A Review of Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction

If you're a project manager who has been working mostly with traditional and waterfall processes, you may find it very hard to understand scrum and agile methodologies.

You will find it quite tough to get the "big picture" view of how all the parts fit together. The fact that scrum and agile concepts develop very rapidly also doesn't help matters.

One of the common problems that you'll encounter is the basic terminology behind scrum and agile. While there are many books and resources online, it is often tough to find a "holistic" view of the basic concepts.

To make matters worse, scrum and agile projects are run on very tight timelines and it is extremely tough for you to pick up the concepts whilst under project pressure.

It therefore is very helpful if you could find a resource or book that explains "just the basics" of scrum and agile to you , so you know where to dig deeper if you need more information.

One of the best books I've found on the scrum topic is Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction it’s a short, concise book that explains the basics of scrum and agile to you, and gives you a great "high level" view within one or two hours of reading.

scrum a breathtakingly brief and agile introduction review 1Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction

This is great news for those of you who have extremely limited time and need a crash course of sorts. I remember picking up this book during my first agile implementation and going - "Thank God! Now at least I know what a scrum and sprint is"! In the following, let's go take a deeper look at the book and understand what it is all about.

1. Product Overview

If you take a look at Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction, you'll find that it explains to you the key concepts of scrum methodology in a very "pamphlet" approach. The book itself is very thin and you may be put off by its brevity - but if you look at it more carefully, you'll find the essence of scrum distilled out very well.

2. What's Good About It?

It's very brief and concise. The first thing that came to my mind when I browsed the book was its brevity. There are no filler or long stories in here. It is all distilled and trimmed down to just what you need.

This makes it very suitable for readers who are short of time and need to just get the "dummies guide" to information on scrum methodology.

It gives you the big picture. instead of delving into deep details like a normal scrum textbook does, this book is written in friendly language to help you understand how all the "parts fit together". Moreover,the language is written so that even non-IT team members can understand.

This is great news, especially for those of you who want to spread the word about how scrum works to the broader user community. Simply hand out this book and the reader will most likely understand the concepts very quickly!

Tip: Tip. One of the biggest issues I had when implementing scrum and agile for one of my clients was - guess what - user adoption. Yes, most people are still unfamiliar with scrum and agile - and this leads to a problem if you're trying to roll it out on a large-scale, enterprise level.

Education is important, so having "roadshows" to brief people on what scrum / agile is would be highly beneficial.

It clearly defines the roles, meetings and process the a scrum team should go through. If you've been struggling to understand the concepts in your "sprints" and "scrums", this book will sort it all out for you. The diagrams and illustrations inside are excellent in helping novices understand the concepts a lot better.

With this, the next time you run a scrum meeting or a development sprint you'll have no problems getting everyone to do their bit and produce quality agile output.

3. What's Bad About It?

It's too short - almost only a pamphlet. Some of the folks I've spoken to say the book is too brief. is too brief.

That may be a problem for those of you who want to understand very deep specifics on how scrum and agile works. However, if you just want a basic introduction, then there's no better book out there, in my opinion.

Too few examples. There are too few examples of how scrum projects are run in real life. That is how teams executed scrums, prioritized development and managed development sprints. how teams executed scrums, prioritized development and managed development sprints.

Scrum is best learnt by examples. With examples lacking, it may be tough to translate learning into practical usage. But then again, the book was intended to be very short - so maybe it isn't fair to insist the author should cover this too.

Case Study: Case Study. I was running a e-channel implementation for a large bank in Singapore and was tasked to lead one of the Scrum workstreams. Coming from a waterfall project management background - I was really stressed out!

Fortunately, I picked up Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction and after browsing through it, I could at least intelligently communicate to senior stakeholders on how the overall process should be like. It saved my life more than a couple of times when I was just starting out with Scrum.

Closing Thoughts

Ok, let me summarize my thoughts on what we've covered - we've seen what Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction contains and how it is a great book and an exceptional introduction to scrum for beginners.

My favorite aspect of the book is the fact that it gives you a quick low-down on key terms, roles and concepts of scrum. I get the information I need and can then go away and find out more if needed.

Moreover, I also like the fact that the book gives me just enough depth about scrum. The content is not too overwhelming and yet gives you a full view of how to run scrum projects. This allows me to hold intelligent conversations with scrum experts in my company and engage them properly as opposed to not understanding scrum at all.

What I don't really like about the book is that it doesn't give many examples from the real-world, about how scrum developments are done. However, given its intention is to be brief, I guess that would have been tough to fit into the book.

Well, now that you understand more about this book, you should go ahead and browse to see if the contents fit you. I'd say that if you're a beginner in scrum and agile this book is a must buy - if just to give you a quick overview of areas you may need to understand more.

Click here to purchase Scrum: A Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction at a very cheap price over at Amazon.

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