NEW BOOK – The Scrum Field Guide “Practical Advice for Your First Year”

The Scrum Field Guide  (by Mitch Lacey)  is meant to help you fine-tune your own implementation, navigate some of the unfamiliar terrain, and more easily scale the hurdles we all encounter along the way.

Who Should Read This Book

If you are thinking about getting starting with Scrum or agile, are at the beginning of your journey, or if you have been at it a year or so but feel like you’ve gotten lost along the way, this book is for you. I’m officially targeting companies that are within six months of starting a project to those that are a year into their implementation, an 18-month window.

This is a book for people who are pragmatic. If you want theory and esoteric discussions, grab another of the many excellent books on Scrum and agile. If, on the other hand, you want practical advice and real data based on my experience running projects both at Microsoft and while coaching teams and consulting at large Fortune 100 companies, this book fits the bill.

How to Read This Book

The book is designed for you to be able to read any chapter, in any order, at any time. Each chapter starts out with a story, pulled from a team, company, or project that I worked on or coached. As you might expect, I’ve changed the names to protect the innocent (and even the guilty). Once you read the story, which will likely sound familiar, I walk you through the model. The model is what I use in the field to help address the issues evident in the story. Some of the models might feel uncomfortable, or you might believe they won’t work for your company. I urge you to fight the instinct to ignore the advice or modify the model. Try it at least three times and see what happens. You might be surprised. At the end of each chapter, I summarize the keys to success, those factors that can either make or break your implementation.

This book is organized in four parts.

  • Part I, “Getting Prepared,” gives you advice on getting started with Scrum, helping you set up for success. If you are just thinking about Scrum or have just begun to use it, start there.
  • Part II, “Field Guide Field Basics in the Field,” are items that, once you get started down the agile path, help you over some of the initial stumbling blocks that teams and organizations encounter. If you’ve gotten your feet wet with Scrum but are running into issues, you might start here.
  • Part III, “First Aid,” is where we deal with some of the larger, deeper issues that companies face, like adding people to projects or fixing dysfunctional daily standup meetings. These are situations you’ll likely find yourself in at one point or another during your first year. These chapters help you triage and treat the situation, allowing your team to return to a healthy state.
  • The last part, Part IV, “Advanced Survival Techniques,” contains a series of items that people seem to struggle with regardless of where they are in their adoption, things such as costing projects, writing contacts, and addressing documentation in agile and Scrum projects.

If you are starting from scratch and have no idea what Scrum is, I’ve included a short description in the appendix at the back of the book to help familiarize you with the terms. You might also want to do some more reading on Scrum before diving into this book.

The Scrum Field Guide – Mitch Lacey & Associates