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Agile project management

Agile project management books

by Simon Buehring
Explore the top 12 essential books that will refine your Agile project management skills and understanding.
Agile Project Management Books |

Introducing Agile project management books

Agile project management requires a dynamic approach to planning, guiding, and implementing project concepts. As such, those leading Agile initiatives must always be refreshing their knowledge and question their methods to stay relevant and effective.

The agility that underpins this discipline also extends to its study: project managers must assimilate diverse insights and techniques from an array of authoritative sources. Keeping abreast of the latest thought leadership, case studies, and practical guides is essential for any professional aiming to deliver value rapidly and efficiently.

This makes the pursuit of a varied reading list an indispensable habit for the conscientious Agile project manager. Below we have some classics written in the early days of the Agile movement – for example DSDM: Business Focused Development by Jennifer Stapleton, as well as many later classics.

Top 12 Agile project management books

Here is our recommended list of the top 12 Agile project management books.

Agile Estimating and Planning

Agile Estimating and Planning
Author: Mike Cohn
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Date first published: November 2005
ISBN-10‏:‎ 0131479415
ISBN-13: 978-0131479418

Agile Estimating and Planning is a seminal text that tackles one of the most challenging aspects of project management. Mike Cohn articulates the intricacies of Agile planning with a clarity that benefits both newcomers and seasoned professionals.

The book provides methods for forecasting project size using story points, prioritising and estimating backlog in terms of both size and value, and planning releases and iterations. Cohn’s expertise empowers readers to create more accurate estimates and plans which, in turn, lead to successful project outcomes.

Recommended for its actionable strategies, this book is a fundamental read for anyone looking to master the delicate balance of flexibility and foresight in Agile project environments.

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time
Author: Jeff Sutherland and J.J. Sutherland
Publisher: Crown Business
Date first published: September 2014
ISBN-10: 038534645X
ISBN-13: 978-0385346450

Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of Scrum, and his son J.J. Sutherland explore the beginnings and evolution of Scrum in The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time.

This book is especially appealing to readers keen on understanding the fundamental principles of the Scrum framework and how it can be applied beyond software development. The Sutherlands expound on rapid and iterative work cycles that provide a competitive edge.

With its combination of historical insights, personal anecdotes, and practical applications, the book is a source of inspiration and a guidebook for transforming processes in various industries.

The Lean Startup

The Lean Startup
Author: Eric Ries
Publisher: Crown Business
Date first published: September 2011
ISBN-10: 0307887898
ISBN-13: 978-0307887894

Eric Ries revolutionised entrepreneurial and project management strategies with The Lean Startup. Centered on the principles of build-measure-learn feedback loops, minimal viable products (MVPs), and pivoting, the book teaches readers how to lead their startups and projects in an efficient and responsive manner. Its applicability extends beyond startups into any project or process that requires a nimble and customer-focused approach.

Ries’s methodology guides project managers in validating their ideas and visions effectively, making this read indispensable for those seeking to implement Agile practices at any scale.

The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win

The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win
Author: Gene Kim
Publisher: IT Revolution Press
Date first published: January 2013
ISBN-10: 0988262592
ISBN-13: 978-0988262591

The Phoenix Project serves as a guide and a cautionary tale through the narrative of an IT executive struggling to save his company from the brink of disaster.

Gene Kim ingeniously employs a fictional setting to explore real-world IT challenges, the principles of DevOps, and the potential of Agile methodologies. His story-driven approach offers a compelling read that underlines the importance of collaboration across departments, breaking down silos, and implementing efficient workflows.

Readers gain valuable insights into applying Agile and DevOps principles in their organisations in a manner that resonates on a personal level.

Agile Project Management (AgilePM®) Handbook v2

Agile Project Management (AgilePM®) Handbook v2
Author: Agile Business Consortium
Publisher: Agile Business Consortium
Date first published: November 2016
ISBN-10: 0992872721
ISBN-13: 978-0992872724

The AgilePM® Handbook v2 provides a detailed understanding of the Agile Business Consortium’s Agile Project Management framework, a proven approach that combines flexibility with the rigours of effective project management.

This handbook is a vital resource for those looking to gain an understanding of AgilePM principles, governance, and the lifecycle of Agile projects. It is particularly useful for practitioners preparing for AgilePM certifications.

With its focus on practical application and a rich array of resources, the handbook is a trusted companion for successful Agile project delivery.

This book is also used as the textbook for the Agile Project Management (AgilePM) training courses and certification.

PRINCE2 Agile®

PRINCE2 Agile®
Author: Keith Richards
Publisher: AXELOS Global Best Practice
Date first published: February 2022
ISBN-10: 0113317788
ISBN-13: 978-0113317784

In PRINCE2 Agile®, Keith Richards presents the latest evolution of the PRINCE2 Agile guide. This updated version retains the strengths of PRINCE2 governance and combines them with the flexibility of Agile, providing a framework that is suitable for any type of project.

Richards offers readers a comprehensive road map to applying PRINCE2 in an Agile context, emphasising adaptability and delivering products incrementally. The book stands out for its balanced approach, making it a must-read for professionals looking to integrate structured project management with the responsiveness of Agile.

This book is also used as the textbook for the PRINCE2 Agile training courses and certification.

Agile Project Management: Running PRINCE2 projects with DSDM Atern

Agile Project Management: Running PRINCE2 projects with DSDM Atern
Author: Keith Richards
Publisher: The Stationery Office
Date first published: September 2007
ISBN-10: 0113310589
ISBN-13: 978-0113310587

Keith Richards’ Agile Project Management: Running PRINCE2 projects with DSDM Atern is a trailblazing text that elaborates on combining the structured approach of PRINCE2 with the Agile framework of DSDM Atern.

The book acts as a bridge for project managers who are familiar with PRINCE2 but wish to incorporate the benefits of Agile.

Richards’ insights help navigate through the integration of two seemingly disparate methodologies, providing a harmonious approach to managing projects with agility and precision.

DSDM: Business Focused Development, 2nd Edition

DSDM: Business Focused Development, 2nd Edition
Author: Jennifer Stapleton
Publisher: Pearson Education
Date first published: September 2003
ISBN-10: 0321112243
ISBN-13: 978-0321112248

DSDM: Business Focused Development by Jennifer Stapleton provides a thorough exploration of the Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), the world’s very first Agile project delivery framework.

Stapleton, with her expertise in DSDM, conveys the principles and practices with a strong emphasis on aligning project objectives with business goals. The book covers the framework’s eight principles, roles and responsibilities, and iterative life-cycle processes, making it a detailed guide for project managers and team members aiming to implement DSDM.

This edition is particularly relevant for those seeking to enhance business value through flexible and disciplined project management approaches.

Project Management the Agile Way

Project Management the Agile Way
Author: John Goodpasture
Publisher: J. Ross Publishing
Date first published: October 2010
ISBN-10: 1604270275
ISBN-13: 978-1604270273

Project Management the Agile Way by John Goodpasture is a comprehensive work that explores Agile concepts and practices in the broader context of project management.

Goodpasture delineates how traditional project managers can adapt to the Agile way without discarding the fundamentals of their training. His book presents case studies, best practices, and methodologies that demonstrate Agile’s effectiveness in a variety of project environments.

As a guide for integrating established project management standards with Agile innovations, this book is essential for those wishing to advance in project management.

Agile Project Management For Dummies

Agile Project Management For Dummies
Author: Mark C. Layton, Steven J. Ostermiller and Dean J. Kynaston
Publisher: For Dummies
Date first published: April 2012
ISBN-10: 1118026241
ISBN-13: 978-1118026243

Agile Project Management For Dummies by Mark C. Layton and co-authors Steven J. Ostermiller and Dean J. Kynaston is a skillfully crafted entry point for those new to Agile project management.

The book covers the essential principles and practices in an accessible format, making complex concepts digestible. Layton and his colleagues offer practical advice, tips, and tools for applying Agile methodologies within various project scenarios.

The Dummies series is known for making topics approachable, and this book maintains that tradition, effectively demystifying Agile for beginners.

Agile Project Management

Agile Project Management
Author: Jeffrey Ries
Publisher: Independently published
Date first published: May 2020
ISBN-10: N/A
ISBN-13: 979-8643839999

Agile Project Management by Jeffrey Ries aims to introduce readers to the world of agility through the lens of project management.

Ries synthesises key Agile principles and practices, contextualising them within the tasks and responsibilities of a project manager. His book is tailored for readers seeking to comprehend the fundamentals of Agile methodologies and how to apply them in a project context.

The book acts as a primer, ensuring that project managers are well-equipped with the know-how to navigate Agile projects from inception to completion.

Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products

Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products
Author: Jim Highsmith
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Date first published: July 2009
ISBN-10: 0321658396
ISBN-13: 978-0321658395

In Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products, Jim Highsmith addresses the challenges of managing complex, innovative projects in rapidly changing environments.

Highsmith, one of the original signatories of the Agile Manifesto, brings his considerable experience to bear, offering a framework that emphasises collaboration, flexibility, and customer value. The book is packed with strategies for leading Agile teams and fostering an environment conducive to innovation.

Aimed at project leaders seeking to push the boundaries of product development, Highsmith’s work is a guide to thriving in the midst of market and technological turbulence.

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