An Agile Reading List

These agile books and websites cover the process and the reasoning behind the process of agile software development. They are based on books and sites that I regularly use and mention in class. If a favourite of your’s isn’t here, it just means that I’ve probably not read it yet. The books can be divided into practices and them move into more specialised topics, which move further from the software management side and towards the organisational side of the challenge.

The basics are these

We don’t know as much about this thing we’re building as we think we might so we need to validate assumptions.

Build short incremental slices so that you can start using it sooner rather than later.

Treat people as you’d like to be treated.

This makes it sound simple, but it’s actually hard to do all of these.

We’ll start with the basic agile concepts and practices used in the software development process.

The basic practices and concepts

Go read the agile manifesto and its twelve principles

Go download the Scrum Guide and read it yourself

Use Jame Shore’s The Art of Agile Development for exploring how to apply these concepts with agile related approaches. The full text is available online, or you can buy the book (very cheap second hand editions available) if you prefer. It covers everything that you need to know to get started and mixes theory with practical examples too.

Read any of the books by Tom Gilb. You’ll find them listed at

Mike Cohn stuff and the edited series from Addison-Wesley Professional

The original XP series of books on Extreme Programming

Agile concepts

Henrik Kniberg on different ways of building software

Peter Hundermark – Do better scrum – infoq

Esther Derby and Diane Larsen –

Gil Broza – The Agile Mind-Set –

Tobias Meyer essays: The People’s Scrum: Agile Ideas for Revolutionary Transformation

Clarke Ching has a number of books explaining agile and Theory of Constraints concepts as they apply to software development. Go read them all.

Coaches help teams become better at what they do

Rachel Davies plus Liz Sedley and their Agile Coaching book

Agile coach toolkit

Portia Tung and dream team nightmare

Deciding what to do next and discovering the context

impact mapping builds on work of Gilb and requirements by specification from Gojko Adzic

Go read about ‘real options’ as well from Chriss Matts to understand why you want to delay decisions.

Liz Keogh – Behaviour Driven Development – – more than just a way to test – how to capture ideas from business people and understand the context you find yourself in – intro to real options and Cynefin too

Greg Brougham – Cynefin mini-book

Vasco Duerte  #noestimates  book

Juergen Appelo – good at bringing together ideas from across areas and applying them to software development

Kanban, flow and managing the work of organisations

Donald Reinertsen – managing the design factory and product development flow

David J Anderson Kanban book

John Seddon’s work on benefit of systems thinking and flow

Bjarte Bogsnes and Beyond Budgeting ideas

W. Edwards Deming Out of the Crisis and others who explores systems

Other things

Richard Sheridan – joy inc and Menlo innovation with pairing every role and rotating weekly, as well as bringing pets and babies to work too. This is where the human side of agile practices comes into play. Watch the video, read the book.

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