Essential Scrum
Essential Scrum

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What People are Saying About “Essential Scrum”:

Agile coaches, you’re gonna be happy with this book. Ken Rubin has created an indispensable resource for us. Do you have a manager that just doesn’t ‘get it’? Hand them this book and ask them to flip to Chapter 3 for a complete explanation of how Scrum is less risky than plan-driven management. It’s written just for them–in management-speak. Want to help the team come to a common understanding of Scrum? The visual icon language used throughout this book will help you help them. These are just two ways this book can aid you to coach Scrum teams. Use it well.
Lyssa Adkins, Coach of Agile Coaches, Agile Coaching Institute; author, Coaching Agile Teams
Ken Rubin continues to provide clarity and insight into adopting agile in a pragmatic way. In one hand he holds the formal or ideal Scrum definition, and in the other, the pragmatic application of it. He brings the wisdom of his workshops and years of experience to the table for you to read in his latest book. If you are about to start out on your agile adoption journey or are seeking guidance midcourse, grab a copy.
Cuan Mulligan, freelance coactive Agile coach
One of the best, most comprehensive descriptions of the core Scrum framework out there! Essential Scrum is for anyone–new to or experienced with Scrum–who’s interested in the most important aspects of the process. Ken does an excellent job of distilling the key tenets of the Scrum framework into a simple format with compelling visuals. As a Scrum coach for many teams, I continually reference the material for new ways to help teams that are learning and practicing the framework. I’ve seen Scrum continually misinterpreted and poorly implemented by big companies and tool vendors for more than ten years. Reading this book will help you get back to the basics and focus on what’s important.
Joe Balistrieri, Process Development Manager, Rockwell Automation
Developing software is hard. Adopting a new way of working while in a project is even harder. This book offers a bypass of many of the pitfalls and will accelerate a team’s ability to produce business value and become successful with Scrum. I wish I had this kind of book when I started using Scrum.
Geir Hedemark, Development Manager, Basefarm AS
Ken unpacks a wealth of wisdom and knowledge in Essential Scrum, providing valuable and comprehensive insights to the practical application of agile/Scrum. Whether you’re new to agile or are looking to reach a greater maturity of continuous improvement in your organization, this is a definitive handbook for your toolbox.
David Luzquiños, Head of Agile Enablement, Agile Coach, Betfair
Ken Rubin managed to write the book that I want everyone associated with Scrum development to read! He covers everything you’ll need to know about Scrum and more!
Martine Devos, European Scrum Pioneer and Certified Scrum Trainer
The book is a comprehensive overview of Scrum. It goes from the principles of agile through the mechanics of sprints to the roles on a Scrum team and all the way up to topics like technical debt and portfolio management with Scrum. A very helpful aspect of the book is the detailed "visual language," Ken created while writing the book. He created icons for every possible aspect of Scrum and these are used to make up dozens and dozens of figures to illustrate all the work and knowledge flows of a Scrum project. His diagrams definitely go well beyond the typical double-loop depiction of Scrum. (See the rest of the review at http://tinyurl.com/9rbhbph)
Mike Cohn, Owner, Mountain Goat Software
Ken Rubin provided Scrum and Agile related coaching and training for more than two hundreds companies ranging from startups to Fortune 10. He wrote Essential Scrum book with an intention to provide a common understanding of Scrum for every team member involved with Scrum. The new book is very comprehensive and covers just about everything about Scrum for beginner and expert. The book take a new angle on Scrum and uses real-world examples to show what makes a reliable foundation for successful Agile development. It is extremely well written and most likely will become the base reference for future Scrum practitioners. I strongly recommend Ken Rubin’s book to anyone who wants to start using Scrum or wants to improve their software development process.
ItInterview.com Website
Ken's extensive experience as a consultant, trainer, and past managing director of the Scrum Alliance is evident in this book. Along with providing the basics and introduction to Scrum, this book addresses the questions of masses—what happens to project managers? Essential Scrum helps us understand the big picture and guides how organization leaders can support and be involved with their Scrum teams for successful agile transformations.
Sameer S. Bendre, CSM, PMP, Senior Consultant, 3i Infotech Inc.
Ken's well-structured explanations have a clarity to them that echoes the sensibilities of Smalltalk—the development environment with which he worked for years and from which both Scrum and Extreme Programming were born. This book pulls together a thorough set of agile management principles that really hit the mark and will no doubt guide you toward a more effective agile approach.
Rowan Bunning, Founder, Scrum WithStyle
Scrum is elegantly simple, yet deceptively complex. In Essential Scrum, Ken Rubin provides us with a step-by-step guide to those complexities while retaining the essential simplicity. Real-world experiences coupled with enlightening illustrations make Scrum come to life. For senior managers and team members alike, this is a must-read book if you are starting or considering whether to implement Scrum in your organization. This will certainly be a book recommended to my students.
John Hebley, Hebley & Associates
Adoption of Scrum is most successful when everyone involved—even peripherally—with product development has a good understanding of the fundamentals. Essential Scrum provides an ideal overview of both the big picture and the details in an accessible style. It is sure to become a standard reference.”
Kevin Tureski, Principal, Kevin Tureski Consulting
A decade after publication of the first Scrum books, it is time to combine the essential aspects of the Scrum framework with the practical experiences and approaches of the last ten years. Ken Rubin does so in a satisfying and nondogmatic way. The reader gets a pragmatic look at Scrum and learns when and how to best apply Scrum to achieve business benefits.
Yves Stalgies, Ph.D., Director IT, www.etracker.com
I am convinced that Essential Scrum will become the foundation reference for the next generation of Scrum practitioners. Not only is it the most comprehensive introduction to Scrum available today, but it is also extremely well written and easy on the eye with its fantastic new visual Scrum language. If that isn’t enough, Ken shares a range of his valuable personal insights and experiences that we can all certainly learn from.
Ilan Goldstein, Agile Solutions Manager, Reed Elsevier
If you’re new to agile development or to Scrum, this book will give you a flying start. The examples and descriptions are clear and vivid, and you’ll often find yourself asking a question just before the book addresses that very topic.
Johannes Brodwall, Principal Solution Architect, Steria Norway
It’s therefore good to have Ken Rubin’s new book Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process (Addison-Wesley, 2012). It explains in clear and simple terms what exactly is Scrum, how and why it works and where and how to implement it. The book is well-written and engaging. What I particularly like are the many illuminating and elegant images. (from Forbes http://t.co/1jVE9B8x)
Steve Denning, Author of The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management
I’ve reviewed a number of agile books in the past few years, so the question of ‘Do we really need another one?’ always comes to my mind. In the case of Ken's book, I very much believe the answer is ‘yes.’ Getting the benefit of different, experienced perspectives on commonly encountered and needed material is valuable. Ken has one of those valuable perspectives. One unique aspect of the book is an interesting ‘iconography’—a new icon language for Scrum and agile that Ken has created. I believe you’ll find value-added material in this book to expand your ideas for how Scrum can be applied.
Scott Duncan, Agile/Scrum coach and trainer
Corporate IT leadership, which has been slow to embrace agile methods, would benefit immensely from giving a copy of this book to all of their project and delivery managers. Ken Rubin has laid out in this book all the pragmatic business case and process materials needed for any corporate IT shop to successfully implement Scrum.
John F. Bauer III, veteran of technical solution delivery in large corporate IT shops
“Anyone who has had Scrum training or has been part of a Scrum team will find Essential Scrum to be a great follow-up read. It dives into the details of how to become more agile through implementing Scrum processes, and it explains exactly how to break down complex projects into manageable initiatives (or ‘sprints’). Ken Rubin provides a wealth of relevant case studies on what worked—or what didn’t—in a variety of organizations. The simple layout and businesslike graphics make it easy to scan quickly and find specific topics. Any organization that is seeking to evolve from a traditional waterfall approach toward a more agile methodology will find Essential Scrum a definitive guidebook for the journey.
Julia Frazier, product manager
There are lots of books on Scrum these days, but this book takes a new angle: a reality check for software practitioners. Ken uses real-world examples and clear illustrations to show what makes a solid foundation for successful agile development. Readers will understand the value of building quality in, and the reality that we can’t get everything right up front; we must work incrementally and learn as we go. It might have ‘Scrum’ in the title, but the book leverages effective practices from the larger agile universe to help managers and their teams succeed.
Lisa Crispin, coauthor, Agile Testing

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