Resources – Books and Articles

Books and Articles | Videos | Competency Model

Here is a list of some agile coaching-related books, articles, web sites, and other info. Lots of stuff in the list, just jump to the bits that interest you.

Quick Tabs

New Advanced Agile/Scrum Book Series
Professional Coaching Training
Skills for Agile Coaches
Groups and Communities
Getting Your Head into The Agile Leadership Mind-set
Highly Recommended Books from Allied Disciplines
Working with the System When It’s Difficult
Back to the Agile Basics
Agile Statistics
Agile Manager Material
Agile Product Owner Material
Web Sites and Blogs Full of Useful Posts


New Advanced Agile/Scrum Book Series

Succeeding with Agile, Mike Cohn

Scaling Lean & Agile Development, Craig Larman & Bas Vodde

Agile Testing, Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory

Coaching Agile Teams, Lyssa Adkins

Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love, Roman Pichler

Management 3.0: Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders, Jurgen Appelo

Agile Game Development with Scrum, Clinton Keith

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Professional Coaching Training

International Coach Federation
Lists all accredited coaching schools and administers coaching credentials.

European Mentoring and Coaching Council
Lists all accredited coaching schools in Europe.

Coaches Training Institute
The individual coaching training school Michael and Lyssa went to.

Center for Right Relationship
Coach training school offering Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching (team coaching).

Systemic Coaching offered in Denmark

Newfield Network
Executive coaching school

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Skills for Agile Coaches/Powerful Questions Resources

ICAgile Facilitation and Coaching Track: Learning Objectives
A guide for the learning objectives for the Agile Team Facilitator and Agile Coach levels of mastery.

Agile Coaching Institute: Agile Coach Competency Framework
The competency areas that make up the palette of skills and knowledge areas an agile coach draws on to do the “dance” of agile coaching.

Laura Whitworth, et. al.: Co-Active Coaching, 2nd Edition: New Skills for Coaching People Toward Success in Work and Life
A great book for getting a good introduction to coaching skills for agile coaches, such as powerful questions. Includes an appendix of hundreds of powerful questions, as well as other “templates” for coaches.

Karen Kimsey House, et. al.: Co-Active Coaching, 3th Edition: Changing Business, Transforming Lives
This is the latest version of this book and has some wonderful updates to the co-active model.  It does not contain the Powerful Questions appendix.

PQ Cards 4 to a page from the Coaching Agile Teams class

Deb Preuss: Powerful Questions Cards (more! print your own!)

Tony Stoltzfus: Coaching Questions: A Coach’s Guide to Powerful Asking Skills
This is the full-of-easy-and-useful-stuff book that David and Allison love.

Powerful Questions iPhone, iPad and DRIOD app: CTI Thinkpal

Rachel Davies and Liz Sedley, Agile Coaching
A very practical and useful guide for coaching teams. Wonderful for new agile coaches.

Daniel Goleman: Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence

J. Richard Hackman: Leading Teams: Setting the Stage for Great Performances
While not an agile book per-se, all of the ideas in this book are applicable to coaching agile teams. For example, if you need help convincing a product owner to create a compelling vision, this book helps you explain why that’s so important.

Susan Scott: Fierce Conversations
Because you have a lot of fierce conversations as an agile coach. Might as well get good at them.

Jean Tabaka: Collaboration Explained
A great book for agile coaches about being a good facilitator. Check out the section with starter agendas for sprint planning and other agile meetings.

Esther Derby and Diana Larsen: Agile Retrospectives.
To help you create retrospectives that have people get up from the conference room table and come up with real insights. Our copy of this one has stickies all over it and coffee stains and worn out pages. That’s how much we use it.

Lyssa Adkins: The Road from Project Manager to Agile Coach
YouTube video, in two parts. Part two is here.

Michael James: A Scrum Master’s Checklist

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Scrum Development Yahoo Group and Scrum AllianceGoogle Group.  – These are the places to ask questions and hear from others who have run into the same kind of problems. Try not to be put off by the volume of emails, you’ll no doubt find ways to filter appropriately over time.

Extreme Programming – Discussion on Extreme Programming, Agile Methods, software development practices, and related topics. Not just for XP pracitioners.

Agile Usability – This group is aimed at writers, designers, interaction analysts, etc.

Agile Testing – For testers, and anyone interested in testing. Again lots of traffic.

Retrospectives – The retrospectives group, for those interested in hearing what others do.

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Getting Your Head into The Agile Leadership Mind-set

Margaret Wheatley: Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World
Great material on why the mechanistic view of the workforce no longer works. What worked for me: start with Chapter 8 then go back to the heavier science at the beginning.

Peter Block: The Answer to How is Yes
A great book for helping your managers (and you) get past the “how do we do it” and into the “why should we do it.”

Tom Peters: Re-imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age
This book is visually stunning and its content is powerful. It should get you re-imagining in no time.

Peter Senge and others: Presence: An Exploration of Profound Change in People, Organizations and Society
This one is a little academic, but if you like that (or can wade through it) the payoff is big. Amazing insights.

Bill Joiner and Stephen Josephs: Leadership Agility: Five Levels of Mastery for Anticipating and Initiating Change
The leaders we need now are not heroes, they are synergists who bring the best out in everyone (including themselves). This book gives you a clear model of the levels of leadership in play now and where we are going with the new breeds of leadership (and why we must).

Jon Katzenbach, Douglas Smith: Wisdom of Teams  Much foundational information about teams is in this classic, including the difference between a working group, pseudo team and team.  It helps you know which of these you currently have.

Umair Haque : The Builder’s Manifesto
It’s Buildership, not Leadership that’s needed today.

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Highly Recommended from Allied Disciplines

The Leadership Circle Profile – a comprehensive 360 assessment that helps you get a clear view into your leadership effectiveness.  Michael Spayd is a certified facilitator of this profile and has the ability to administer it and help individuals and groups understand the results.

Bill Schneider: The Reengineering Alternative: A Plan for Making your Current Culture Work.
This book describes the 4 corporate cultures and gives a simple diagnostic tool to see which culture your corporation might be.  More comprehensive diagnostics for corporate culture and for your leadership-culturelink are also available from certified facilitators such as Michael Spayd.

Dan Pink: Drive: The Surprising Truth about what Motivates Us
What motivates people, really? (hint: it’s not raises or public embarrassment). For a short burst of this book in 15 minutes, see the TED talk on The Surprising Science of Motivation.

The Arbinger Institute: The Anatomy of Peace
For helping you turn the ratio around so that you are spending much more time helping things go right rather than dealing with things that are going wrong. Plus, great ways to get to the heart of conflict on your teams (and within yourself).

The Arbinger Institute: Leadership and Self-Deception
Essential reading for any manager, but especially for Agile Coaches.

Lee Devin & Rob Austin: Artful Making
This is an excellent book that explores how methods used in creative fields such as theatre can be applied to managing knowledge-based projects.

Steven Johnson: Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and Software
Why agile teams are more like ecosystems than machines is explained with lots of examples in this book.

Tom DeMarco: Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency
This book is inspiring and surprising; it is like a whack to the side of the head.

Christopher Avery: Teamwork is an Individual Skill: Getting Your Work Done While Sharing Responsibility
This is a must-have book for Agile team members. It contains tests and tools to help you become the kind of team member that creates astonishing results.

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Working with the System When It’s Difficult

Losada and Heaphy: The Role of Positivity and Connectivity in the Performance of Business Teams: A Nonlinear Dynamics Model
description note

Fernando Lopez: Antidotes for Team Toxins
description note

Howard Guttman: Great Business Teams
The idea of conflict protocols originates in this book.

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Back to the Agile Basics

Henrik Kniberg: Scrum and XP From the Trenches Also available as a downloadable PDF.  If you’re a newcomer to Scrum, and you’re going to read only one Scrum book, make it this one.

Henrik Kniberg and Mattias Skarin: Kanban and Scrum – Making the most of both In the style of Scrum and XP from the Trenches, this book is ultra-practical and useful without becoming a “guide for dummies.” Available as a print book and as a downloadable PDF.

Ken Schwaber & Mike Beedle: Agile Software Development with Scrum The original Scrum book. Good, clear overview of the practices and principles of Scrum. It is somewhat out-of-date now, as Scrum has progressed since the book was written, but it is still a valuable read.

Kent Beck: Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change One of the first Agile books. Focuses mainly (but not solely) on the engineering practices, and supplies good overall context for creating an Agile organization.

Menlo Innovations Team: Innovative Exploration A picture book about how Menlo Innovations does XP (really, truly, fully).  Great for showing people what it should look like and how it should work when done well.

Mike Cohn: User Stories Applied This clear and simple book covers the aspects of writing, estimating, prioritizing and committing to product requirements. Essential reading for Product Owners.

Mike Cohn: Agile Estimating and Planning What are story points again? Why do we use them and not estimated hours? This book will refresh you on these topics and help you become good at estimation and release planning.

Mike Cohn: What is agile and Scrum and Scrum described

Scrum Alliance: What is Scrum

InfoQ interview with Jeff Sutherland: Scrum and Not Scrum — with video.

Best description about the Essence of Scrum

Running Tested Features and Technical Debt by Ron Jeffries

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Agile Statistics

David Rico: The Business Value of Agile Software Methods
This book gives you all the numbers and formulas you could possibly want on why Agile methods produce more value than other ways of working.

For when you need some more convincing data, here are Waterfall vs Agile statistics vs industry benchmarks from QSM Associates and Michael Mah-

article + webinar

video of Michael Mah

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Agile Manager Material

Lyssa Adkins and Michael K. Spayd: The Manager’s Role in Agile

Lyssa Adkins: You Tube video that introduces the agile manager role: Interlocking Roles in Agile

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Agile Product Owner Material

Mike Cohn: Want Better Software? Just Ask
Also take a look at Mike’s other available papers. Mike Cohn has a very pragmatic approach to Scrum and writes in a very clear and succinct way.

Mike Cohn: Prioritizing Your Product Backlog
This page has a downloadable version of slides we cover in class, and a video of Mike covering the material himself. Check that out. He is the master of this topic.

Luke Hohmann: Innovation Games
For when the product owner is just “winging it” and has no clue what the team should really build. These are a collection of serious games that tap into what customers, vendors, and partners really want and will really buy.

Jim Highsmith: Agile Project Management – Creating Innovative Products
Good overview of Agile approaches to project management. This is more “managerial” and offers some good ideas for working with customers.

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Web Sites and Blogs Full of Useful Posts
The Scrum Alliance site. Contribute your experiences of using Scrum here.
The Agile Project Leadership Network. Check out the Declaration of Interdependence.
The Agile Alliance site, for all things Agile.
Ken Schwaber’s and Jeff Sutherland’s sites. These two are the co-creators of Scrum.
Mike Cohn’s introduction to Scrum. Helpful as a quick overview/reminder of the practices/roles/artifacts.
The Agile Manifesto and Agile Principles and
Tobias Mayer’s site and blogs Vizdos’ cartoon blog Michael Spayd’s blog. Lyssa’s blog and website.

And many other blogs…Google/Yahoo/Bing Agile topics to find them

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