The Power of Scrum - Book Review

I've recently purchased “The Power of Scrum”, a delightfully short book on the Scrum process, for the Amazon Kindle. It is written as a novel, which, as unlikely as it may be for a book on software development, works surprisingly well.

The book follows the narrative voice of fictional character Mark Resting, a CTO who's just been given one last chance by his biggest client to turn things around with a project that has been delayed one too many times.

Mark doesn't catch his flight back home and ends up in an airport bar, where he meets a laid-back guy called Jerry. Little does Mark now, but Jerry is an experienced Scrum Master, and before long suggests to use Scrum to save Mark's project, which Mark eventually agrees to.

The book doesn't serve you a lot of dry theory, leaving you with a lot of unanswered questions. Ever read a textbook and thought to yourself “Well, that's all nice and stuff, but…”? This book doesn't take that easy way out. It explains Scrum thoroughly, and you can always count on Mark (or one of his colleagues) to ask the critical questions in your stead. And not only that. As the story progresses and Scrum gets implemented in Mark's company, a lot of the problems that may arise in such a situation are addressed. Like the senior developer who is convinced his work is far too complex to be described by a handful of vague user stories and thinks daily standup meetings are wasted time better spent getting actual work done. And, of course, everybody's favourite, the former project lead turned Product Owner, who's having slight problems adapting to his new role, and no longer being able to boss people around. If you've ever implemented Scrum at a company, you've probably experienced these situations, and “The Power of Scrum” gives you some peace of mind that you're not alone. It happens to all of us.

This book is required (or recommended) reading for the Certified Scrum Master and Product Owner trainings, and rightfully so. No other book that I've read on Scrum was able to get the point across so vividly and easily comprehensible as “The Power of Scrum” does. I'd recommend it to anybody new to Scrum and and in need of a quick and easy way to get familiar with the topic, as well as people already experienced with the process, because it provides an entertaining way to re-read the key concepts, and reminds us of one important message of Scrum: Just do it. Use the process and work with it. Don't try a part of it here and there, or “amend” it to fit your needs. The process is well thought out and everything in it exists for a reason. Use the Force. How it can be done is described in this book.

Jeff Sutherland, Rini van Solingen, Eelco Rustenberg
“The Power of Scrum” (2011, 128 pages)
ISBN 1463578067
EAN 9781463578060