The Scrum Field Guide


One of the best Agile Software Development books of all time

BookAuthority. The Scrum Field Guide has ranked in the top 100 for 2018, 2019 and 2020.

The 1st Edition has a 5-Star Amazon Customer Rating and 135 reviews.

Thousands of organizations are adopting Scrum to transform the way they execute complex projects, in software and beyond. This guide will give you the skills and confidence needed to deploy Scrum, resulting in high-performing teams and satisfied customers. Drawing on years of hands-on experience helping companies succeed, Certified Scrum Trainer (CST) Mitch Lacey helps you overcome the major challenges of Scrum adoption and the deeper issues that emerge later.

The 2nd Edition covers many new topics, including immersive interviewing, collaborative estimation, and deepening business alignment. In 35 engaging chapters, you'll learn how to build support and maximize value across your company.

As part of the renowned Mike Cohn Signature Series on agile development, this pragmatic guide addresses everything from establishing roles and priorities to determining team velocity, setting sprint length, and conducting customer reviews.

Jim Newkirk, VP of Platform, iStreamPlanet
"I have found The Scrum Field Guide by Mitch Lacey to be one of the best books on the market to help teams with their adoption of Scrum and agile engineering practices. Lacey's book is targeted at new Scrum adoptions, but I have found it to be a useful resource with my teams on more advanced topics such as hiring, driving to completion,and building company-wide cohesion. This is one book that will not just sit on your bookshelf or take up space in your Kindle."
Brad Wilson, Microsoft
"If your organization is adopting Scrum, you need this book. The stories you will read are all stories that every person in software has lived; dealing with challenging customers, creating new teams, release planning and more. You'll find yourself returning to The Scrum Field Guide over and over, discovering more and more ideas to help you with your adoption."
Gaylyn Thompson, Manager, Oil & Gas Industry
"Some would say adopting and using Scrum is difficult and rigid. However, using Scrum streamlines your projects, and allows for value delivery in less time. The Scrum Field Guide is an engaging read that identifies challenges accompanying Scrum adoption as well as additional issues for companies already immersed in Scrum. Mitch does an excellent job of providing solid, easy to follow core agile concepts that make Scrum work. I continually reference the book for new ways to help teams that are learning and practicing the framework."

The book is designed for you to be able to read any chapter, in any order, at any time. Each chapter starts out with a story pulled from a team, company, or project that I worked on or coached. As you might expect, I’ve changed the names to protect the innocent (and even the guilty). Once you read the story, which will likely sound familiar in some fashion, I walk you through the model. The model is what I use in the field to help address the issues evident in the story. Some of the models might feel uncomfortable, or you might believe they won’t work for your company. I urge you to fight the

instinct to ignore the advice or to modify the model. Try it at least three times and see what happens. You might be surprised. At the end of each chapter, I summarize the keys to success—those factors that can either make or break your implementation.

This book is organized in five parts.

  • Part I, “Getting Prepared,” gives you advice on getting started with Scrum, helping you set up for success. If you are just thinking about Scrum or are just beginning to use it, start there.

  • Part II, “Field Basics,” discusses items that, once you get started down the agile path, help you over some of the initial stumbling blocks that teams and organizations encounter. If you’ve gotten your feet wet with Scrum but are running into issues, you might want to start here.

  • Part III, “First Aid,” is where I deal with some of the larger, deeper issues that companies face, such as adding people to projects or fixing dysfunctional daily standup meetings. These are situations you’ll likely find yourself in at one point or another during your first year. These chapters help you triage and treat the situation, allowing your team to return to a healthy state.

  • Part IV, “Advanced Survival Techniques,” contains a series of items that teams seem to struggle with regardless of where they are in their adoption—things such as costing projects, writing contacts, and addressing documentation in agile and Scrum projects.

  • Part V, “Wilderness Essentials,” contains chapters that focus on overlooked, yet just as costly, problems that most organizations face when they are in the middle of their agile adoption, such as managing risks, interviewing, getting it right the first time, and more.

If you are starting from scratch and have no idea what Scrum is, I’ve included a short description in the appendix to help familiarize you with the terms. You might also want to do some more reading on Scrum before diving into this book.

Coverage includes

  • Bringing teams and new team members on board

  • Creating a workable definition of "done"

  • Planning for short-term wins, and removing impediments to success

  • Balancing predictability and adaptability in release planning

  • Running productive daily scrums

  • Fixing failing sprints

  • Accurately costing projects, and measuring the value they deliver

  • Managing risks in dynamic Scrum projects

  • Prioritizing and estimating backlogs

  • Working with distributed and offshore teams

  • Institutionalizing improvements, and extending agility throughout the organization

If you are thinking about getting started with Scrum or agile, are at the beginning of your journey, or have been at it a year or so but feel like you’ve gotten lost along the way, this book is for you. I’m officially targeting companies that are within six months of starting a project to those that are a year into their implementation—an 18-month window.

This is a book for people who are pragmatic. If you are looking for theory and esoteric discussions, grab another of the many excellent books on Scrum and agile. If, on the other hand, you want practical advice and real data based on my experience running projects both at Microsoft and while coaching teams and consulting at large Fortune 100 companies, this book fits the bill.

Regardless of where we are on our agile journey, we all need a friendly reminder that what we are experiencing is normal, some suggestions on how to deal with issues, and a few keys for success. This book gives you all that in a format that allows you to read only the chapter you need, an entire section, or the whole thing. Its real-life situations will resonate with you, and its solutions can be applied by any team. Turn the page and read the stories. This field guide will become a trusted companion as you experience the highs and lows of Scrum and Extreme Programming.

Buy Now

Are you interested in learning more? Do you want to help take your Scrum team and your organization to the next level? Check out The Scrum Field Guide, 2nd Edition, on Amazon now. (please note, as an Amazon associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.)