I recently finished reading Succeeding with Agile by Mike Cohn, and absolutely loved it. I have read Mike Cohn’s blog for a number of years now, and I am a big fan of his writing, and after reading this book I have decided that I will read all his other books, and also undergo his online trainings; I really did find a lot of value out of this book.
The book is full of practical advice on scrum, and lists out the various problems you will encounter while implementing scrum, or practicing it in your organization.
The book is structured quite simply, and intuitively in the following heads:
- Getting started
- Next Steps
Each section goes into a lot of detail that taps into Mike Cohn’s experience with dealing with the challenges that organizations, and individuals face in adopting and running scrum teams.
Although I liked each and every section, my favorite one was on teams. Ultimately, a large part of running an Agile program successfully is to have an inspired, united, motivated team who has each other’s backs, and this section goes into great depth as to how you go about building that. This section also deals with some key aspects of sprint planning, backlog management, leading a self organizing team which are all at the heart of a successful agile project, and are also things that I am most closely associated with as a scrum master.
There are two other great things about this book that I’ve really enjoyed: one is that every section is peppered with common objections that Mike has heard throughout his career, and how to counter them. These are certainly things that I’ve heard myself, and even experienced myself. It is very beneficial to read from one of the most well respected thought leaders in the agile community on these objections, and then model the responses in your own behavior, and interactions.
The second thing is the extensive list of further reading material and references provided in this book. It is very exhaustive, and varied, and just this morning I spent an hour going through Hofstede’s cultural index which I found fascinating.
In conclusion, I think this is a great book, and even a must – read for anyone who works in any role in a scrum environment, and certainly for all scrum masters.