A list of the top 15 agile books


Hi everyone :slight_smile: I recently curated a list of the top 15 agile books and thought I’d share it with the group. I chose the 15 books by checking out online discussions, other blog lists and Amazon reviews. This also ties in with the Agile Uprising Book Shelves discussion, so feel free to get ideas from my list! :slight_smile: I hope it’s useful.

Agile Uprising Bookshelves
Welcome to the Coalition! Introduce yourself :-)

Hi Alison
There isn’t a link for your list, it just shows in a blue font :neutral_face:


Hmm, both links worked fine for me. The Knowledge train one took a while to load, but did eventually.

Good list @alisonwood - I think I have read all of the 15, but some it has been a few years. One worth considering would be David Anderson’s blue book on Kanban.


Oh really, that’s strange. It happened to someone else earlier. See if this works? https://www.knowledgetrain.co.uk/resources/practice/top-agile-books


oo really, I think I read on the other post that you used to read one a week?

Did you mean this book? https://www.amazon.com/Kanban-David-J-Anderson-ebook/dp/B0057H2M70 I just had a flick through the reviews. I didn’t realise “kan-ban” is Japanese for “signal card”


@alisonwood it’s working now, thanks.


Yup, thats it :thumbsup:


Thanks for sharing the list @alisonwood its an interesting list. So is this thread to debate and lobby for other books that should be on the list? :slight_smile:


Yes please, go ahead :slight_smile: I made the list before I stumbled across Agile Uprising, so I didn’t get to ask everyone here about their favourites.


No worries. As with most lists, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this list. Lots of knowledge to absorb and bring to teams. I would have difficulty keeping my list to 15 lol.

Two books I give to every client and encompass the kind of work I enjoy most and bring the most value are:
Lean Enterprise: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QL5MSF8/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
User Story Mapping: https://www.amazon.com/User-Story-Mapping-Discover-Product-ebook/dp/B00NF07FHS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1488291581&sr=1-1&keywords=user+story+mapping

Both written by ThoughtWorkers (current and former). :slight_smile:


As Chris said, lists are subjective. So, while there are only a couple on this list I’d recommend, it doesn’t mean it’s not a great source of good knowledge. Casual observation that it’s very Scrum heavy for a list of “agile books.”


Lean Change Management by Jason Little changed my life, and that’s no lie. I have so many page flags, bookmarks, and highlighted sections that it’s nearly unreadable to anyone but me.

Lean Enterprise is also fantastic; it’s heavy with a ton of info but I refer to it frequently (h/t @chrismurman)

Phoenix Project…I wish every “manager” and “leader” involved in my current transformation was forced to read this book. I read it in one day and loved the hell out of it, explains the enlightenment and transformative aspects of an agile adoption better than any powerpoint deck or conference talk.

I could go on for hours, I read at warp speed. Vacation last week, finished three books (and no @ryan they weren’t trashy love novels) :slight_smile:


Lyssa Adkins book Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition would probably be my #1. I’m surprised it’s not on your list :slight_smile: I also agree with User Story Mapping by Jeff Patton. Life-changing stuff! The opportunity to peek into these genius’ brains is such a privilege.


I think we can all go one for hours. There is so much literature available for us to learn from .Here is a few non-scrum focused books that have helped me in my coaching journey:

  1. Drive by Daniel Pink
  2. Crucial Conversations by Kelly Patterson
  3. The Principles of Product Development Flow by Donald G. Reinersten
  4. Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit by Mary and Tom Poppendieck
  5. Management 3.0 by Jurgen Appelo
  6. Agile Estimating and Planning by Mike Cohn
  7. Agile Testing by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory


Oh man if we start down the rabbit hole of Drive I can think of a ton more books that I recommend. Non-agile books that promote agile mindset. Nudge, Thinking Fast And Slow, Checklist Manifesto and others.

The Poppendieck book at this point is severely underrated because it was published eight years before Lean Startup. That’s insane. Crucial Conversations is amazing as well but I prefer the follow up to it, Crucial Confrontations. Really helped me out.


holy smokes…thanks!


My favorite has always been The Art of Agile Development by James Shore. Most of my favs have been timeless, “non-agile” books like Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni, The Art of Focused Conversation by Brian Stanfield, Your Brain at Work by David Rock, Work Revolution by Julie Clow, Switch and Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath etc…


If we’re going down the non-Agile book rabbit hole… Nassim Taleb’s Incerto. The Black Swan was one of the most difficult yet rewarding books I’ve ever read. I now read everything he writes.


+1 to anything by Lencioni

Back of the Napkin by Roam

Lean Change Managment by some Canadian guy… :stuck_out_tongue:

Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration–Lessons from The Second City


Agile Retrospectives - Derby/Larsen