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Exploring Scrum: The Fundamentals Paperback – July 21, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"If you are starting out, Dan and Doug can help you. If you are struggling along the way, they can help you even more. And if you are already great, Dan and Doug can help you be greater."
- Jeff Sutherland, co-developer of Scrum, original signatory of Agile Manifesto

"When you fnish this book, you'll have an understanding of how to put Scrum into practice in almost every situation you may encounter... Dan and Doug have written the best Scrum book I have seen. Read it, heed it, and prosper."
- Ron Jeffries, first XP coach, original signatory of Agile Manifesto

"Dan and Doug bring crystal clarity to why things are the way they are in Scrum - why certain practices work and others do not."
- Jeff McKenna, the world's first ScrumMaster

"Dan and Doug have given you a gift. They have written a book where you can get Scrum right... that is easy to read, understandable, and can help you see where you might go off course."
- Johanna Rothman, Management Guru and Author

"This book is a step beyond the basics... I know you will enjoy this book - it's like an extended fireside chat with Dan."
- Linda Rising, PhD, COO of the Hillside Group

About the Author

Dan Rawsthorne has developed software in an agile way since 1983. He has worked in many different domains, from e-commerce to military avionics. He has a PhD in Mathematics (number theory), is a retired Army Officer, and a Professional Bowler and Coach. Dan is very active in the Agile/Scrum community and speaks quite often at conferences and seminars. He is a transformation agent, coaching Organizations to become more successful through agility. His non-software background has helped him immeasurably in his coaching: his formal training in mathematics guides him to look for underlying problems rather than focus on surface symptoms; his military background helps him understand the importance of teamwork and empowerment; and his work with bowlers has helped him understand that coaching is a two-way street. 

Doug Shimp has worked in the technology field since 1992 and has played many key roles on software teams, including Coder, Tester, Analyst, Team Leader, Manager, Coach, and Consultant. Doug's passion is for team learning to improve product development, and he is a leader in the area of agile/Scrum transitions and applied practices. He believes that the core basis for applied agility is that 'You must see the result for it to be real; otherwise it is all just theory...' Much of his experience with teamwork and agility comes from outside the software field, including an earlier career as an owner/manager of a painting company - which enabled him to learn about small-team dynamics in a very hands-on way.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 374 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2nd edition (July 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1461160286
  • ISBN-13: 978-1461160281
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
When I work with people about to start their transition to Scrum, I always ask what they've read. Up until now, I struggled with what to suggest that would help them see how to live the Scrum principles and practices. Now I know. The answer is this book, Exploring Scrum: The Fundamentals (People, Product, and Practices).

There is no theory here. No sir. This is a book that arises from hard-won experience. That deep experience, all those years of teaching and coaching and consulting Scrum teams shines through, and provides the substantial value that Dan and Doug bring you.

For example, many project managers have accountability for project results, and Exploring Scrum explains why a project manager can then not be a Scrum Master and should be a product owner. The rest of the discussion of the multiple modes of Scrum Master and Scrum Master as change agent are brilliant.

Another example of the practical approach is the issue of feedback as the output of the sprint. Scrum suggests that the team produce potentially releaseable product each sprint. Many teams interpret that to mean that they always have to produce running tested features. But sometimes, you want feedback about the potential deliverables, such as the user interface or the performance of the system or the security or something like that.

Teams new to Scrum have trouble with determining how many stories they can plan to complete in an sprint and how to manage the work that isn't stories. Dan and Doug have a great solution here. They suggest that for a 2-week sprint, a team plan on about 10 stories. That's a great target because it helps teams realize when they have sliced their stories thin enough.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Okay I admit, it's not that tough to become a Certified Scrum Master as of this writing, but the tools, techniques and philosophy of Scrum are still very useful regardless of what type of projects you do. I'll give a couple of examples, let's start with the wildest concept...people are "people" and not resources. How about another, "leaders" lead through moral authority and influence rather than formal authority. Oh, how about another universal nugget of usefulness, projects work better when you break them down in bite sized chunks and allow the people who do the work to actually provide you with the estimates. Or another, change is inevitable and therefore you cannot possibly know everything up front no matter how much time and money you spend on planning...Wild huh?

Sarcasm aside I am currently a certified PMP who works as a technology project manager for a large financial organization. Currently we use the Rational Unified Process (RUP) but I kept hearing so much buzz about Scrum over the past couple of years that I decided to purchase the book. Simply put, this book rocks. If you have to have 1 guide to learn about Scrum these guys go deeper into Scrum than you would likely get from a 2 day Certified Scrum Master course. That said I was hungry to know more so I did take the Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Master course this last week and discovered that I spent a good deal of my time explaining some of the concepts I learned about in this book to my classmates. I also was able to challenge the instructor on a couple of points not that he was wrong or the book is right but that there are gray areas in Scrum that by design allow for differing interpretations, for example organizational scalability or sprint length.
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We're in the middle of a Scrum "conversion" for a client (migrate waterfall to Scrum) and I wanted to get everyone (including the client staff) a good book on Scrum. I bought six different Scrum books and read them all. Most of the books were too focused on one or two aspects of Scrum or were so poorly written that I thought my eyes would fall out. HOWEVER, "Exploring Scrum" is the ONLY book that covers all aspects of Scrum -- and does so in an interesting and engaging way. So, I donated five of the books to the library and ordered another 24 copies of "Exploring Scrum". If you're going to buy ANY book on Scrum, BUY THIS BOOK!
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Wow... is all I can say. There are very few book that explain an idea from its big picture strategic framework, to it's highly tactical implementation as well as this one.

It goes through how to run an agile project management process in a really well thought out manner. I used this book as a resource - without any prior knowledge of agile - and feel that I was able to successfully implement a scrum program for my teams because of how well this book laid out the process.

The authors have read nearly every other important book on the subject (they are clearly credited in the text) and combine ideas from Lean, and from Kanban variants of agile into an extremely well written description of how to implement scrum.

Dan and Doug's experience very much shines through as at times they really will get into things that I would normally consider minutia. The language is simple, very easy to read, and clearly well edited.

My description does not do this book justice... go out and buy it if you are interested in agile at all...
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