Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum

Mike Cohn

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Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum

By Mike Cohn
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Mike Cohn
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This is the definitive, realistic, actionable guide to starting fast with Scrum and agile–and then succeeding over the long haul. Leading agile consultant and practitioner Mike Cohn presents detailed recommendations, powerful tips, and real-world case studies drawn from his unparalleled experience helping hundreds of software organisations make Scrum and agile work.

Succeeding with Agile is for pragmatic software professionals who want real answers to the most difficult challenges they face in implementing Scrum. Cohn covers every facet of the transition: getting started, helping individuals transition to new roles, structuring teams, scaling up, working with a distributed team, and finally, implementing effective metrics and continuous improvement.

Throughout, Cohn presents “Things to Try Now” sections based on his most successful advice. Complementary “Objection” sections reproduce typical conversations with those resisting change and offer practical guidance for addressing their concerns. Coverage includes
  • Practical ways to get started immediately–and “get good” fast
  • Overcoming individual resistance to the changes Scrum requires
  • Staffing Scrum projects and building effective teams
  • Establishing “improvement communities” of people who are passionate about driving change
  • Choosing which agile technical practices to use or experiment with
  • Leading self-organising teams
  • Making the most of Scrum sprints, planning, and quality techniques
  • Scaling Scrum to distributed, multiteam projects
  • Using Scrum on projects with complex sequential processes or challenging compliance and governance requirements
  • Understanding Scrum’s impact on HR, facilities, and project management

Mike Cohn is the founder of Mountain Goat Software, through which he provides training and consulting on Scrum and agile software development. Mike specializes in helping companies adopt Scrum and become more agile as a way of building extremely high performance development organizations. In addition to this book, he is the author of User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development, Agile Estimating and Planning, and books on Java and C++ programming.


With more than 25 years of experience, Mike has previously been a technology executive in companies of various sizes, from start-up to Fortune 40. He has also written articles for Better Software, IEEE Computer, Cutter IT Journal, Software Test and Quality Engineering, Agile Times, and the C/C++ Users Journal. Mike is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and is a founding member of the Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance. He is also a Certified Scrum Trainer, having cotaught the first Certified ScrumMaster class with Ken Schwaber in May 2003.


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Table of contents
  • Part I: Getting Started
  • Chapter 1: Why Becoming Agile Is Hard (But Worth It)
  • Chapter 2: ADAPTing to Scrum   
  • Chapter 3: Patterns for Adopting Scrum    
  • Chapter 4: Iterating Toward Agility    
  • Chapter 5: Your First Projects    
  • Part II: Individuals    
  • Chapter 6: Overcoming Resistance    
  • Chapter 7: New Roles    
  • Chapter 8: Changed Roles    
  • Chapter 9: Technical Practices    
  • Part III: Teams    
  • Chapter 10: Team Structure     
  • Chapter 11: Teamwork    
  • Chapter 12: Leading a Self-Organizing Team    
  • Chapter 13: The Product Backlog    
  • Chapter 14: Sprints    
  • Chapter 15: Planning    
  • Chapter 16: Quality    
  • Part IV: The Organization    
  • Chapter 17: Scaling Scrum    
  • Chapter 18: Distributed Teams    
  • Chapter 19: Coexisting with Other Approaches    
  • Chapter 20: Human Resources, Facilities, and the PMO    
  • Part V: Next Steps    
  • Chapter 21: Seeing How Far You’ve Come    
  • Chapter 22: You’re Not Done Yet    
  • Reference List    
  • Index