I recently finished reading Jeff Sutherland’s – Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, and thoroughly enjoyed it and can recommend it to anyone interested in Agile and Scrum. I have been doing Agile and Scrum since 2011, so I like to think that I have a fair bit of experience in the ceremonies, and practical aspects of Agile, but the book was a great read on the history of how Agile came into being, and the philosophy behind these ceremonies, and a deeper look at the why not the how of Agile and Scrum.
I have already written a post on how why Scrum is called Scrum based on what I learned from this book, and there were several other things like this that I learned from the book such as Jeff Sutherland’s efforts to modernize the FBI’s database, and his experience with Japanese car manufacturers, and how that led to the role of the Product Owner being created in Scrum.
The philosophy and history behind each of the Agile ceremonies, principles, roles, and the problems that these were solving were the biggest takeaway for me from this book.
Also, at a high level, I think it is very useful to hear from Jeff Sutherland as to why Agile is so much faster than traditional waterfall development, and understand how it is the agility of teams that leads to faster development, not an individual coding 4x faster.
Personally, I feel that 4x productivity is probably not true for most teams, and while it is a good goal to aspire to I don’t think that a lot of projects were really done in 25% of the cost in a very conventional sense. I feel that Agile eliminates waste in terms of building something that no one wants, and to that extent maybe that 4x productivity number is correct, but this is really my only gripe with the book.
All in all, I think this is a very good read, and also a very easy read that you can finish in a couple of sittings, and one which everyone who’s dabbling in Agile or Scrum should invest time in.