With the entire Internet at our fingertips and the ability to receive thousands of bytes of information on-demand in our daily lives, it’s no wonder a beginner at anything can feel overwhelmed. The good news is that these days, no matter what type of learner you are, the Internet can help you conceptualize, diagram, construct, and release your ideas.

There is, however, an existing methodology that can also help you with that, in a much more efficient way: the Agile production methodology.

You might have heard of terms such as Agile, SAFe, and Scrum, perhaps in passing, or perhaps you’ve mistaken them for rugby tactics. Maybe you’re not shipping your products on time and you’re looking for ways to better manage your production cycle. You’re looking to get your feet wet with some beginner guides to Agile production methodology and take your first steps.

Here are 3 books recommendations to understand how Agile production methodology works and how to put it in place.

30 Days to Better Agile

“30 Days to Better Agile” written by Angela Druckman in 2012, is exactly what it sounds like. Druckman organized her work in 5 chapters called “weeks” to reflect the length of a Scrum sprint and retrospective. Her aim is to target the busy professional who needs quick answers to questions and who wishes to transform a project in 30 days.

Druckman uses her background as a Certified ScrumMaster®, Certified Scrum Trainer®, Certified Scrum Product Owner®, as well as decades of experience to craft an easily digestible walkthrough of common problems and to explain why these problems exist and what their solutions may be.

A beginner at Agile production methodology will appreciate Druckman’s ability to use her wit and empathetic resourcefulness to connect with her readers interpersonally and professionally through the text.

“30 Days to Better Agile” is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in bulk from The Druckman Company. It currently boasts a 4.3 out of 5 stars rating on Goodreads.

The Mythical Man-Month 

“The Mythical Man-Month,” initially published by Fred Brooks in 1975, with subsequent editions in 1985 and 1995, has been a staple on the desks of software engineers and project managers for decades. In a collection of essays, Brooks describes software development in the budding era of the technology.

Brooks centers his ideas around a unit of measurement, the ‘man-month’, and acknowledges its pitfalls when scheduling a production cycle. He addresses common issues regarding staffing and barriers to communication and introduces new ways to think about bottlenecks in production.

“The Mythical Man-Month” is not technically Agile in that the book predates the conception of Agile production methodology. It makes this list because of its bountiful wisdom that is still relevant more than four decades later. Its influence on software development and the subsequent creation of Agile is indisputable. When studying the fruits of a tree, it’s important to look at its roots. 

“The Mythical Man-Month” is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play, among others. It currently boasts 94% positive reviews on Google and 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

The Agile Samurai

“The Agile Samurai”, written by Jonathan Rasmusson in 2017, is the newest edition on this list. Rasmusson takes on the voice of an enthusiastic coach, ready to teach you Agile efficiently and cheer you on to become better. 

Designed with fun in mind and engaging with his audience through humor and light-hearted joviality, Rasmusson and his ‘Agile Sensei’ character walk the reader step by step through the foundations of Agile while making pointed jokes and showing relevant memes. It’s a journey between author and reader that will have you laughing and learning at the same time.

Beginners who have tactile and/or visual learning styles will appreciate this book’s approach to teaching Agile production methodology through hands-on exercises, eye-catching, purposeful artwork, and vivid ‘war-room’ recollections. 

“The Agile Samurai” is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Google Play, among others. It currently boasts a 4 out of 5 star average on Goodreads.

Extra Credit 

Ready to start your Agile project management journey? Learn more with this Good Practices Guide by TCLoc alumnus Anne-Sophie Leroy.

Want to read what started it all? Print a copy of the Agile Manifesto and keep it by your bedside table.

Kerry Saltvick is a TCLoc student, Amazon employee, certified ScrumMaster®, and budding game localization professional. Follow her on LinkedIn.

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