I first discovered Ilan’s Goldstein’s Scrum shortcuts on his blog where I quickly became a fan of his practical advice and personal stories from his years of experience implementing Scrum. Plus, the Scrumtroopers were a lot of fun. So I was delighted to learn he was writing a book that would expand on the nuggets of wisdom on his blog.
In the forward, Goldstein suggests reading Scrum Shortcuts without Cutting Corners: Agile Tactics, Tools, & Tips like a recipe book – simply flip to the shortcut you are looking for and decide which ingredients work for you. If you are fairly experienced with Scrum, then I would recommend using the book this way. Each chapter focuses on a specific challenge most ScrumMasters face and provides practical advice and real-world anecdotes to illustrate the shortcut. Since ideas and practices are often interconnected, simple cross-references to the relevant shortcuts make the answers you need easy to find. In addition to covering the usual challenges ScrumMasters encounter, Scrum Shortcuts also covers topics not typically addressed by other books, such as:
- selling Scrum to your teams and organizations,
- choosing your team,
- managing risks,
- reviewing the entire product,
- using metrics that matter,
- managing managers, and
- determining whether Scrum really is working.
Although you can read it like a recipe book, Scrum Shortcuts should not be used as a recipe on how to apply Scrum to all projects in any organization. Throughout the book, Goldstein acknowledges that implementing Scrum is tough and the shortcuts are the various things he has learned the hard way. The shortcuts are more food for thought, giving ScrumMasters simple ideas to adapt and implement in a way that makes the most sense for their teams.
While not recommended as a first book to explain principles and practices, Scrum Shortcuts is accessible for the beginner ScrumMaster who has done some reading or training and is looking for more real world applications. Goldstein uses humour, trivia and many stories from his personal experience to which any budding ScrumMaster can relate. His open, conversational writing style also makes the book fun to read.
If you are a ScrumMaster, Product Owner or Agile Project Manager looking for real world insight on how to get beyond the basics of Scrum, then I recommend reading Scrum Shortcuts without Cutting Corners: Agile Tactics, Tools, & Tips.
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- How Scrum Can Improve Team Productivity
- How NOT To Implement Agile
- How a Traditional Project Manager Felt Relief by Doing Scrum. (agile.dzone.com)