Scrum Reading List

Our recommended reading list is designed for individuals actively involved in product development and actively interested in improving both people and process effectiveness.

Although 3Back’s focus is centered on Scrum, our recommended reading list is much broader, focusing on the development of well-formed teams. Each book or essay on this list provides great insight and will help you to be a better leader, write great code and empower your team.


30 Days to Better Agile

By: Angela Druckman

Why We Like It: Provides a guide to common problems and personalities you may encounter when adopting or applying agile processes.

Agile Atlas

By: Contributing Scrum Trainers

Why We Like It: This is a substantial resource site owned by the Scrum Alliance and maintained by Scrum Trainers.

Agile Estimating and Planning

By: Mike Cohn

Why We Like It: The first three chapters are a great introduction to just-in-time requirements gathering.

Agile Management for Software Engineering

By: David J. Anderson

Why We Like It: This is a solid read that provides a theoretical foundation for agility.

Agile Retrospectives

By: Esther Derby and Diana Larsen

Why We Like It:  Information on leading effective retrospectives, including a large variety of retrospective activities.

Agile Software Development

By: Alistair Cockburn

Why We Like It: Emphasis on social aspects of cooperative software development.

Behind Closed Doors

By: Johanna Rothman & Esther Derby

Why We Like It: A common sense guide about working with people.

Exploring Scrum: The Fundamentals – Second Edition

By: Dan Rawsthorne and Doug Shimp

Why We Like It: This comprehensive reference book is hands-down the most extensive Scrum guide out there. Topics range from Beginner to Advanced with a focus on teams and clean code.

Exploring Scrum: Patterns that Make Scrum Work

By: Dan Rawsthorne

Why We Like It: This book shows the differences between Original Scrum and Modern Scrum, and gives patterns showing how to scale scrum for large organizations. Plus, it’s a very enjoyable read.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

By: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Why We Like It: A good explanation of Flow that illustrates how creativity comes with “being in the flow.”

Getting Real

By: 37Signals

Why We Like It: It’s available free online! Also, “Less is more” – less product can mean more utility to the users of a product.

Innovation Games®

By: Luke Hohmann

Why We Like It: We appreciate games that make us think and work better. This book offers simple techniques and fun ways of pulling information from people’s heads.

Just Enough Requirements Management

By: Alan Mark Davis

Why We Like It: This book offers a subtle introduction to agile concepts for waterfall practitioners. It also introduces the power of short development cycles and just-in-time detail discovery.

Metaphors We Live By

By: George Lakoff & Mark Johnson

Why We Like It: We don’t just decide to use metaphors; our understanding is metaphorical.

Social Intelligence

By: Daniel Goleman

Why We Like It: Goleman’s book provides a thorough explanation of the science behind how our heads are wired to work together.

Software for Use

By: Larry Constantine & Lucy Lockwood

Why We Like It: This book compliments use cases as a way to concentrate on users.

Scrum Shortcuts without Cutting Corners

By: Ilan Goldstein

Why We Like It: Tips and tricks are always welcome. This book offers many for the agile coach to help lead your Scrum Teams effectively.

Test Driven Development

By: Kent Beck

Why We Like It: Simply put, this is a simple guide to writing great code.

The Cartoon Guide to (non) Communication

By: Larry Gonick

Why We Like It: Gonick gives us fun and clear explanations of the internal forces that shape (and mis-shape) communication between people . . . in cartoon form!

The New, New Product Development Game

By: H. Takeuchi & I. Nonaka

Why We Like It: This article’s approach reinforces developing products is a learning adventure, a sashimi process.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

By: Stephen Covey

Why We Like It: Covey’s principles remain effective in moving from vision to realized goal.

Theory of Constraints

By: Eliyahu Goldratt

Why We Like It: This book delivers simple, effective techniques on analysis. It’s one of a few books that address analysis head on.

User Stories Applied

By: Mike Cohn

Why We Like It: Cohn offers an astute understanding of utilizing small, sharp pieces of user-valued work to drive teams.

Zen in the Martial Arts

By: Joe Hyams

Why We Like It: Contains rich, dense nuggets of wisdom that form some of the basis of “agile first principles” such as courage, open-mindedness, and balance.

Enjoy the reading and best of luck to you and your well-formed team!