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Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn)) 1st Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 203 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0137043293
ISBN-10: 0137043295
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  • Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process (Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn))
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Product Details

  • Series: Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn)
  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (August 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137043295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137043293
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By T Anderson VINE VOICE on October 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book's title Essentials Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process, is a perfect description of what this book is. It covers every essential that you need to know about the scrum process, and the book is written to every role in the scrum process.

After a nice introductory chapter to Scrum, which includes the history of how Scrum came to be, the book breaks down into four parts. They include Core Concepts, Roles, Planning, and Sprinting. I have listed each part below along with the chapters found in each one.

Chapter 1. Introduction

Part I. Core Concepts
Chapter 2. Scrum Framework
Chapter 3. Agile Principles
Chapter 4. Sprints
Chapter 5. Requirements and User Stories
Chapter 6. Product Backlog
Chapter 7. Estimation and Velocity
Chapter 8. Technical Debt

Part II. Roles
Chapter 9. Product Owner
Chapter 10. ScrumMaster
Chapter 11. Development Team
Chapter 12. Scrum Team Structures
Chapter 13. Managers

Part III. Planning
Chapter 14. Scrum Planning Principles
Chapter 15. Multilevel Planning
Chapter 16. Portfolio Planning
Chapter 17. Envisioning (Product Planning)
Chapter 18. Release Planning (Longer-Term Planning)

Part IV. Sprinting
Chapter 19. Sprint Planning
Chapter 20. Sprint Execution
Chapter 21. Sprint Review
Chapter 22. Sprint Retrospective
Chapter 23. The Path Forward

The author's advice on when to use Scrum is a refreshing one. He is not one of the many Scrum zealots, mindlessly regurgitating Scrum mantras. He gives a nice overview of where Scrum works and where it doesn't in the introduction of the book. He also presents a realistic view on how difficult Scrum is.
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Format: Paperback
I have read the majority of books on Agile and Scrum in my career as a coach and trainer. It is really great to see a new, fresh book show up that presents the ins and outs of Scrum very clearly. Ken Rubin's Essential Scrum is an excellent introduction for beginners as well as a good reference for practitioners. Scrum sounds simple but there is are many challenges to implementing it and making the organizational changes necessary to do it successfully. Ken's book lays out the core values, principles, concepts and practices in terms and images that are easy to understand. There are some solid, practical descriptions of planning and the Scrum meetings that are a great guide for newbies and a great refresher for Scrum leaders who may have strayed from the practices.

And there is more. The book provides a very accessible treatment of three important topics that most other books miss. The importance of managing Technical Debt and the Lean concepts of Batch Size and limiting Work in Progress are essential in understanding how Scrum works and how to achieve a smooth flow for significantly higher value output. The shift in Management duties in an Agile organization is a critical aspect of cultural change. Ken also provides a short description of the topics that answer the frequently asked question "How do you scale Scrum?": Feature Teams, Scrum of Scrums and Release Trains.

The descriptions of the Product Owner and Development Team roles in this book go beyond the basic introduction, describing the work of the PO in preparatory and ongoing planning and describing important characteristics of a successful Dev Team.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book for SCRUM newbies, though I prefer SCRUM by Jeff Sutherland, its shorter and more to the point (glad I started with that one).

If you are already experienced, there are a few other books for deeper dives... I'll update this review with those recommendations (or message me for a list of what I've read on the subject, and which other books to definitely just stay away from--I don't think its nice to critique those here).

This book is truly about the Essentials. It's one of those reads where you keep reading because you think you are going to miss something if you skip the page or a chapter... but at the same time you keep checking to see how many more pages till you finish it. Not a page turner... at least not for me. I have kept the book as a reference guide, though I haven't referred to it in since I finished reading it about 5-6 months ago... but I'm hopefully and write this review because I continue to be asked about SCRUM.
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This book covers all of the main concepts of scrum. Throughout the book, the author shares with us real world examples and provides clear explanations. His writing style is pretty straight forward and he is able to share his opinions without being overly preachy. The book contains many diagrams and graphic representations of concepts which are also very helpful. I enjoyed the book and by the time I reached the end, feel that I learned a lot. 5/5
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Format: Paperback
This book was bought by my company and I had to read it.

This book is overly verbose. The author keeps repeating himself over and over. It would have been a decent book if he stopped at part 1 but not he added 300 pages for no good reason.

It also sounds too much like a sale speech from a cult that wants to brainwash and scam me. The more I read this book the more the words cargo cult and micromanagement were imprinted in my brain as a definition of scrum.

May be an I not the right audience, this book seems to cater for managers, not developers.

The only good parts were the self explanatory diagrams that the author ruined by going into unnecessary explanation.

If you are looking for a real essential introduction to scrum, read "The Elements of Scrum". It read like a novel in less than 2 hours and presented everything that I needed to know about scrum in order for me to start applying it.
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