There are plenty of good agile books out there, but you can find the top 7 books for agile teams being passed around the Agility in Mind office this spring 2017 detailed below.


Book 1: The Coaching Habit

The promise this book makes is that you can work less hard and have more impact. Since many managers feel overwhelmed in the workplace, the idea of being more efficient is a good one. Michael Bungay Stanier walks you through 7 simple coaching questions to help your team members solve their own problems. This book is different because it also builds in a whole bunch of ideas from Duhigg’s book on habits.


Book 2: Extreme Ownership

Agile teams and their scrum masters are often charged with eliminating their own impediments. However, they fail to make the desired progress because they all too often get suck in organisational resistance. So former Navy Seal, Willink, walks through various leadership strategies employed by special forces teams to take ownership of their obstacles.


Book 3: Work Rules!

Taking on the traditions of decades of HR policy, Google has turned talent management on its head and ripped up the rule book. In this book Bock unlocks the people secrets that help make Google the envy of the fortune 100. When considering Google’s culture, you may think about on-site haircuts and massages? These have virtually zero cost to Google and are implemented by enterprising Googlers. The chapter on recruitment and the ideas on avoiding cognitive biases would benefit many organisations when hiring new talent.


Book 4: Brilliant Agile Project Management

Essential reading if you need a solid understanding of how Agile Project Management works. Your projects will fully benefit from using the innovative and powerful approach discussed. This book does more than just talk you through the techniques and processes. This book focuses on real-life use of agile in business environments. It provides practical advice and techniques on how to implement and work with Agile, so you always know exactly what to do and say to make your project a success. You can download Chapter 3  ‘Getting ready: preparing to be agile’ for free.


Book 5: Team of Teams

The second Navy Seals book to make the list, they really must be something in the water over in Virginia! In this book McChrystal describes how the special operations command adopted principles of decentralised authority (aka empowerment) and created a shared consciousness. For teams working in agile environments you’ll find a lot of similarities but there are also some great ideas to steal. As you form a portfolio of products or a program what will your team of teams look like?


Book 6: Turn the Ship Around!

This is an amazing story of servant leadership. Captain Marquet takes over the nuclear submarine USS Santa Fe and realises that he does not have sufficient knowledge to behave in a command and control style.  The real expertise lies within the crew of the ship. The metaphor is easily decipherable and as a result you will learn about empowering your team and leading by giving intent.


Book 7: Drive

Finally, the last of our top 7 books for agile teams. The traditional models of motivation, such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, have been replaced with a model for the digital age. Pink prescribes that the three elements of true motivation are autonomy, mastery and purpose. Consequently, Pink determines that people will be most creative when they feel motivated; primarily by interest, enjoyment, satisfaction and challenge of the work itself, rather than by external pressures.



YENA is sponsored by Agility in Mind, the digital delivery transformation consultancy.