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Succeeding With Agile: Software Development Using Scrum (10 Edition)


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ISBN13: 9780321579362
ISBN10: 0321579364
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Proven, 100% Practical Guidance for Making Scrum and Agile Work in Any Organization


This is the definitive, realistic, actionable guide to starting fast with Scrum and agile–and then succeeding over the long haul. Leading agile consultant and practitioner Mike Cohn presents detailed recommendations, powerful tips, and real-world case studies drawn from his unparalleled experience helping hundreds of software organizations make Scrum and agile work.


Succeeding with Agile is for pragmatic software professionals who want real answers to the most difficult challenges they face in implementing Scrum. Cohn covers every facet of the transition: getting started, helping individuals transition to new roles, structuring teams, scaling up, working with a distributed team, and finally, implementing effective metrics and continuous improvement.


Throughout, Cohn presents “Things to Try Now” sections based on his most successful advice. Complementary “Objection” sections reproduce typical conversations with those resisting change and offer practical guidance for addressing their concerns. Coverage includes 

  • Practical ways to get started immediately–and “get good” fast
  • Overcoming individual resistance to the changes Scrum requires
  • Staffing Scrum projects and building effective teams
  • Establishing “improvement communities” of people who are passionate about driving change
  • Choosing which agile technical practices to use or experiment with
  • Leading self-organizing teams
  • Making the most of Scrum sprints, planning, and quality techniques
  • Scaling Scrum to distributed, multiteam projects
  • Using Scrum on projects with complex sequential processes or challenging compliance and governance requirements
  • Understanding Scrum’s impact on HR, facilities, and project management

Whether you've completed a few sprints or multiple agile projects and whatever your role–manager, developer, coach, ScrumMaster, product owner, analyst, team lead, or project lead–this book will help you succeed with your very next project. Then, it will help you go much further: It will help you transform your entire development organization.


About the Author

Mike Cohn is author of two of the world’s most respected and popular Agile books, Agile Estimating and Planning and User Stories Applied. His clients include the BBC, Capital One, Covad, Electronic Arts, Experian, Google, Intuit, John Deere, Lexis Nexis, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Nielsen Media, Nokia, Philips Electronics, Reed Elsevier, Sabre,, Siemens, Sony, Texas Instruments, Time Warner, Turner Broadcasting, the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, Yahoo, and many others. Cohn has been doing Scrum since 1995, before the term “Agile” was even applied to software development. He is a founding member of the Agile Alliance, Agile Project Leadership Network, and the Scrum Alliance.

Table of Contents

Foreword     xvii

Introduction     xix

Part I: Getting Started     1

Chapter 1: Why Becoming Agile Is Hard (But Worth It)     3

Chapter 2: ADAPTing to Scrum     21

Chapter 3: Patterns for Adopting Scrum     43

Chapter 4: Iterating Toward Agility     61

Chapter 5: Your First Projects     81

Part II: Individuals     95

Chapter 6: Overcoming Resistance     97

Chapter 7: New Roles     117

Chapter 8: Changed Roles     137

Chapter 9: Technical Practices     155

Part III: Teams     175

Chapter 10: Team Structure     177

Chapter 11: Teamwork     201

Chapter 12: Leading a Self-Organizing Team     219

Chapter 13: The Product Backlog     235

Chapter 14: Sprints     257

Chapter 15: Planning     285

Chapter 16: Quality     307

Part IV: The Organization     325

Chapter 17: Scaling Scrum     327

Chapter 18: Distributed Teams     355

Chapter 19: Coexisting with Other Approaches     389

Chapter 20: Human Resources, Facilities, and the PMO     405

Part V: Next Steps     427

Chapter 21: Seeing How Far You’ve Come     429

Chapter 22: You’re Not Done Yet     447

Reference List     449

Index     465


What Our Readers Are Saying

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Hubert, December 5, 2009 (view all comments by Hubert)
Mike Cohn has been taking notes during his Scrum classes, notes from all the questions and answers from his students. As a Scrum trainer I recognize many of the questions, and I admire Mike's answers. Mike has seen a lot of project situations, a lot of Scrum implementations, in very different organizations, and he shares his insights, tips and practices freely in this book. I admire how he brings his personal experiences, and references to materials from others together, 'elegant' is probably a good word for his approach. The book is so packed with information and experience that you will want to go back to it time after time, like an Agile-Coach-in-a-Book. If you're serious about implementing Scrum then keep the book handy, and refer to it often, it will kick-start your search for the answers to your implementation obstacles.
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Product Details

Cohn, Mike
Addison-Wesley Professional
Software Development & Engineering - General
agile software development
Scrum (Computer software development)
Programming - General
Programming - Software Development
Software Engineering-General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Addison-Wesley Signature Series (Cohn)
Publication Date:
October 2009
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
9 x 7.34 x 1.058 in 826 gr

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