I'm sure I'm not alone in this. I have heard and read a lot of snippets of information about this topic and I've formed my own understanding - probably not the best way to assess the value or try to implement it.

Can you post your favorite resources(books, blogs, podcasts) that will help a beginner. Or worse than a beginner someone who needs to undo assumptions.


  • What's the actual question? What are the best "total novice" entry points? Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 20:11
  • I'm just looking for advice on resources. Thanks Commented Apr 23, 2011 at 17:59
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about "recommendations for blogs, books, links, or general terminology". According these rules, these kind of questions are off-topic. Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 8:24

7 Answers 7


First, to set the tone, you may start with this StackOverflow question on agile, lean and Kanban.

In short, agile and lean are general concepts, the former basing on Agile Manifesto and the latter on Toyota Production System. Then we have Scrum or XP, built over agile, and Kanban, built over lean, which are specific methods teams can implement, like Prince2.

Personally, I don't treat agile and lean movements in a very orthodox way -- they base on the same principles. So, to some point, they're overlapping. Also, you will find teams mixing methods from both houses, Scrumban (a combination of Scrum and Kanban) being probably the most common.

If you wanted to position agile/lean methods somehow I'd say that:

  • Scrum is the closest to the old-school project management methods, although it doesn't really deal with formal side of project management.
  • XP focuses on engineering practices and is generally programmer-centered.
  • Kanban is often dubbed change management framework as it doesn't change the way team works on the day 1 and lets the process evolve over time.

As all three focuses on different things, it isn't uncommon to see them, or their parts, used jointly.

If you want to learn more I'd start with such set of materials:

In terms of books as a kick start, I'd recommend:


As for Scrum I would recommend reading "Scrum and XP from the trenches".

As for Kanban, you should listen to one of the great speaks from Pawel Brodzinski. He sells Kanban as easy as he is breathing. One link I found in no time: http://blog.brodzinski.com/2010/11/kanban-basics.html

As for Agile, it's a very large domain. Should we stick to Agile Manifesto only?

  • +1 Scrum and XP from the trenches is a great eBook. It should sufficiently cover Agile.
    – ashes999
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 19:46

Perry although I've heard mixed opinions I really enjoyed Corey Ladas book Scrumban

Also there is some great material from Henrik Kniberg. For example: Kanban vs. Scrum


Agile Learning Labs, a San Francisco based Agile coaching shop, just released Elements of Scrum. I reviewed the book on my blog and can highly recommend it. Based on a handbook from their CSM courses, the book is a very easy read that mirrors the relaxed coaching style ALL has been successfully using (I took my CSM course from them). Even though is is a high level primer, I still keep it on my office bookshelf. I've reach for it about once a week, either for my own reference or to explain something to someone.


Books on Scrum:

  • The Scrum Guide - by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland; short, concise, free PDF that covers just the essentials for working iterative/incremental.
  • Agile Software Development with Scrum - Schwaber/Beedle; canonical text that is often referred to as "The Bible" by many teams. Lots of great supporting material about why iterative/incremental frameworks like Scrum help teams become more productive and deliver ROI.


  • The venerable Agile Toolkit Podcast by Bob Payne. Bob's interviewed just about every thought leader in the agile space over five years. Sometimes there's huge gaps between casts, but each one is worthwhile.
  • I'm a bit distanced to Ken Schwaber as he is known to have very orthodox approach to Scrum, see: kenschwaber.wordpress.com/2010/06/10/… Anyway the book is good. Commented Apr 23, 2011 at 9:41
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    I understand the reticence some have about Ken's approach, but seeing as he and Jeff created it, the "orthodoxy" is similarly understandable. Scrum is just a rules framework that some can't adapt toward, hence the various flavours which are all well and good. They're just not Scrum. I concur with what Ken says in his post from last June - people are free to come up with their own systems and try them out - just don't call them Scrum. Commented Apr 25, 2011 at 2:08

I see a lot of people answered your question.

If you are interested in Kanban, Scrum (or Scrumban) you should try them out and then you'll find out which of them is the best suit for you.

I recommend Kanban, as it more about workflow than visualization, but it's just me. It all depends on what do you want to achieve with it.

Also, you can read here about differences between Kanban&Scrum.


Here you can read about the differences between Scrumban and Kanban: What are some differences between Scrumban and Kanban?

And here's the book i'd recommend for anyone who is new to scrumban: The Scrumban Evolution Software Development ebook

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