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Agile Project Management with Scrum (Developer Best Practices) 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 117 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0735619937
ISBN-10: 073561993X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A 30-year veteran of the software development industry, Ken Schwaber is a leader of the agile process revolution and one of the developers of the Scrum process. A signatory of the Agile Manifesto in 2001, he subsequently founded the Agile Alliance and the Scrum Alliance. Ken authored Agile Project Management with Scrum and coauthored Agile Software Development with Scrum and has helped train more than 47,000 certified ScrumMasters.

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Product Details

  • Series: Developer Best Practices
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (February 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073561993X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735619937
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ken Schwaber is president of Advanced Development Methods (ADM), a company dedicated to improving the software development practice. He is an experienced software developer, product manager, and industry consultant. Schwaber initiated the process management product revolution of the early 1990's and also worked with Jeff Sutherland to formulate the initial versions of the Scrum development process.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I purchased the book hoping it would provide real content about the rules and practices of Scrum. Instead, the author appears intent upon using the book to drive business to his Scrum certification business. He touts platitudes about "the rules of Scrum", but provides little substance. Outside of the basics -- that can be learned by simply searching for "Scrum" in a search engine -- the book offers little insight into how Scrum Masters conduct themselves differently than Project Managers. If you're looking for valuable insight into Scrum, skip this book. It was a waste of my money. One last gripe: The author wastes no opportunity to slam traditional Project Managers and projects run under the procedures of non-agile methodologies. Clearly, he has never worked for a good technical Project Manager on a well-run project. Contrary to his opinion, both do exist.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a sales pitch for agile project management, not a book on how to use it. There is chapter after chapter with the same format. 1) describe long list of problems company has, 2) implement agile 3) magic happens. There is a small amount of information on agile and how to use it.
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The book was an easy read and provided a fair but light treatment of Scrum. The numerous examples provide a good illustration of some of the key concepts of the method and help in better understanding implementation issues and lessons learned. This being said, a complete understanding of Scrum requires additional reading above and beyond this book, and most importantly a good solid (if not many) attempt at applying it in the real world. For individuals interested in Scrum, I would also recommend a very active discussion group to which the book's author and many other Scrum aficionados contribute regularly: [...]
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Our organization recently implemented Scrum, and although the
Beedle/Schwaber book was great to get us off the ground on Scrum
theory, we immediately had many questions once we actually tried to implement it in real life projects. I agree with the notion that Scrum is conceptually easy to understand, but actually quite complex to implement correctly. The scrum forum has been helpful, but we really needed a cohesive reference of situational problems. The APMWS book really hit the nail on the head and delivered what we needed the most: a practical guide to Scrum with anecdotes and "what happens if..." situations from real world Scrum implementations. This came just in time for us, and we are feeling more confident for our upcoming certification class.
The appendices in the back are also very helpful. The "Rules"
appendix is perfect as a quick introduction to Scrum for new Team
members and Product Owners. It's actually quite detailed for being such a short appendix.
Also, for newbies the three main Roles are very nicely explained. We had some misconceptions that were immediately addressed by this book.
Anyway, from a Scrum newbie that is faced with implementation issues, thanks to Ken for putting together a real world implementation guide.
2 Comments 63 of 75 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Agile Project Management with Scrum is a wonderful book. The author, Ken Schwaber (one of the originators of the Scrum process), informs us through case studies and anecdotes. If you like learning by example, this book is for you. Scrum is quite likely the best starting point for most companies interested in pursuing an agile development process. The readability and excellent anecdotes in this book make it a fantastic starting point for any journey into agile development.
I loved seeing how Schwaber applied Scrum in many varying situations. Rather than introducing each case study one at a time, the book is organized around key areas. Multiple anecdotes are given for each key area. Throughout each chapter, Schwaber brings the anecdotes together in Lessons Learned sections and the chapters conclude by helping point out the conclusions we learn to draw from the anecdotes.
I appreciated that Schwaber was not shy about mentioning projects that didn't go perfectly-including one he got fired from for being too zealous in his role of sheepdog guarding his flock of developers.
Although this book is ostensibly about software development, Scrum has its roots in general new product development and can (and has been) applied to a wide variety of development projects. A problem with a process like Scrum is that it is best learned by "feeling it" rather than being told about it. There are many subtle differences between Scrum and a more command-and-control management process. Learning Scrum by reading a book filled with examples like this is the best way to get the feel for how to use it on your own projects.
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Reading this book won't turn you into a ScrumMaster- only experience with a few projects will do that- but this book really has all the information you need to start to implement the Scrum agile methodology in your company or department.

I've been trained in two seperate PMI-certified methodologies, and both have been complete failures in my organizations. The response, of course, has been to bring in a third methodology. The real reason for the failures has been that traditional project managment as it is usually practiced is designed to fail. It encourages the creation of fictions that live a seperate existence form the actual project, with due dates dictated from above, and project schedules fudged to meet due dates rather than actual resources. In my own organization, we had a typical example of what happens in traditional "waterfall" development: A massive project to replace our main administrative system was ticking towards a June delivery (according to the detailed MS Project charts) and then, 30 days prior to delivery, it was announced that the delivery date had been pushed back an entire year!

This can't happen with Scrum. Scrum reflects what's really happening in a project, and it encourages incremental development- prioritizing requirements, and delivering them in their order of need, instead of trying to deliver a complete project with every single componant at a certain date. It's also one of the least onerous of methodologies. As a Scrum Master friend notes, "It's the simplest methodology you can implement that will actually deliver results".

It does requrie some changes in how things are done in the traditional organizations.
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