Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Agile Reading for Executives

A recent email I sent, slightly edited.

Dear Mike and Mark:

You asked for something to give the executives and managers.

I might send them "The New New Product Development Game" article (see below).  With a short explanation. And then offer them these other things to look at.

Other options:

Software in 30 Days - Schwaber and Sutherland. More from the manager's viewpoint than other Scrum books.

"The Basics of Scrum" - a great paper. I assume it must have been written by Jeff Sutherland, who is great.  I will confirm that. 9 pages.

Drive, by Daniel Pink is great on motivation for knowledge workers. 272 pages.
Video about Drive (Daniel Pink). Here:  About 18 minutes.

"The New New Product Development Game" by Takeuchi and Nonaka -  This is the key paper that led to the development of Scrum.  Many of the key principles behind Scrum are described there.  And the use of the Scrum metaphor in that paper led to the name of "Scrum" for this agile method.  11 pages (HBR)

The Power of Scrum by Sutherland et al.  A "novel" about a manager's journey.  Fairly realistic. Semi-real (that is, I am sure they took a real situation, and modified it some.)  Not a Tom Clancy novel.  But still, a lot of key ideas from an exec's viewpoint, in an easy to read format.  128 pages.

"Six Myths of Product Development" by Thomke and Reinertsen. Wonderful recent HBR article. Not about Scrum per se, but all the 6 ideas (myths) are key to Scrum.  And if executives or managers do not understand these 6 key ideas, and particularly if they take decisions contrary to them, then Scrum will be much less effective.  9 pages. (HBR)

"Scrrum and CMMI - Going from Good to Great" by Jakobsen and Sutherland. Short read about implementing Scrum. 5 pages.

"The Discipline of Teams" by Katzenbach and Smith. Strong, stable, real, dedicated Teams are key to successful Scrum. Extremely common that executives and managers do not value the Team enough.  11 pages. (HBR)  They also wrote a book, The Wisdom of Teams. Recommended.

"Knowledge-Worker Productivity: The Biggest Challenge" by Peter Drucker.  On page "83" there are 6 major points.  16 pages.

Regards, Joe
I will get these all on my website soon.  Some are there now.

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