Book Notes: Succeeding with Agile - Mike Cohn

William Meller - Succeeding with Agile - Mike Cohn
This is the definitive, realistic, actionable guide to starting fast with Scrum and agile to succeed over the long run and making Scrum and agile work.


Title: Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum
Author: Mike Cohn
Themes: Agile, Scrum, Cases, Technology, Management, Business
Year: 2010
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
ISBN: 0321579364, 9780321579362
Pages: 475

This is not a book for those who are completely new to Scrum or agile. There are other books, classes, and even websites for that. If you are completely new to Scrum, start with one of those.

Mike Cohn, a leading agile consultant, and practitioner gives thorough ideas, compelling tips, and real-world case studies based on his unrivaled expertise in assisting hundreds of software firms in making Scrum and agile work.

"... As a long-time Scrum trainer and consultant, I have worked with hundreds of teams and organizations, and I’ve come to believe that success with Scrum is possible for every organization. Some will have a harder time than others. Some will be challenged by a rigid corporate culture. Others will confront entrenched, difficult personalities facing personal loss. The lucky ones will have supportive leadership and passionately engaged employees. What each of these organizations will have in common, though, is the need for pragmatic and proven advice. I have written this book with the hope of providing it..." - Mike Cohn

This book is intended for pragmatic software professionals looking for real-world solutions to the most difficult difficulties they experience when implementing Scrum.

"... None of these processes as described by their originators is perfect for your organization. Any may be a good starting point, but you will need to tailor the process to more precisely fit the unique circumstances of your organization, individuals, and industry..." - Mike Cohn

The book addresses every aspect of the shift, including how to get started, how to help employees transfer to new positions, how to structure teams, scale-up, work with a distributed team, and lastly, how to implement effective metrics and continuous improvement.

William Meller - Succeeding with Agile - Mike Cohn

This book covers crucial subjects such as:

 - Practical ways to get started immediately–and “get good” fast
 - Overcoming individual resistance to the changes Scrum requires
 - Staffing Scrum projects and building effective teams
 - Establishing “improvement communities” of people driving change
 - Choosing which agile technical practices to use or experiment
 - Making the most of Scrum sprints, planning
 - Scaling Scrum to distributed, multiteam projects
 - Using Scrum on projects with complex sequential processes
 - Using Scrum to comply with governance requirements
 - Understanding Scrum's impact on HR, facilities, and project management

"... Despite all the reasons why transitioning to Scrum can be particularly difficult, stakeholders in companies that have made the transition are happy they’ve done so. One reason stakeholders are so satisfied is that time-to-market is reduced when using an agile process like Scrum. This faster time-to-market is enabled by the higher productivity of agile teams, which is in turn the result of the higher quality seen in agile projects. Because employees are freed up to do high-quality work and because they see their work delivered sooner into the hands of waiting users, job satisfaction goes up. With higher job satisfaction comes more engaged employees, which leads to more productivity gains, initiating a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement..." - Mike Cohn

Whether you've completed a few sprints or numerous agile projects, and regardless of your role, this book will help you succeed on your next project. Then it will assist you in going much further: transforming your entire development organization.

Chapters of the Book:

Part I - Getting Started
Chapter 1 - Why Becoming Agile Is Hard (But Worth It)
Chapter 2 - ADAPTing to Scrum
Chapter 3 - Patterns for Adopting Scrum
Chapter 4 - Iterating Toward Agility
Chapter 5 - Your First Projects
Part II - Individuals
Chapter 6 - Overcoming Resistance
Chapter 7 - New Roles
Chapter 8 - Changed Roles
Chapter 9 - Technical Practices
Part III - Teams
Chapter 10 - Team Structure
Chapter 11 - Teamwork
Chapter 12 - Leading a Self-Organizing Team
Chapter 13 - The Product Backlog
Chapter 14 - Sprints
Chapter 15 - Planning
Chapter 16 - Quality
Part IV - The Organization
Chapter 17 - Scaling Scrum
Chapter 18 - Distributed Teams
Chapter 19 - Coexisting with Other Approaches
Chapter 20 - Human Resources, Facilities, and the PMO
Part V - Next Steps
Chapter 21 - Seeing How Far You've Come
Chapter 22 - You're Not Done Yet

Mike Cohn is the founder of Mountain Goat Software, a process and project management consultancy and training firm. He is the author of User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development and Agile Estimating and Planning, as well as books on Java and C++ programming. With more than 25 years of experience, Mike has previously been a technology executive in companies of various sizes, from start-ups to Fortune 50.

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