First, let me state that while this is a subjective question, I think it is appropriate, because I'm asking for information beyond just "please dump titles at me".

I'm teaching an intro software engineering/OOAD course for junior/senior computer science majors. I've taught it before, but the last time I taught was before Scrum eclipsed XP in terms of use and support. So I can't reuse the XP Explained book from before.

I'm unable to find an appropriate Scrum book that gently introduces the principles of Scrum, along with supporting practice concepts (like examples). What I would love is something close to XP Explained but for Scrum.

Don't get me wrong, there are great Scrum books and resources, but each has issues. The online Scrum Primer and Scrum Guide are great overviews (and I will be using one), but have nothing about the concepts in practice. Sims and Johnson's Scrum: a Breathtakingly Brief and Agile Introduction is just a fleshed-out version of the Primer & Guide. Sutherland's Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time is chock full of motivation, but doesn't connect to practice. Rubin's Essential Scrum is too detailed and will overwhelm them (it's written for an experienced professional developer), and Cohn's Succeeding With Scrum is a really good balance of concept, motivation, and practice, but it's written around the transition from a legacy process (which these students know nothing about) to Scrum and it contains too much information.

What I'm looking for is a resource that ideally is short (~250pp) to keep it readable (this won't be the only book for the class) and explains Scrum practices/concepts with supporting examples or other material making the information concrete so that they can see how the ideas are put into practice. If the book is affordable, that's a nice bonus for my students.

If you have a suggestion(s), please help me understand how the book qualifies as readable and shows ideas->practice.

One sort-of subquestion: if you think this question would be better answered elsewhere, such as on a the academia or programmer community, so I can delete it from here and post it there.

  • 1
    If you haven't, take a look at this: scrumtrainingseries.com
    – phpmeh
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 20:50
  • 3
    Why not practice scrum in the classroom and ask the students what they learned about scrum after a few iterations? You could take 3-4 weeks in 1 week iterations to execute part of your lesson plan. Some ideas come to mind like Introducing them to homework as team-based user stories that require collaboration. Let them commit to how much homework needs to be delivered. Expose them to the product backlog as all the homework that needs to be completed in 4 iterations. Award teams that understand work priority and deliver the most value by the project end, etc etc...
    – WBW
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 22:01
  • Hi & welcome to PMSE. Have a look on the tour page to see how PMSE works. Nevertheless, if you look on the help page pm.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic you'll figure out that recommendations for books are off-topic...
    – Tob
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 14:15
  • Sure, OK. I read pm.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask carefully and believe I looked at the page you linked, but since my question was obviously on-topic, I paid attention to the other page. I would recommend moving the first bullet under "This site is NOT about... "
    – Joshua
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 19:24

5 Answers 5


Here is a laundry list of books that a Scrum Master can read - Top Agile Books for Scrum Masters

Again, it totally depends on what you want and consider as Readable.


I recently found a website that explains scrum features briefly and comprehensive: http://stephenwalther.com/archive/2012/08/17/scrum-in-5-minutes. Hope this helps!

  • Welcome to PMSE and thanks for your answer. It's generally prefered that answers explain why a particular link is relevant and useful. Can you let the OP know why the content of this page is useful and in what ways it is directly relevant to their question?
    – Willl
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 13:14
  • Relevant: your answer is in another castle
    – CBRF23
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 0:14

An excellent reference. You can even find development room size recommandation !

Do Better Scrum from InfoQ

Available in PDF ePub and MOBI


This is the first book I read on Scrum and it's still the one I recommend: Agile Project Management with Scrum (Developer Best Practices) by Ken Schwaber.

Of course, any recommendation is subjective, but I liked this one because it spent just as much time talking about why you do things as it does how you do them.

Like any other skill, the book is just the start. You'll run into a lot of questions when you actually start doing it - and that's the most important thing.


From your description on the type of book you're after -where it's lightweight, practical as opposed to theoretical, and full of good tips and advice, i'd recommend: Scrum Shortcuts without Cutting Corners: Agile Tactics, Tools, & Tips by Ilan Goldstein.

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