Understanding the Why of Agile
I just finished reading Learning Agile: Understanding Scrum, XP, Lean, and Kanban, and I wanted to give a quick review because this book does a fantastic job of explaining the why of agile. It is a great resource for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of agile or wants to learn what agile methodology (like Scrum or XP) is the right fit for their team.
My Rating: 5/5
In Learning Agile: Understanding Scrum, XP, Lean, and Kanban, Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene explain the why of agile in a practical, relatable way. If you are not familar with the authors, they have written a few other books, including Head First C# and Head First PMP. Even though Learning Agile is not part of the “Head First” series, which employs learning and comprehension techniques to help you understand and remember the content, Learning Agile is written in a similar fashion, using narratives of real-world teams, illustrations, redundancy, and a conversational tone to teach agile concepts.
Learning Agile can be broken into three main parts:
- What agile is and why it is important
- Methodologies and mindsets: Scrum, XP, Lean, and Kanban
- Agile coaching
In the first part (what agile is and why it is important) the values and principles of agile are explored, and they are applied to the narrative of a struggling software development team.
In the second part (methodologies and mindsets), Scrum, XP, Lean, and Kanban are introduced and explained at a high level. Like the first part, narratives of struggling software development teams are used to help explain and reinforce concepts.
In the third part (agile coaching), the practice of agile coaching is explained. Only one chapter is dedicated to agile coaching, and, like the rest of the book, the chapter helps you understand the why of agile coaching.
The goal of this book is to help you understand why you should want to be agile and what methodology you should use to be agile. Because of this, the book is not suitable as a guide for implementing a methodology like Scrum or XP, but it gives you the knowledge necessary to recognize which methodology you should implement and why you should implement it.