“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” -Mark Twain
Agile is one of the product development methodologies. Many organizations use it to manage software engineering projects. Agile methodology uses division of tasks in short phases with emphasis on delivering evolving product requirements. Scrum is one of the Agile frameworks. It is a flexible and holistic product development strategy where team works as a unit to deliver agreed upon requirements in short time-frame (typically weeks). Among other things, it puts greater emphasis in ongoing collaboration between team members and delivery of a working product. This article recommends three books to begin your Agile learning journey.
Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game by Alistair Cockburn
This book covers Agile methodology, principles and how to put it in practice. Agile manifesto calls for increased interactions, working software, collaboration and responding to change in requirements. Agile principles are about continuous delivery of working software, welcoming change in requirements, frequent delivery of working software, team collaboration, sustainable development practices, simplicity and ongoing reflections. Cockburn does a great job of explaining how to apply these principles in your software development projects.
You may have questions like ‘What is more important? working software -or- customer specifications?’, ‘How to balance between maintaining procedures and delivery of working product?’, ‘What is importance of effective collaboration/communication in Agile projects?’. This book addresses such questions and gives you a solid foundation to begin your Agile exploration.
Agile Project Management with Scrum, by Ken Schwaber
In this book, Schwaber covers overview of Scrum and share lessons learned. Book does a good job of describing Scrum principles, scenarios, user story writing and related concepts to give you a jump-start.
User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development by Mike Cohn, Kent Beck
Once you travel few miles on Agile journey you have to write user stories (equivalent of requirements in traditional development). You will learn an art of story writing from this book. Large requirements are broken down in multiple user stories and stories deliver tangible results (in the form of working software). This book introduces concept of user stories, art of story writing, transition to stories from requirements and effective use of stories with case studies. It also emphasizes collaboration between teams and appropriate use of stories to ensure customer requirement and product delivery are aligned.
Enjoy reading and Go Agile!