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This book's title Essentials Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process, is a perfect description of what this book is. It covers every essential that you need to know about the scrum process, and the book is written to every role in the scrum process.
After a nice introductory chapter to Scrum, which includes the history of how Scrum came to be, the book breaks down into four parts. They include Core Concepts, Roles, Planning, and Sprinting. I have listed each part below along with the chapters found in each one.
Chapter 1. Introduction
Part I. Core Concepts Chapter 2. Scrum Framework Chapter 3. Agile Principles Chapter 4. Sprints Chapter 5. Requirements and User Stories Chapter 6. Product Backlog Chapter 7. Estimation and Velocity Chapter 8. Technical Debt
Part II. Roles Chapter 9. Product Owner Chapter 10. ScrumMaster Chapter 11. Development Team Chapter 12. Scrum Team Structures Chapter 13. Managers
Part IV. Sprinting Chapter 19. Sprint Planning Chapter 20. Sprint Execution Chapter 21. Sprint Review Chapter 22. Sprint Retrospective Chapter 23. The Path Forward
The author's advice on when to use Scrum is a refreshing one. He is not one of the many Scrum zealots, mindlessly regurgitating Scrum mantras. He gives a nice overview of where Scrum works and where it doesn't in the introduction of the book. He also presents a realistic view on how difficult Scrum is. Scrum is not easy and the author makes that very clear.
One of the coolest parts of this book is the visual icon language used to create the diagrams. The diagrams in this book are some of the best I've ever seen. They really help to put the topic being covered with words into a visual context for better understanding.
The author's writing style is great, which makes the book an enjoyable read. Along with the visual icon language I would have to say this is the most descriptive book about Scrum I have read. Meaning the ideas were really drilled home in a very clear way.
The chapter on agile principles is great. The author really does a great job of comparing agile practice to plan driven practices and highlighting the difference. By the end of this chapter you have a great understand of the "why" agile practices are done and how Scrum implements them.
I was also glad to see the chapters on Multilevel Planning , Portfolio Planning, Envisioning, and Release Planning. When it comes to explaining how Scrum fits into the rest of the enterprise, many of the Scrum books I have read have a short blurb on Scrum of Scrums, and then move on back into topics only suited for small team development. These chapters take Scrum beyond small team development.
I like that the book has a really nice glossary for quick look ups of buzz words that may be new to you.
If you have to pick just one Scrum book, make this one your pick. If you are looking to learn Scrum, definitely start here. If you are a Scrum Master, this is the book to take your team through during training.
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