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Scrum and XP from the Trenches (Enterprise Software Development) Paperback – October 4, 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

An immensely practical guide to getting started with agile.
- Mary Poppendieck, Author of Lean Software Development Series


Henrik's book is a starter kit of basic practices that help teams move beyond trying to do Scrum to executing Scrum well.
- Jeff Sutherland, Co-creator of Scrum


Henrik goes on to describe some of the more difficult - and rarely covered - aspects of working in an agile organization, including coordinating the efforts of multiple Scrum teams.
- InfoQ.com


A great contribution to the body of Agile knowledge, and a fun read!
- ExtremePlanner.com


The most useful book on agile development that I've read, and I've read lots of them!
- Lisa Crispin, Author of Agile Testing

From the Back Cover

The tricky part to agile software development is that there is no manual telling you exactly how to do it. You have to experiment and continuously adapt the process until it suits your specific situation.

This book aims to give you a head start by providing a detailed down-to-earth account of how one Swedish company implemented Scrum and XP with a team of approximately 40 people and how they continuously improved their process over a year's time.

Under the leadership of Henrik Kniberg they experimented with different team sizes, different sprint lengths, different ways of defining "done", different formats for product backlogs and sprint backlogs, different testing strategies, different ways of doing demos, different ways of synchronizing multiple Scrum teams, etc. They also experimented with XP practices - different ways of doing continuous build, pair programming, test driven development, etc, and how to combine this with Scrum.

This book includes:
  • Practical tips and tricks for most Scrum and XP practices
  • Typical pitfalls and how they were addressed
  • Diagrams and photos illustrating day-to-day work
  • Testing and test-driven development
  • Scaling and coordinating multiple teams
  • Dealing with resistance from inside and outside the team
  • Planning and time estimation techniques
  • Forwards by Jeff Sutherland and Mike Cohn
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Product Details

  • Series: Enterprise Software Development
  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Lulu.com; 1 edition (October 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430322640
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430322641
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #929,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've worked on agile teams since 2000, and have talked to many teams making the transition to agile. I've found that most people learn best through examples and hearing about other peoples' real life experiences. This book of "war stories from the trenches" is exactly what agile newbies need. I've read lots of books on agile development, and this is one of the most useful. It's superbly organized, written and illustrated. The author relates his team's experiences simply and clearly. Larger organizations with multiple teams will find valuable ideas on how to organize.
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Format: Paperback
I started learning about Scrum just like anyone else, by reading Ken Schwaber's Scrum books and started to implement Scrum in my company. However, as you go along this process, you soon realize that you have more questions about Scrum than you started! You begin to hunt for info and answers to "how do others do this?" kind of questions. Thats when you read Henrik's book which is an account of how his team applied Scrum to their own group and how they solved their problems!

This book is an extremely well written (almost narrated) account of the issues they encountered and how they overcame those. You will immediately relate to those and will find yourselves saying ..."ahh thats it!" This book is very well written and is very easy and quick to read.

Because the book is a narrative of someone's efforts, it is also easily read by people who dont really know Scrum. I have given copies of this book to people who i want to get excited about Scrum, so that they themselves will realize that there are alternatives out there to doing software development, rather than the traditional waterfall process.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My software friends are talking about Scrum, Agile, Pair Programming and I knew nothing about it. I have a friend who even suggested that Agile could be extended to general organizational design and even leadership!

I read Henrik Kniberg's book, Scrum and XP (Extreme Programming) from the Trenches, on his suggestion and, well, he's right!

Kniberg's book is a concise "how to" on how his company implements Agile in their software development business. It's chock full of great ideas and details that come only from those that have actually practiced something. As such, I gained a good insight into how Agile and Scrum work, and you will too.

What I want to explore more, however, is the idea that Agile can be applied as a model for leadership, or, more precisely, how can the practices of Agile be applied more broadly to knowledge workers? I think the best way to think about it to briefly recap the points of Agile and at every point where you see the word "product" think "culture." Let's see how that works.

1. The Agile process starts with describing stories about how the product should work. The focus is not on how things aren't working but how they should work. Process step 1: collect stories.

2. In preparation for the sprint planning meeting, have the product backlog (the list of stories about how we want our culture/product to be) in shipshape. This means being clear about the outcome including an defined "when done." This invokes the element of clarity and measurability. When we do workshops on changing culture this reminds me of the step where I ask, "...and how would we know...."

3. Have the sprint planning meeting with the team. Allow the team to determine the scope of what projects will be included in the upcoming sprint.
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Format: Paperback
I am familiar with this book from the online PDF version from InfoQ. Like most who are new to Scrum -having come from other frameworks- I was filled with questions that started with "yeah but..." and "what about". None of them were answered satisfactorily by any Scrum book (even those by Schwaber or Cohn) until I read Henrik's.
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Henrik's "Scrum and XP from the Trenches" is a very thin book (120 pages) which can be read within half a day. It describes the experiences of Henrik when implementing Scrum in one organization with multiple teams.

First, you can decide to support the author and purchase the paper book, like I did, or you can download the free version from: [...]

Then, the book itself. It's structured fairly logically. It starts with looking at the Product Backlog, from there goes over all the Scrum meetings in chronological order. For every meeting, the author describes how he did it in his company, what other things he tried and what his conclusions were.

After all the Scrum meetings, the book dives in a couple separate topics, like combining Scrum with XP practices, having breaks between sprint and some other topics. It ends with scaling and distributed teams, common questions.

The book is basically a how-to book, though its very clear that it just gives an example, to make Scrum more concrete, but does recommend for everyone to look for "their Scrum" instead of blindly copying the suggestions in the books. This is also the books strength, it provides very concrete tips without saying "this is how it must be done".

I have different experiences than the author in some areas, which makes me frown sometimes, though I enjoyed Henriks explanations. They helped me gain a different perspective on some issues.

I was doubting between 3 and 4 stars for this book. 3 stars would be since the book doesn't offer more than it promises. It is an experience story of Henrik and didn't add much surprises or extra content. Also 3 stars since its so small. 4 stars would be because there is probably not any more concrete Scrum story than this one.
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