In which I share some links and guidance for getting started understanding Scrum specifically and agile methods generally.


Quickest introduction

Read the Scrum Guide.

Essential reading

To understand Scrum it helps to understand the idea of agile methods generally.

The Agile Manifesto articulates the big idea of agile, that what's most important is working software honoring individuals, developed through collaboration, responding effectively to emerging understandings and opportunities.

You will never know less about your project than you do today, so defer all commitments and decisions to the last responsible moment. Commit to and build only what can be built in the next two weeks (or so), and then re-examine what's most important and what's next in light of what is learned from that experience.

eXtreme Programming is, well, the most extreme agile method I know, so it's a good way to convey the idea. Also, Kent Beck's book is a quick read, and a joy.

And then read the Scrum Guide again, now in the context of agile.

Non-essential but joyful reading

I like Ron Jeffries' Kate Oneal stories, including the one on What is Scrum.

Essential training

I got my (lapsed) Certified ScrumMaster certification through training given by Jimi Fosdick, and I gotta say, it was excellent. I highly recommend becoming a Certified ScrumMaster, not so much for the CSM letters or a certificate on your wall, but because to get that certification you've gotta do a couple days of training under someone who probably knows something about it and has experience training people to understand and practice agility.

I haven't personally taken the course, but the UW-Madison School of Business offers an Agile Project Management: Techniques for Iterative Development course.

More resources

Post image from keepcalm-o-matic. It would make a lovely wall poster.