A few weeks ago I started reading Agile Software Development With Scrum by Ken Schwaber and Mike Beedle. Prior to reading this book I did not have any knowledge of Agile or Scrum, except that it was a popular software development methodology. Here are what I believe are the positive aspects of this book:
1. Great Overview: This book provides a great overview of Agile with Scrum. If you haven’t used Scrum before and need an overview and quick tutorial on how to implement it within your project or business, this is your book.
2. Chaos: A good overview of chaos and complexity theories are provided and how to manage the “noise” inherent to complex new product development projects. I was also impressed to have found reference to triads, which I have discussed extensively during my reading of Tribal Leadership. It turns out that Scrum Teams are actually made up of pairs of triads.
3. Practical Application: Although this book is written primarily for software developers, it may be equally applied to new non-software product development and business building. Many easy to understand examples are provided to the reader which may be readily applied without much time or effort.
Despite everything the book does well there are a couple items that could have been improved upon. First, at certain points it felt like a sales pitch. For a technical project management book it seemed as if the authors were trying really hard to sell the concept rather than just present the overall picture. Second, the diagrams could use some updating. There is some powerful information presented within this book, yet the lackluster illustrations did not do these powerful concepts justice.