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Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process

(A Mike Cohn Signature Book)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,414 ratings  ·  98 reviews
A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process The Single-Source, Comprehensive Guide to Scrum for All Team Members, Managers, and Executives If you want to use Scrum to develop innovative products and services that delight your customers, Essential Scrum is the complete, single-source reference you've been searching for. Leading Scrum coach ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published July 26th 2012 by Addison-Wesley Professional (first published July 1st 2012)
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Saran Sivashanmugam
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: it
I'm a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), but I learned 200% about Scrum after reading this book. I'm a people manager and this book gave valuable insights about approaching scrum from a people leadership perspective. I really liked Kenneth's writing style providing many real-world examples. After reading this book, I realized the importance of having Sprint Review and Sprint Planning meetings. This book made me realized that Scrum is not just about daily stand-ups and sticky notes. I highly recommend ...more
Ben Linders
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is about getting more out of Scrum, an intro to Scrum and its values, principles and practices, and a source of inspiration on how to apply it. This practical Scrum guide can help you how to plan and execute projects with Scrum, and on interfacing parts of the organization that use Agile with parts that don't, which is crucial to assure successful Agile software development.

For a detailed review of this book, and an interview with the author Ken Rubin, see
Christophe Addinquy
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People in Scrum projects wanting to strengthen their knowledge
Shelves: agile
Well, it's more than the "essentials". While it covers the basis, it also cover the "admitted practices" and even more. The content of the book is really strong and the author have a proven mastery in each of then.
However, the way Scrum is covered here makes it a "Shu level" or "Ha level", while Scrum by essence is "Ri level", an unfortunate way to misdirect the practitioner. But you are well aware of it: have fun, it's a great content !
Ma note de lecture en français ici
Georgi Mirchev
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is an interesting but way too filled with unnecessary content. I mean that the author uses so much words to describe something so simple that I feel like he does it just to fill the pages. That's why it took me so much team to go through it all. Other than that, it has some great practical examples, a lot of images describing the whole idea behind Scrum and Agile. I liked it, but it could be way shorter. ...more
An okay book on scrum. But it felt long. And in the end reading it was a slog. It isn't really a reference book, but I'm guessing it will work as a reference book. And that's probably it's problem - it just doesn't read well as a book. My guess is that if you just want to explain to someone the responsibilities of a Product Owner or Scrum Master it will work just fine. Or most any other detail. So useful if not enjoyable. 3.5 of 5. ...more
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: علمی, en
I've read this book along migrating to scrum on the business and can not say how much it helped me get there. There are not much difference about order of the chapters and every time I read a chapter, according to my experience found new things to learn.
If you plan to migrate to scrum, try the last chapter first ;)
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've only read the chapters that our book club selected as Essential but they were all really good, it enhanced my understanding of Agile as a methodology and showed that it's not one-size-fits-all.
I will definitely go back to this book if I ever end up working on a Scrum project.
Mik Chernomordikov
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great one-stop-shop book on Scrum, how to adopt and keep improving your software development processes through it!
Jan 14, 2014 rated it liked it
It bothers me when a book uses biased examples and straw-man storytelling to promote their view, but at least the stories are useful to people trying to understand what scrum "looks like". Overall, a straightforward and non-dogmatic explanation of scrum and agile methods in general, once you get past the snide commentary about "waterfall" design methods. Lay off it already; beating a dead horse is just self-gratification and it might alienate proponents of the waterfall method (are there any out ...more
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I expected an excellent framework for agile product development (and got it), yet this book goes farther... it provides methods/attributes of leadership that are critical to Scrum success, are highly productive and leverage knowledge of the development team. It's great for managers and anyone with vested interest in getting results from highly creative teams. ...more
Angie Malaier
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
To paraphrase the good reverend from COMING TO AMERICA, "If lovin' software development is wrong....I don't wanna be right."

The author has written a truly easy to read and interesting text on Scrum. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to learn this style of iterative development. I'll be using this as a go to reference for a long time to come. Thanks and kudos, Mr. Rubin!
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I give this book high marks because it is indeed a good guide to Scrum. That being said, I would say it's pretty text bookish, so I started to skim it about 1/3 of the way through, rather than read word for word. Still good info, since the company I just started working for uses Scrum principles for software development. I'll definitely go back to it if I need to utilize the processes in my role. ...more
Lars De Richter
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great introduction to using Scrum in all types of organisations. Everything is explained in great detail And the diagrams serve as à great summary. I will certainly turn back to thuis book as a reference.
Ed van der Winden
Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Very readable and comprehensive work on agile and scrum in particular. Excellent reference material.
Dec 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The best and essentian of scrum
Dan Lewis
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As a software engineer, I've experienced a number of ways to organize work and get things done as a team and organization. My current large team is splitting into many smaller teams, so it feels like a good time to learn some best practices and spread them throughout our new teams.

This well-organized book delivers on its promise, which is to define the essentials of the Scrum software process: what to do, who does it, and how. As you can perhaps imagine, a lot of toner has been spilled on agile
Felipe Cañas
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: software
I had been warned that this book was very "hand-wavy", which I understood as it making many assertions without solid proof. In a way this is true, as human processes are always notably difficult to quantify and measure, at least in my experience.

However, the book does do a good job of explaining the agile framework that is Scrum. The author uses anecdotal experience to compare traditional waterfall-style development processes with it, and why Scrum comes out on top. The arguments are not based o
Mattheus Guttenberg
An excellent introduction and a thorough overview of Scrum, the most popular Agile approach to software and product development. Like other Agile approaches, Scrum has you (and your team) work in short 2 or 3 week "sprints" gathering immediate feedback and adapting development efforts quickly rather than working from detailed, predictive, up-front project plans. Rubin does a great job explaining every role, describing every process, and articulating every little nuance that goes along with opera ...more
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book, I use is as my textbook for the “Introduction to Agile: Scrum” course I teach. It is extremely well written, and supplemented with easy to understand examples. The chapters on planning are essential and often missed in many Agile books. At times, it does appear to have much unneeded content – and a reader should have an understanding in general Agile before reading it. I have my students reading the first couple of chapters, as well as the chapters on planning and executing. There ar ...more
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book to understand how Scrum works and to get concrete example of how one can implement an Agile process. It didn't disappoint. The book covers each concept, step by step, in a logical order so every idea builds from those that came before it. One of the best parts is that or covers general business practices that are often absent from the modern workplace:

- How to account for the costs and benefits that determine if a project should be abandoned
- Consequences of technical debt
- The
Navila Uddin
This became a top choice to read in a book club format with my team. We wanted to be better aligned with scrum best practices.

It is an excellent reference book - it introduces helpful concepts and diagrams that gave us the ability to reflect on our team's agile process. Some of these insights were communicated upstream to the leads and they are driving change to the agile process (Example: how we review sprints company wide)

The thing about reference books is that if someone were to ask me what
Nguyen Huu Anh Vu
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
The book explores and explains in detail the essential parts of Scrum:
- Agile principles: 3 pillars (Inspection, Adaptation and Transparency), Less up-front more just-in-time, focus on idle work rather than idle worker, fast feedback workflow
- Roles and their Responsibilities: Product Owner, Scrum Master, Developer and Manager (not an official Scrum role, but important in many organizations)
- Artifacts and Processes: Product Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint planning, burndown chart, documentation..
Fabiano Cerqueira
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book really surprised me. It delivers more than "the essentials" it advertises. The chapters are well organized and cover every aspect of the Scrum process with clarity and objectiveness. The language is fluid, and besides its 400+ pages, it's never a boring reading. The whole Scrum process is described with practical examples, which gets you right into the day-by-day routine of an agile team.
The book is aimed at people who are starting or planning to start with Scrum, but it also adds valu
Plesz Roland
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A really good book which leads you to the essential parts of scrum (haha).

Being more serious the best thing in the book is that it is really understandable. As agile (and scrum) is made on logic and using plain English to describe complex solutions too, this book also does the same: it is not full of professional not-understandable words and expressions but still manages to explain everything. I recommend it to everyone who wants to understand scrum and agile in general - I myself had some expe
Abhi Yerra
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Did I read a whole book on running Scrum? Yes, yes I did. This book has a lot of in-depth coverage of Scrum and how to apply it. I honestly feel like it is a book every person at every company I worked at read as Scrum and Agile planning have largely transformed into this big thing with lots of rules like waterfall with Manager fiefdoms. In essence Scrum is simple with few rules and can be adapted to each team.
Gene Ishchuk
Apr 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: product
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oleksandr Bilyk
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent book on the basics of scrum. Concise and easy to understand. The only downside is that most of the examples are of new product launches. I would have like to see more information on how to handle mature products and teams with multiple product managers.
Great book

Even thought it is not based on the lastest versions of Scrum Guide the book has a great level of details and worth reading it. I'm preparing for the PSM certification so I found it very useful specially because I'm new to Scrum..
Adeel Hasan
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, tech
If you are looking to read just one book that gives you an excellent idea of how scrum comes together to help an organization deliver software on time, within budget with good quality, it should be this book.
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Ken Rubin is Managing Principal at Innolution, a company that provides Scrum and agile training and coaching to help companies develop products in an effective and economically sensible way. A Certified Scrum Trainer, Ken has trained over 20,000 people on agile and Scrum, Kanban, Smalltalk development, managing object-oriented projects, and transition management. He has coached over 200 companies, ...more

Other books in the series

A Mike Cohn Signature Book (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice for Your First Year
  • Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum
  • More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team
  • Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition
  • Agile Game Development with Scrum
  • Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams
  • Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products That Customers Love
  • Large-Scale Scrum: Scaling Agile for Large & Multisite Development
  • Unlocking Agility: An Insider's Guide to Agile Enterprise Transformation
  • Improving Agile Retrospectives: Helping Teams Become More Efficient

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“In Scrum, we don’t work on a phase at a time; we work on a feature at a time.” 1 likes
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