5 Books to Read for a Young ScrumMaster

illustration by Mimi

I keep getting this question over and over again from people who decided to become a ScrumMaster or just became recently: “What books do you recommend to start with?” So it’s time to put them on paper and add some comments on top.

0. The Scrum Guide

Yes. #0. The Scrum Guide is the official Scrum Body of Knowledge. It was written by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland, co-creators of Scrum. It’s the must prerequisite for becoming a ScrumMaster. I can’t imagine a ScrumMaster that isn’t familiar with it and who didn’t take it deep inside of her heart. The guide. Whenever you are not sure about this or that aspect of Scrum — just go there and read. I still keep opening for myself new and deeper learnings from this valuable source. Must read and re-read and re-read.

1. Scrum and XP from the Trenches

This book was written back in 2007 by Henrik Kniberg. It quickly became one of the most popular agile books. An amazingly simple to read story about Scrum and how it works on a day-to-day basis. Good for inspiration and to be a tipping point to start your Agile journey. It’s good while reading to come back to the Scrum Guide regularly.

2. Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit

This book will give you deep yet simple to understand core ideas behind word “Agile”. It will bring meaning into idea why Agile is not yet just another process or methodology but rather a mindset. Also, it will give you an answer why Agile isn’t just about software development.

3. Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition

Now this one. You already know basics of Scrum and Agile. Moreover, you are obviously curious what actions and skills will help you to get there. This book is overpacked with tons of ideas how to act as a ScrumMaster on a daily basis. Don’t try to digest it in one round — do it rather slowly & gradually using as a constant support on your day-to-day agile journey.

4. Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great

Retrospective — the most important part of Scrum. So the most failing miserably one. This book will just give you the most simple to understand and high-value delivering retrospectives framework and set of DIY recipes. Just read it, do what’s written there and you get automatically into the 5% subset of all ScrumMasters — the subset of gods who run awesome retros.

5. Large-Scale Scrum: More with LeSS

The last but not least. This book will uncover all the mysteries around running several teams Scrum. Also, this book will give you on top of that one of the best & clearest correct Scrum explanations. After this book, you will perceive the Scrum Dao & understand what stands behind one of the Agile Principles that states “Simplicity — the art of maximizing the amount of work not done — is essential.”

Of course, there are a lot more books that I would recommend to young ScrumMasters, and you definitely shouldn’t stop after the five mentioned. However, in my opinion, they are the ones that you should start with.

Wish you a pleasant Agile journey!