User stories can be considered as the most used form to manage requirements in Agile. However, as often with agile concepts Agile that look simple in theory, using them in practice generates many questions: What should user stories contain? When should they be ready to be developed? What is an optimal backlog size? This is the type of issues that Allan Kelly discusses in his interesting Little Book about Requirements and User Stories.
Books on Scrum and Agile Project Management
If the title of this book is a clear reference to the current trendy approach in software development, readers should be aware the that most important part is maybe in the subtitle “Systems Thinking and Organizational Legacy”. Not that Agile minds will be disappointed by reading it, but this book discusses the more important fact that from time to time software developers tries to adopt a new set of best practices and most of the time they fail.
The ScrumMaster role is certainly the Scrum role that differs the most from what organizations might have known in the past. The Scrum Guide defines the Scrum Master as “a servant-leader for the Scrum Team. The Scrum Master helps those outside the Scrum Team understand which of their interactions with the Scrum Team are helpful and which aren’t. The Scrum Master helps everyone change these interactions to maximize the value created by the Scrum Team.”
If one of the first aim of Scrum was to break the silos between business analysis, development and testing, you can consider that improving the cooperation with the operation side of IT as the next frontier in this journey. What is the point to produce potentially shippable software increment in two weeks if your database administrator doesn’t want more than three new releases windows for the production database?
If Scrum is the king of the Agile software development frameworks, Kanban can be defined as a distant cousin. We know that there are some connections through this Lean parents, but we don’t always known what it looks like exactly and when to use it. If you want to have a clear and quick (60 pages) understanding of what Kanban is, then this Kanban Workbook is for you.
There might exist some lonely standalone software developers that create software without any other person involved, but my guess is that there are not many of them. Communication is an essential skill in software development, testing and project management… and life. As feedback is a key communication tool, I was therefore very interested when I stumble on this book about feedback written by an Agile coach.
At the beginning of his book, Allan Kelly describes Xanpan as both a method and a philosophy, his philosophy on how software is, or should be, created, and how Agile works, or should work. If Xanpan is basically a mix of XP (eXtreme programming) and Kanban, it contains ideas and techniques of other Agile and Lean approaches, focusing on how teams should work together to deliver better software and value.