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The Elements of Scrum
 
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The Elements of Scrum [Kindle Edition]

Chris Sims , Hillary Louise Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Kindle Price: CDN$ 9.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet

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Product Description

“A wonderful metaphor for what it conveys about Scrum, that Scrum makes software development a joy…. Any organization embarking on Scrum should hand this book out to all stakeholders.” Jim Downey

“A must read…. The book takes you inside a Scrum team’s inner workings, including planning and executing a sprint, daily scrum (stand-up) meetings, sprint reviews, and the retrospective…. If you are looking for one book that provides a solid foundation for understanding Agile development and Scrum, including an “inside look” at how Scrum teams plan and operate, I highly recommend The Elements of Scrum.” Dave Moran, Software Results

The Elements of Scrum has gained an international following and a reputation for being perhaps the only book on software development that reads like a page-turner. Written by Chris Sims, a top scrum trainer and pioneer of experiential learning, and Hillary Louise Johnson, a novelist and business journalist, it demonstrates the principles, practices and pitfalls of the scrum framework through lively storytelling and vividly told example.

The Elements of Scrum opens with a blow-by-blow description of a week in the life of a scrum team, then briefly details the history and origins of scrum, comparing it to traditional methodologies and providing context for how scrum applies to the cultural history of the software industry. Next, the principles and practices set forth in the Agile Manifesto are broken down and illustrated with real-world examples, putting the reader inside the heads of the founders of scrum and agile for a thorough grounding in theory.

The meat of the book explains every aspect of the scrum process, including team composition, scheduling and work flow management, in crisp, clear, example-laden prose designed to provide insight to novices and experienced practitioners alike.

The book concludes with a section on supporting technical practices like Test Driven Development and Pair Programming, to help the reader apply scrum at the practical level.

The Elements of Scrum is taught at colleges and universities across the country, including UCLA, George Mason University, Arizona State, SUNY Potsdam, Wofford College, and Becker College. It has been translated into Mandarin, and is soon to appear in other international editions.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1743 KB
  • Print Length: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Dymaxicon; 1.01 edition (Feb. 15 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004O0U74Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #55,798 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous introduction Oct. 23 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent introduction to Agile Scrum methodology. It's an easy read and introduces enough methodology to get started with Scrum. I was able to introduce the Scrum method to a small development team and over a few sprints get them into the sprint rhythm, gradually introducing more Scrum process. Our stakeholders are really happy with demonstrated results and they also like having regular input to development priorities. I have since purchased several copies of this book in order to help inform stakeholders and other interested parties. Well worthwhile.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  57 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read, long on information Feb. 28 2011
By Joel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
EoS is a great mix of approachable writing, great anecdotes and simple pictures, both the ones drawn into the book and the pictures the words easily formed in my head. The nearly 200 pages flew by quickly while giving me some excellent new perspectives on the use of Scrum. For readability I found it outstanding.

Elements is not a complete "how to" book of Scrum, that's not the goal of the book. It's laid out a lot like a training cours, and will give any reader a strong foundation in the basics of Scrum. Even though I've taken scrum master certification and have been an active agilest for some time now, I still came away from this book with a deeper knowledge of Scrum's core fundamentals. That says a lot for a $30 book, that it can still teach you some new ideas after taking a two day training class.

The final positive point I can give it is where it will live, now that I've read it. EoS will find a place on my ready reference shelf in my office cube. When I need to check something on Scrum, it's only an arms length away and finding information in it is google easy.

Joel Bancroft-Connors , PMP
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good March 6 2012
By Tom L. Pittman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the second book I've "borrowed" from the Amazon Kindle loaning library, and it will be the second book I'll be buying -- just as soon as I can figure out if I want it in paper or digital format.

PROS:

o The book wisely starts off by telling a week in the life of a scrum team. I say wisely, because anyone with any software development experience at all will immediately get a clear, "bird's eye view" of the overall scrum framework from this opening story, and that perspective will make the reading of the rest of the book go quickly.

o Next the book reviews the traditional "Waterfall" development cycle which is another smart move. Not only does reading about the methodology I learned in college help establish the authors' credibility for me, they explain waterfall with a sense of fairness -- so you don't walk away feeling like you are about to read the one-sided propaganda of some agile fan-boys.

o As the book unfolds, you get the sense that the authors definitely have a ton of real world experience, and that you are getting something much more useful than scrum theory.

o The book is logically organized, making learning scrum a breeze.

o The authors didn't seem to be worried about page count, but instead taught scrum efficiently and effectively without extra words, war stories or fluff.

o The authors allow some personality to flow on to the pages, making the book a fun read.

CONS:

o I wish the authors would have done a bit more to define scrum-specific terminology at the beginning of the book, or at least provided a glossary at the back of the book so we could look up the terms as we come upon them -- particularly if we are coming upon them again and again.

o Not all the formatting looks right on the kindle. None of it is bad, just off at times.

o The pictures are so tiny on the kindle, that some are borderline unusable.

Now that I've written this review, I think I'll buy this in kindle format so that the highlighting I did as I read the book (yes, I knew it was a "borrowed" book, but I just couldn't resist) will transfer to my purchased copy.

I can see me wanting to refer back to this book again and again, and it will just be handy to have access to the book and my markings from my Android phone, iPad, Kindle Fire -- whichever gadget happens to be handy when I need to look something up.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Look at the Inner Workings of Scrum July 23 2011
By Dave Moran - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you want to understand the essentials of Agile development and Scrum, The Elements of Scrum by Chris Sims and Hillary Louise Johnson is a must read. The book itself doesn't talk about Agile development in pure theoretical terms, it provides insight on how Scrum teams function by using examples and clear explanations.

The Elements of Scrum walks you through a Scrum team's inner workings, including planning and executing a sprint, daily scrum (stand-up) meetings, sprint reviews, and the retrospective. The book provides in-depth coverage of key Scrum artifacts such as the product and sprint backlogs, information radiators like the sprint and release charts, the task board, the definition of done, user stories and acceptance criteria. Chris and Hillary even cover a topic you don't read much about: terminating a sprint.

The Elements of Scrum really shines as it walks you through the ins and outs of estimating and planning. I particularly enjoyed the example of "Agile Islands," as it provides an excellent basis for understanding Scrum's use of relative sizing versus time estimates. Chris and Hillary explain why relative sizing works, pointing out that, "While we are bad at absolute sizing, we are good at relative sizing."

They follow up to explain how relative sizing is applied:

"The trick is to use a two-step process. First, assign relative sizes to all of the work items. The size indicates how much work there is to do. Second, do a couple of work items and measure how long they actually take. Armed with this measured amount, the relative sizes assigned to all of the other items can now be used to provide the desired predictability of schedule."

And if you've ever wondered why Agile development uses sizing numbers in the Fibonacci sequence, The Elements of Scrum explains this as well: "...the Fibonacci sequence, when used to represent `sizes,' increase at about the same rate at which humans are able to easily perceive differences. Just as anyone can tell a one-story house from a two-story house at a glance, anyone can tell 21 story building from a 34 story building."

Since the book relies on examples of actual experiences to illustrate how Scrum works in practice, it naturally gives an inside look at The Team Estimation Game and using techniques such as planning poker. The book closes discussing a variety of supporting practices, such as release planning, the use of personas, story mapping, refactoring, pair programming and test-driven development.

If you are looking for a book that provides an "inside look" at how Scrum teams plan and operate, I highly recommend The Elements of Scrum .
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good intro, but needs more QA Dec 29 2011
By Greg Finnegan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good read and nice intro to the topic. It would receive 5 stars, but the Kindle version needs a good QA pass. The chapters aren't numbered (but are repeatedly referenced throughout the book). The chapter on Agile Principles has some lists that aren't numbered correctly and the corresponding support paragraphs are all numbered 1 (do I sense an epic battle with MS Word...) I would not hesitate to pass this on to some senior decision makers if I was trying to convince them to give Scrum a try.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars quick, easy, and light read Aug. 14 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book if it's your first introduction into scrum. I think I was hoping for more of a deep dive into scrum. How are conflicts handled? Handling defect issues, more concrete real world examples. I think it did a great job giving an overall view of what scrum is, the roles, artifacts, and various types of scrum meetings. But to be honest, you can get most of the same information on the internet. So if you don't know a thing about agile/scrum, get this book but if you want more detail, I'd keep looking.
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