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If you're a software developer or project manager then at some point you're going to come across the phrases "agile" and "scrum".
I think I ought to lay out a little disclaimer that I am a proponent of scrum processes and agile methods in general. As a software developer of 30 years experience I've been exposed to almost all the popular (and unpopular) productivity and management methods you can shake a stick at when it comes to getting software from the "good idea" to "being used and loved" stages. Some I hated, some I loved but didn't work and, despite a few enforced sojourns from it, I keep coming back to Scrum. I also use the pomodoro technique but that's not covered in this book.
First the negatives; the free review copy I received contained several audio errors where the narration either faded out or repeated words or sentences. A few other people had mentioned this on their reviews too. I discussed this with Clydebank directly and a new, corrected version of the audio will be replacing the version I listened to. A brief look at their responses to review comments should make it clear they are fairly responsive to criticism and appear to value customer service - something they actually reiterate in the audio too. Pretty unique in the audiobook world I think and an admirable quality. Top marks for this.
Now the raft of positives; a superb book which thoroughly covers what Scrum is, why it's worth adopting along with quotes and case studies to back up this suggestion. If you've read or listened to "Scrum: The Art of doing twice the work in half the time" which is written by John Sutherland the original author of scrum then Clydebank's Scrum quickstart guide is an excellent adjunct to this. The Scrum QSG goes much more into how to actually *do* Scrum rather than just *why* Scrum is a good idea. I'd definitely recommend getting both the book from J Sutherland and the Clydebank book as the two complement one another quite nicely.
A nice touch for this book is the inclusion of access to a PDF diagram which adds as a visual aid to the text and audio. I like this idea - it gives a bird's eye view of the content and is a nice easy-to-consume adjust which enhances the content of the actual book in a simple bite-sized chunk.
Lucy Vest's narration is at a good pace and her British accent is clear with a delivery that allows the listener to absorb the fairly technical content without listener fatigue creeping in.
All in all - a book to get if you are interested in project management, especially in the software development world or wider IT industry.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Note: I received a free copy of this for this review.
If you knew what Scrum was this book would be a really good way to refresh the material. But if you don't, it really fails to provide sufficient detail to allow you to use it. It was also presented in a fairly disjointed manner. For instance, the best part of the book, where it discusses the principals of Aglie is totally unrelated to the instance of Scrum and is given little introduction or context.
The case studies are fun pictures of how implementing any system might be implemented and the limitations and tricks, but their depth is insufficient to fully replicate what they are saying.
The book as a whole isn't bad, it's well written and most parts are interesting, I just think Scrum is too complicated a process to be introduced in such a short, non-technical work.
The reader is competent, though has some long awkward pauses in the beginning, she hits her flow near the end. Also she doesn't inject much emotion into the work.