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The Elements of Scrum Paperback – February 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Dymaxicon (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982866917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982866917
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Chris Sims is a Certified Scrum Trainer and agile coach who has been helping teams improve their happiness and productivity since the turn of the century. He has made a living in roles such as: scrum master, product owner, engineering manager, C++ developer, musician, and auto mechanic. Chris is the founder of Agile Learning Labs and a frequent presenter at agile conferences. Hillary Louise Johnson is an author and journalist who has written on innovation, technology and pop culture for Inc Magazine and the Los Angeles Times, and has been editor-in-chief of several print and online publications. As an intellectual property consultant she has drafted numerous technology patents. She is the author of the novel, Physical Culture. Sims and Johnson are the authors of the international bestseller, Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction.

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Customer Reviews

As a way to get started, this book walks the walk.
Liz Lewinson
Fantastic book for those looking to get a good understanding of scrum and agile.
Amazon Customer
The book is well written, easy to understand and fun to read.
Plinio

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Joel on February 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
EoS is a great mix of approachable writing, great anecdotes and simple pictures, both the ones drawn into the book and the pictures the words easily formed in my head. The nearly 200 pages flew by quickly while giving me some excellent new perspectives on the use of Scrum. For readability I found it outstanding.

Elements is not a complete "how to" book of Scrum, that's not the goal of the book. It's laid out a lot like a training cours, and will give any reader a strong foundation in the basics of Scrum. Even though I've taken scrum master certification and have been an active agilest for some time now, I still came away from this book with a deeper knowledge of Scrum's core fundamentals. That says a lot for a $30 book, that it can still teach you some new ideas after taking a two day training class.

The final positive point I can give it is where it will live, now that I've read it. EoS will find a place on my ready reference shelf in my office cube. When I need to check something on Scrum, it's only an arms length away and finding information in it is google easy.

Joel Bancroft-Connors , PMP
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Tom L. Pittman on March 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the second book I've "borrowed" from the Amazon Kindle loaning library, and it will be the second book I'll be buying -- just as soon as I can figure out if I want it in paper or digital format.

PROS:

o The book wisely starts off by telling a week in the life of a scrum team. I say wisely, because anyone with any software development experience at all will immediately get a clear, "bird's eye view" of the overall scrum framework from this opening story, and that perspective will make the reading of the rest of the book go quickly.

o Next the book reviews the traditional "Waterfall" development cycle which is another smart move. Not only does reading about the methodology I learned in college help establish the authors' credibility for me, they explain waterfall with a sense of fairness -- so you don't walk away feeling like you are about to read the one-sided propaganda of some agile fan-boys.

o As the book unfolds, you get the sense that the authors definitely have a ton of real world experience, and that you are getting something much more useful than scrum theory.

o The book is logically organized, making learning scrum a breeze.

o The authors didn't seem to be worried about page count, but instead taught scrum efficiently and effectively without extra words, war stories or fluff.

o The authors allow some personality to flow on to the pages, making the book a fun read.

CONS:

o I wish the authors would have done a bit more to define scrum-specific terminology at the beginning of the book, or at least provided a glossary at the back of the book so we could look up the terms as we come upon them -- particularly if we are coming upon them again and again.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dave Moran on July 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want to understand the essentials of Agile development and Scrum, The Elements of Scrum by Chris Sims and Hillary Louise Johnson is a must read. The book itself doesn't talk about Agile development in pure theoretical terms, it provides insight on how Scrum teams function by using examples and clear explanations.

The Elements of Scrum walks you through a Scrum team's inner workings, including planning and executing a sprint, daily scrum (stand-up) meetings, sprint reviews, and the retrospective. The book provides in-depth coverage of key Scrum artifacts such as the product and sprint backlogs, information radiators like the sprint and release charts, the task board, the definition of done, user stories and acceptance criteria. Chris and Hillary even cover a topic you don't read much about: terminating a sprint.

The Elements of Scrum really shines as it walks you through the ins and outs of estimating and planning. I particularly enjoyed the example of "Agile Islands," as it provides an excellent basis for understanding Scrum's use of relative sizing versus time estimates. Chris and Hillary explain why relative sizing works, pointing out that, "While we are bad at absolute sizing, we are good at relative sizing."

They follow up to explain how relative sizing is applied:

"The trick is to use a two-step process. First, assign relative sizes to all of the work items. The size indicates how much work there is to do. Second, do a couple of work items and measure how long they actually take. Armed with this measured amount, the relative sizes assigned to all of the other items can now be used to provide the desired predictability of schedule.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Greg Finnegan on December 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good read and nice intro to the topic. It would receive 5 stars, but the Kindle version needs a good QA pass. The chapters aren't numbered (but are repeatedly referenced throughout the book). The chapter on Agile Principles has some lists that aren't numbered correctly and the corresponding support paragraphs are all numbered 1 (do I sense an epic battle with MS Word...) I would not hesitate to pass this on to some senior decision makers if I was trying to convince them to give Scrum a try.
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