What books do you recommend reading for the Scrum and Agile practitioners?

February 22, 20172 min

As both a consultant and a trainer, my clients and students frequently want to know more about Scrum and Agile and they are interested to hear different perspectives on what works and what does not work.  Consequently, I often recommend a few books to help people go deeper on the important topics related to the success adoption of Scrum and Agile.

Here are two books that I recommend for practitioners, ScrumMaster and Product Owner, looking to make real impacts at work and reach the next level of certification performance.

User Story Mapping: Discover the Whole Story, Build the Right Product, (Jeff Patton): the absolute best book on user stories, customer and product discovery, roadmapping for Agile teams and the role of the Product Owner.  In this book, Jeff brings his practical advice and experience as a product manager to clear away some of the mystery associated with being the Product Owner and explores three case studies which shows exactly how user story mapping assists with product discovery, roadmapping and execution.  EVERY Product Owner needs a copy of this book, just like EVERY programmer needs a copy of Martin Fowler’s refactoring book.


Scrum Field Guide: Agile Advice for Your First Year & Beyond (Mitch Lacey): while teaching Certified ScrumMaster courses, I often get questions like, “How do I make the case for full time ScrumMasters?” or,  “How do I establish a 100% dedicated, cross-functional team?” or, “What do I do about a team member who is not on board with adopting Scrum?”  In your basic CSM class, we might touch on these issues, but it is hard to cover, in detail, all the common scenarios one is likely to experience in the first year of using Scrum in a two-day class.  Thankfully, Mitch Lacey has provided this excellent book that offers his advice on how to handle these situations (plus 30+ more) with short case studies followed by discussion and alternatives.