Succeeding with Agile

Author: Mike Cohn
Publisher: Addison Wesley, 2009
Aimed at: Developers already using agile methods
Rating: 4
Pros: Well written and clear presentation
Cons: Assumes knowledge of Scrum
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

The sub-title of this book is Software Development Using Scrum. What you need to know before even considering it is that Scrum hardly figures in it at all. It assumes that you know everything there is to know about Scrum and then launches into some "meta-methodology" about how to convince others that Scrum is the way to go, how to convince yourself that Scrum is the way to go and then how to succeed in using Scrum. But if you know nothing about Scrum before you read the book you will know nothing about it after reading the book - except that it's great.

The absence of any summary of Scrum is a criticism that is difficult ot level at this book because it does say that its for intermediate practitioners of the craft of Agile program - but even so a few pages to remind lapsed believers would have been useful.

So if you are a true Scrum and Agile believer and need no refresher courses does the book deliver anything useful? The answer is yes if you need to convince a doubting management that Agile is more effective than any other methodology. it also has handy hints about convincing fellow workers to do the right thing and how to deal with difficult cases. From this point on it increasingly becomes a "meta management" book concerned with social implications and actions and the psychology of it all.

If this is the sort of book you are looking for then it fills the role well and is very readable and rewarding. However don't even consider it until you know all about the ideas of the Agile methodology and Scrum in particular - for once we really do have a second level book on the topic.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 January 2010 )