Recommended Agile Books

During many years, I’ve been looking for a website like for books. I even thought about creating one myself. I never understand why amazon did not create such a website,  especially since they bought imdb. With their website they have all the needed data to do that. It should not be in their business model.

Not so long ago, i’ve discovered Finally, someone did it, and it’s a kind of community, with user generated content, that is a great model. I’ve created an account, and added 300 books to my virtual shelves.

So i can now easily remind which books I’ve read about agility, and which ones are my favorites.


Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business

by David J. Anderson

I really enjoy a book when I can instantly and easily apply what I’ve read and see results. This book is of that kind. I’ve better understood kanban in that book than in what you can find on the web. Since this reading, I use “Work in progress” limits in all my teams, and I’ve started to manage the maintenance in a true kanban way (backlog with prioritization).

The most difficult part to implement is the implication of the business owners, and I think some parts of the methodology cannot apply in all companies. But I strongly recommend this reading, especially if you have to manage a lot of maintenance in our team.


Manage It!: Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management

by Johanna Rothman

This book has “pragmatic” in its subtitle. It is published by “Pragmatic programmers”. So it is not surprising if I qualify it as pragmatic. It really is. Too many books about agility and project management (like “scrum something”) are too much constrained by the methodology. This book is not one of this kind. Different good practices are explained, taking the best of all kind of  project management methodologies. This is one of these books that you can instantly apply the given advice.


Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great

by Esther Derby, Diana Larsen, Ken Schwaber

An important part of any agile methodology is the search of continuous improvement of the running of the team. This book gives great advice and tools to lead frequent retrospectives with your team. Even if I don’t really like some of the “role playing” activities described, the general ideas and the provided tools can really help to improve the team.


The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development

by Donald G. Reinertsen

A colleague of mine, really in the agile and the methodologies, advised me to read this book. So I did.

This book does not talk about software. It talks about product development flow. I think this is a good introduction about lean management and the constraints theory. It is a theoretical book, not a practical one.  However, I recommend the reading for the advanced software agile practitioners, and for all managers in a product development department.

Yes, all books in this shortlist have colon in their title :-)

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