Book List

Here is a reading list containing only books we have personally read and recommend. The books we particularly like are marked with an asterisk (*). The categories are a bit arbitrary.

For those put off by the length of this list and who don’t know where to begin, we’ve chosen just a few of the books and marked them with a hash (#) sign. Pick one or more of these as your starting point.

Agile development practices

Agile Testing | A Practical Guide for Agile Testers and Teams by Lisa Crispin & Janet Gregory (2009)

Test Driven Development | By Example by Kent Beck (2003)

Agile / Lean methods and principles

Agile Project Management with SCRUM by Ken Schwaber (2004) [the “Grey Book”—real life examples plus a definition of Scrum rules]

Agile Software Development – The Cooperative Game (2nd Edition, 2007) by Alistair Cockburn [a very inciteful view of product development]

Agile Software Development with Scrum by Ken Schwaber and Mike Beedle (2001) [the “Black Book”—the first Scrum book]

Extreme Programming Explained: 2nd Edition Embrace Change by Kent Beck (2005) [a great book for team members; perhaps it belongs in the “development practices” section?]

Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash by Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck (2007) [a great read for managers who grasp Lean and want to understand Agile]

Lean Software Development by Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck (2003) [a good intro to Lean]

*Managing the Design Factory: A Product Developer’s Toolkit by Donald G. Reinertsen (1997) [don’t be put off by its age.]

Organizational Patterns of Agile Software Development by James O. Coplien and Neil B. Harrison (2005) [a great book for software architects and other team members]

#*Succeeding with Agile | Software Development Using Scrum by Mike Cohn (2010) [buy it!]

The Enterprise and Scrum by Ken Schwaber (2007) [the first book aimed at enterprise rollouts]

The Toyota Product Development System: Integrating People, Process and Technology by James M. Morgan and Jeffrey K. Liker (2006)

Agile project management

Agile and Iterative Development: A Manager’s Guide by Craig Larman (2003) [very dated now, but provides a useful overview and comparison of the main Agile development methods for those who don’t know which method to choose]

*Scaling Lean and Agile Development | Thinking and Organisational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum by Craig Larman & Bas Vodde (2008)

*Practices for Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Large, Multisite, and Offshore Product Development with Large-Scale Scrum by Craig Larman & Bas Vodde (2010)

#*The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility by Michele Sliger and Stacia Broderick (2008) [Written by two respected PMP’s and CST’s. Recommended for PMP’s who are concerned that transitioning to Agile means throwing away everything they have learned.]


*Harvard Business Review on Knowledge Management (1998) [contains the “Knowledge Creating Company” article by Ikujiro Nonaka plus more by Peter Drucker and others]

*Out of the Crisis by W Edwards Deming (1982) [a classic text on leadership that provides an understanding of the journey to Lean and Agile. Not a light read—recommended for insomniacs!]

*Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams by Tom DeMarco (2nd Edition, 1999)

*The Servant as Leader by Robert Greenleaf (New release of his 1964 paper, 2012)

*The Fifth Disclipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organisation by Peter Senge (Revised Edition, 2006)

*The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering by Frederick P. Brooks (Anniversary Edition, 1995) [despite it’s age I re-read much of this book often!]

Leadership and Change

*Drive by Daniel Pink (2010) [Understand what motivates knowledge workers.]

Managing at the Speed of Change: How Resilient Managers Succeed and Prosper where Others Fail by Daryl R. Conner (2006)

*The Change Handbook: The Definitive Resource on Today’s Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems by Peggy Holman, Tom Devane, Steven Cady,  and Associates (2nd Edition, 2007)

The Decision Book: Fifty models for strategic thinking by Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler (2011)

*The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni (2007) [Should be mandatory reading for all leaders, including ScrumMasters!]

The Five Temptations of a CEO: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni (1998)

*The Leaders’s Guide to Radical Management: Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century by Stephen Denning (2010) [A great book that you can give your CEO to read!]

The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer by Jeffrey K. Liker (2004)

Product Ownership

*Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn (2006) [essential reading for Product Owners]

#*Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love by Roman Pichler (2010) [The best—and only?—book on Scrum Product Ownership.]

*User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development by Mike Cohn (2004) [essential reading for Product Owners]


Agile Coaching by Rachel Davies and Liz Sedley (2009)

*Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen (2006) [essential for ScrumMasters and coaches wanting to run good retrospectives]

#*Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches and Project Managers in Transition by Lyssa Adkins (2010) [Simply the best book around on coaching Agile teams. Every ScrumMaster should own her personal copy.]

*Collaboration Explained | Facilitation Skills for Software Project Leaders by Jean Tabaka (2006) [excellent guidance for scrumMasters and coaches]

*Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision-Making by Sam Kaner (2007) [a gold mine for coaches]

Corps Business by David H Freedman (2000) [an interesting expose of management practices in the US Marines]

The Wisdom of Teams by Jon R Katzenbach and Douglas K Smith (1993) [a bit dated, but still useful]


Presentation Zen | Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds (2008)

Last updated 23 June 2011