Essential Agile Books (Must-Reads)

The following are books written by the most senior and leading experts on Agile. They provide information for those of all levels of Agile knowledge. Reading all (or most) of these books would provide a solid foundation of Agile principles, processes, and methodologies.


1 – Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game (2nd Edition)
Author: Alistair Cockburn

Review: Written by a legend in the agile movement for software development. This book takes on the approach of developing software as a game. It provides the simplified way to look at providing effective, high quality software while building in high value features that the client will recognize for return on investment.

  Agile Software Development

2 – Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products (2nd Edition)
Author: Jim Highsmith

Review: Written by Jim Highsmith, another agile legend in the software development field. His book puts forward all you need to know to get started from a project management point of view. It is not only limited to starters, but also for those who are well versed in agile processes and practices. The anecdotal aspect that Jim provides is also a very good learning point for his readers since it gives a situational perspective, not just theory.

Agile Project Management

3 – Becoming Agile: …in an imperfect world
Authors: Greg Smith, Ahmed Sidky

Review: This book gives you a starter view for those who haven’t yet been on agile projects. Taking on the approach of giving pilot project point of view while implementing change from more traditional processes. It provides methods in which to prepare and plan feasibility of a project and to adopt them so that your team eventually becomes a fully agile operation. A must for all agile management and development teams.

Becoming Agile

4 – The Art of Agile Development
Author: James Shore

Review: This book gives multiple points of view for an agile project. A book you can share with all stakeholders for your agile project. It provides insights whether you are a manager, business analyst, executive sponsor, customer, developer, and/or tester. As we commonly see agile from scrum processes, this book takes on extreme programming as their method of explanation.

The Art of Agile

5 – Agile Estimating and Planning
Author: Mike Cohn

Review: Written by an agile expert, Mike Cohn. Whether or not you are getting started with agile or not, this book is a must have to understand and refine the process on how to estimate and plan for your sprints on any agile project. It will give you insights on story creation, story points, and ideal hours. This is a companion book that can be referenced daily for managers, developers and business analysts alike.

Agile Estimating and Planning

6 – Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility
Authors: Alan Shalloway, Guy Beaver, James R. Trott

Review: Written by an Agile/Lean/Kanban expert, Alan Shalloway gives multiple lean perspectives while describing how to scale agile. This book demonstrates how Agile and Lean concepts are tightly linked and give optimal results for software development.

Lean-Agile Software

7 – Agile Project Management with Scrum
Author: Ken Schwaber

Review: Written by the Scrum expert and advocate Ken Schwaber. This book is the essential source for understanding scrum and all of it’s components, ceremonies, rules, etc. It will give you situational examples as well as the roles that are needed in order for scrum to work efficiently and effectively.

agile project management with scrum

8 – The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility
Authors: Michele Sliger, Stacia Broderick

Review: Written by project management experts Michele Sliger and Stacia Broderick. This book is an essential guide for Project Managers looking to transition from traditional project management to agile project management. It gives a very well explained concept of how agile is actually project management compliant by the PMI standards.

The Software Project Manager's Bridge to Agility

9 – Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great
Authors: Esther Derby, Diana Larsen, Ken Schwaber

Review: Written by agile experts Esther Derby, Diana Larsen, and Ken Schwaber. This book gives an activities based approach to collecting and examining the details you will need for your agile retrospectives. It gives a very good all round view on how to keep track of those moments that will need to be used in your retrospectives throughout the iterative process.

Agile Retrospectives

10 – Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition
Author: Lyssa Adkins

Review: Written by agile coaching expert Lyssa Adkins. This is the essential guide for all those in a management or coaching role to an agile project. This book will help you identify when you should or shouldn’t become actively involved in the agile team dynamics. It gives a very well balanced approach to coaching while using agile principles.

Coaching Agile Teams

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