newbie in agile land. If you’re looking for more, be sure to check out Jurgen Appelo‘s top 100 Agile books list which is updated every year.

If you think there are other books or publications that should be included in this list, don’t hesitate to point them out in the comments.


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