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Agile Project Management with Scrum

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,480 ratings  ·  83 reviews
The rules and practices for Scrum—a simple process for managing complex projects—are few, straightforward, and easy to learn. But Scrum’s simplicity itself—its lack of prescription—can be disarming, and new practitioners often find themselves reverting to old project management habits and tools and yielding lesser results. In this illuminating series of case studies, Scrum ...more
Paperback, 188 pages
Published February 18th 2004 by Microsoft Press (first published October 11th 2001)
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Apr 11, 2009 added it
Recommends it for: Software Developers, Project Managers, Group leaders, and bosses of any kind
Recommended to Ruth by: Lars Trieloff
Agile makes software development a human activity, instead of the stressful, pressured, life-eating occupation it often turns into. Agile and Scrum allow us to act as whole people in our professions, responsible, creative, fulfilled, respected.. and still actually have decent mental health and time for a social life. Agile streamlines projects into creating what is actually needed, and reduces risk by building in lots of inspect-and-give-feedback opportunities and reprioritizing work as changes ...more
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
An excellent, readable, brief introduction to Scrum. Only Chapter 1 is devoted to the theory of Scrum; the rest of the book respects the author's strong view that Scrum can't be learned by studying the theory--a team must apply it to a practical situation in order to truly get a handle on Scrum. Schwaber accepts the limitations of the book format by turning quickly to case studies, showing how Scrum has been applied in various complex situations, including how Scrum has been mangled in its appli ...more
Micah Tan
May 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
Would have preferred less "bad situation + Scrum = good situation" type rah-rah anecdotes. Common pitfalls, a deeper discussion of tensions in applying the framework to different types of organizations and situations, and an exploration of different methodologies that still fit within the Scrum framework would have been preferred. ...more
Tim Nowotny
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, reread
One of the best books I have read on general project management.
I like that it has many examples that make the theory more pragmatic and feel the general Scrum techniques could help many projects delivering more in general.
I wrote project management instead of scrum because I think good project management in general works a lot like it is described here, not just if you want to work by agile paradigms. So a lot to learn for everybody, clear structure that makes a read though and just picking you
Jun 15, 2018 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read the book. This was purely because my previous project followed agile. The book is a collection of events, is it the best way to start? Not sure. There are other Scrum Books which can give you the grasp of Scrum and then may be read this book for understanding how or what can happen. At that point, this is a good book. Start of with other Agile/Scrum books / cards and then come to this.
Oct 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
May be a bit dated now, but still some great stories to describe how people live in the Scrum framework.
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: agile
Probably the most important takeaway for me was that this book took me back to the starting point of the entire Agile movement and helped me clearly understand where Agile stems from - i.e. (1) software development is unbelievably complex, and (2) Agile was born to address that complexity by the deceptively simple process of Inspect & Adapt. This is important because too many Agile practitioners focus on the how's rather than the why's of what they do and get easily lost in the technicalities of ...more
Dmytro Chasovskyi
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
It is interesting how to apply Scrum in different circumstances. The main outline, as for me is this works for projects with defined tasks, goals but not for projects with fixed-price budgets, strict deadlines, and uncertainty in what has to be delivered. This method also doesn't guarantee any deliveries, so if tasks are large and the team cannot deliver, this approach simply doesn't work. Use Scrum only when boundaries are defined for 70%+, you understand what should be as a result and you can ...more
Jowen Mei
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Valuable practical advise in the spirit of Scrum

I enjoyed this book!
The first chapter is very information-dense and describes how Scrum works and why.
The other chapters are mostly war stories which describe how to deal with practical situations (in the spirit of Scrum), which I found very valuable.
Even though it's an old book, the majority of it still holds today. There have been some changes though (like the views on Scrum of Scrums and the reference to pigs and chickens; See the Scrum Guide r
Anna Hellwing
Mar 29, 2018 rated it liked it
The book presents set of case studies from companies/projects that were adopting SCRUM. I liked how stories are organised and that there are always "Lessons learned". However, some of the case studies I found a bit boring/superficial. I also noticed, the author sees scrum master as a person conducting daily scrum (person enforcing order of asking questions, to whom people are reporting) which is a practice rather avoided nowadays. Just something worth being aware of while reading.

Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would agree with other reviewers in saying the book is a bit dated by now. But I still would say that many of the case studies presented in the book are still valid nowadays. I would recommend this book to any ScrumMaster wanting to learn more about the practicalities of a Scrum implementation in different circumstances.
A worth read, with concise and straightforward language.
Hunter Hart
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
As an aspiring agile product manager you might find yourself in a place
where you need to bring the rest of the organisation along with you on
the journey towards agile, so agile project management skills often come
in handy.
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quick lightweight introduction to the mysteries of Scrum that does a decent job of selling the benefits of it as a process and some techniques to making effective use of the methodology.

If you are in the field and don't know anything about Scrum, this book is a good place to start.
Charles Baker
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book by one of the originators of SCRUM. Outlines all the principles and reinforces them w/ story like case studies.
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love his books. Ken is the baseline of scrum. go for it!
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Case studies to understand/apply agile scrum project management
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psmiii
Good book to get a history of how scrum was used and proven in the late 90s and early 2000s. This is recommended reading from for PSM2 and PSM3 certification tests.
Robert Shaw
Sep 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: agile
A little dated but this can be overcome by reading the scrum guide. It is also a book seeking the idea of scrum with some ideas of what can go wrong.
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
As complexity of the tasks increases, the central control system breaks down.
Scrum is built on 30 day learning cycle to prove a complete business cycle. Helps us learn rapidly. In one scrum cycle of 30 days, a software is built, tested, integrated and the most important of all, released to production.
Scrum is a process to manage complex projects. It does not describe what to do in every situation. It provides a framework and set of guiding principles, instead.
*** Common sense is a combination
Jeanne Boyarsky
Apr 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: technology
"Agile Project Management with Scrum" is a series of case studies to make points about using Scrum properly.

The book begins with an overview of Scrum. The majority of it is introducing a company and showing how they (mis) used Scrum. It's an excellent example of learning from the mistakes of others rather than repeating them on your own.

This really gets called out in the lessons learned section for each case study. I would have liked some tips on how project managers should deal with "insulati
Jul 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book, written by one of the founders of Scrum, gives a rich variety of anecdotes on applications of Scrum to various scenarios. It is best suited as a sequel to introductory courses/readings that define the basic Scrum processes, since it concentrates mainly on ways of implementing Scrum principles in various circumstances. There are some enlightening boundary cases (e.g., the time he had to stealth-implement Scrum without letting anyone find out). The stories are not entirely seen through ...more
Vladimir Tarasov
You do not find engineering practices in this book. It doesn't contain much theory, but enough to make the reader, which is unfamiliar with Scrum, understand its basics.

This book contains real life examples which one can face during transition to Scrum or running the project using Scrum. Author carefully describes of different situations and their traits, so it will be possible to spot the problem, and then he shows the reader the way it was solved.

However, this book is not a cookbook which cont
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, tech
This book is an OK set of case studies describing how to use Scrum.

The case studies are nicely organised to help someone who is not familiar with the methodology understand it, and they touch on some interesting tweaks and difficulties that can arise when adopting Scrum. In particular, some of the studies consider political and cultural problems that introducing Scrum or another agile technique might raise and how they could be handled.

On the other hand, the other case studies aren't very intere
Timo Toivonen
Feb 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Hmm... I bet this book is a go-to scrum book for many people. This was my 2nd reading of it, first was 10 years ago without knowing anything about scrum and the second now after having been part in many scrum projects. The book lays out a realistic view of software project landscape and detects the most obvious pitfalls. I especially liked many "lessons learned" chapters. The book is somewhat "cold" and impersonal, as to the writing style doesn't appeal to me. The layout and oRdering of the chap ...more
Caroline Gordon
Didn't enjoy this book quite so much as the other Agile books I have read. It seems lighter on the details and more simplified. However the case studies are probably the most valuable part of the book, so it makes a good companion to any other books you might read on Agile.
I'm still not quite sure exactly what Agile project management without Scrum is, they seem to be one in the same to me, perhaps I need to read a few more books. It may also be the case that Scrum has become a default technique
May 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
I didn't find this book to be very useful. It's entirely case studies, with way too much time spent on the technical details of the specific projects described (irrelevant to my understanding and application of scrum in my job), and not enough time spent addressing the hard questions that I've come across in trying to apply scrum. For example, the book mentions frequently that teams should be "self-organizing" but doesn't give much advice for how to help this process. It also doesn't address spe ...more
Jun 19, 2012 rated it liked it

It's good to read examples of Scrum being followed. It's also good to see examples where the rules need to be broken. On the down side this book has some pretty poor editing where the author refers to content that is defined in later chapters. The author also refers to "the principle of common sense" and says it is a Scrum principle. It seems like the author might claim anything that is good in the world as Scrum.
Over the last year I have interested in learning more about Agile project management in particular SCRUM practices. So I borrowed this book from the library, to gain more information on SCRUM, to see if I would make a good SCRUM master and what SCRUM actually is.

The book is good as it doesn't just tell you about SCRUM but has real world examples of how SCRUM was used in different companies.

Kristjan Wager
I am sure that if I had not done any Scrum work before I would have found this book to be better. Unfortunately that's not the case, so I found this book outdated and lacking in specifics. Also, the writing was not spectacular, and the book could have used a good editor - it is always a bad thing to refer to a concept (e.g. shashimi) in a case story before actually introducing the concept. ...more
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