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The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice for Your First Year (Agile Software Development Series) Paperback – March 18, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0321554154 ISBN-10: 0321554159 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Agile Software Development Series
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (March 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321554159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321554154
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mitch Lacey has been an agile practitioner and consultant and is the founder of Mitch Lacey & Associates, Inc., a software consulting and training firm. Mitch helps teams and companies realize gains in efficiency by adopting agile principles and practices such as Scrum and Extreme Programming. Mitch cut his agile teeth at Microsoft Corporation working on a variety of projects, sometimes as the product owner, other times as the ScrumMaster. Today, with more than 16 years of experience under his belt, Mitch works as an agile trainer and coach. He also continues to develop his craft by experimenting and practicing with project teams at many different organizations.Mitch is a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), a PMI Project Management Professional (PMP) and a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP). He is a frequent speaker at conferences worldwide; has served on the board of the Scrum Alliance and the Agile Alliance; and chaired the Agile 2012 conference.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 120 customer reviews
It gives practical advice by giving real life examples.
Emanuel Gabl
You could read the book from start to end, or as I did, jump from chapter to chapter, picking out the topics that are most relevant to your situation.
Derek Lau
I would highly recommend this book to anyone implementing scrum.
Nicolas Grange

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bill Ramos on March 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
I would recommend Mitch's book to anyone or team getting started with Scrum or as a refresher for practicing Scrum teams. The reading style of telling a story, discussing the model, identifying keys to success, and references for each chapter is a refreshing technique for understanding why elements of the Scrum model are important while making it easy to go back for future reference.

Here are some of the nuggets that I picked out.
- Adding a fourth question for people to answer at the daily standup meeting - on a scale of 1-10, how confident are you that we will accomplish the goals of this sprint?
- Contract strategies for Scrum based development efforts - especially around change control - if a customer adds a new story, they need to subtract a story or set of stories of equal story points.
- Decomposing stories into tasks with an example of going too far. I would have liked to seen a treatment on how to deal with predecessor tasks for the sprint.
- Best practices on running the sprint review and retrospective meetings.
- Dealing with special considerations and challenges for offshore development .
- Creating end-to-end user scenarios for sprint objectives to demonstrate software that is ready to ship.

Something that I would have liked to have seen in the book is how to manage multiple projects with Scrum and how to deal with scarce "team consultant" resources who can't be full time and may be asked to work on 3 or more projects during the same sprint cycle. Mitch points out the caution, but didn't provide a solution other than they need to be flexible. Multi-project release planning is always a challenge with shared resources.

Overall, this is a must read for beginning and seasoned Scrum practitioners.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Shane Willerton on June 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Scrum Field Guide should not be your resource for learning and/or beginning to implement Scrum. It is the book you should turn to when you need to rescue your Scrum implementation. This is a practical approach to the more common obstacles that a Scrum implementation will encounter. The title of the first chapter sums it up succinctly: Scrum: Simple, Not Easy.

Scrum is the project management portion of Agile development. At a generic level, Scrum gives management the tools to monitor and track the progress of the favorite flavor of Agile development whether XP, TDD, etc. The Scrum Field Guide is geared mainly towards Scrum Masters, core team members or managers wanting to put their project back on track.

Every chapter can stand-alone and be read in any order. Each chapter begins with a story to help the reader draw parallels between the topic that the chapter addresses and the difficulties the reader is facing in their environment. Often, the symptoms of the different challenges can hide the root cause. From how to get recalcitrant core team members on board with using Scrum to recover Sprint Retrospectives turned gripe sessions, this book covers it all. The chapters are short in terms of page length because they are meant to offer ready-made and practical advice on common issues with the topic at hand rather than offer a detailed examination of each aspect of implementing Scrum.

Purchase this book when you get back from Scrum training or when you buy the book on how to implement Scrum. Put it on your shelf and refer to it when Scrum gets hard or just doesn't seem to work as advertised. This book will not teach you how to implement Scrum, it will help you save your implementation. Scrum's simple, but simple is not always easy!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tiago Andrade e Silva on March 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
Great story format, easy to read, smart, practical advice.

I purchased this book because I attended one of Mitch's classes in Portugal a couple years ago, when he was working on it. I was in my first year of Scrum and XP at the time (his target market) and boy, do I wish I had this book then. I still purchased it and found a lot of new things. Some of my favorites are:
-How to handle documentation
-Definition of done
-How to justify having a ScrumMaster
-Engineering practices

Contracting. Mitch provides two models for the reader to consider when working with customers, either internal or external. While the ideas may sound crazy, they are not. I'm eager to try these models in the real world.

Documentation. This is always a battle. Mitch makes a good case for how, when and most importantly, why to document. It's not just a blanket "document everything" approach, nor is it the common "agile means no documentation" stuff that everyone seems to say at one point in their life. Instead it's a way to look at documentation, historically, and think about the right time to do it. He never says don't do it, or do it all - he says be smart about it, understand why you do it, and understand your customer. This is one of my favorite chapters.

Definition of done. There is a lot of writing on the Internet on this topic, but this is the first time I've seen something written where it actually walks a team through with an established technique on HOW to build a definition of done, how to use it and how to communicate it to customers and stakeholders. I let a friend borrow the book just for this section so he could use this chapter.

Justifying the ScrumMaster.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Mitch Lacey is an agile practitioner and trainer. Mitch has been managing projects for over fifteen years & is credited with many plan-driven & agile projects. He is the author of "The Scrum Field Guide", a book targeting teams adopting Agile and Scrum practices.

Mitch honed his agile skills at Microsoft Corporation, where he successfully released core enterprise services for Windows Live. Mitch's first agile team at Microsoft was coached by Ward Cunningham, Jim Newkirk & David Anderson.

While at Microsoft, he transitioned from Program Manager to Agile Coach, working hand-in-hand with groups throughout their transition to Agile practices. After Microsoft, Mitch was the Agile Practice Manager at Ascentium Corporation where he practiced agility on the projects he ran every day while coaching customers on agile practices and lessons on agile adoption worldwide.

As a Certified Scrum Trainer (CST), PMI Project Management Professional (PMP) and Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP), Mitch shares his experience in project and client management through Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum courses, agile coaching engagements, conference presentations, blogs & white papers.

He has published many papers including "Adventures in Promiscuous Pairing", "Transitioning to Agile: Key Lessons Learned in the Field", "The Impacts of Poor Estimating - & How to Fix It", a variety of papers for Microsoft and "Immersive Interviewing - Building Great Agile Software Teams".

He has presented at Agile Alliance Agile 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 conferences, the 2008 Better Software Conference and the 2008 - 2013 SQE Agile Development Practices conferences. He has managed tracks for the Agile conference since 2008 and was the conference chair for Agile2012 and Agile2014.

Mitch has served on the Board of Directors for the Agile Alliance (2011-2012) and the Scrum Alliance (2010-2011, 2014).

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The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice for Your First Year (Agile Software Development Series)
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