Agile2016 Souvenir Booklist

By: Agile Velocity | Aug 03, 2016 |  Agile Tools,  Article

Agile books to read from Agile2016 - picture of a vast libraryA few things I learned attending Agile2016:

  1. There are a lot of Agilists. Over 2,500 attended Agile2016–the biggest one yet.
  2. Agilists know how to socialize.
  3. There’s no board game you can’t giantize.
  4. Books are everything. They are the life force that sustains and grow our community.

For every keynote and session I attended, at least one book was cited as a resource or inspiration. They were mentioned casually like how one talks about an old friend and reverently like how one speaks of a favorite professor. The following is my souvenir Agile2016 reading list. Please feel free to add to the list in the comments below.

The Halo Effect…And The Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers

Author: Phil Rosenzwieg

The Halo Effect is when one believes the central source of success causes other facets of the system to also shine due to the halo of light shining upon them. In business, the central source is often financial performance, the various parts being strategy, values, leadership, and execution.

The book explains why the Halo Effect is a dangerous delusion keeping leadership from truly understanding in addition to exploring seven other distractions.


Managing For Happiness

Author: Jurgen Appelo

Jurgen Appelo kicked off Agile2016 with a rousing (and hilarious) keynote about creating happier employees using seven silver bullets outlined in his latest book, Managing For Happiness. The book provides tools, games, and practices that prove Appelo’s hypothesis: “work and fun are not polar opposites; they’re two sides of the same coin.”


The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team: A Leadership Fable

Author: Patrick Lencioni

This book was referenced in multiple sessions. The heroine of the fable is Kathryn Petersen, a CEO tasked with uniting a team that defines dysfunction. The team is so dysfunctional that the entire company is at risk. Lencioni explains five flaws that cause even the best teams to struggle through Petersen and Decision Tech.


The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, And Helping Your Business Win

Authors: Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spafford

Like Five Dysfunctions (above), Phoenix Project uses storytelling to explore team dynamics and processes. The protagonist, Bill, has been mandated by the CEO to complete a project that is critical to the company’s future in 90 days or else his entire department will be outsourced. With the project already over budget and late, Bill turns to The Three Ways, (wild guess what the Three Ways alludes to?) a new working philosophy to help him streamline communications, expedite work flow, and serve other parts of the company.


Liftoff: Launching Agile Teams & Projects

Authors: Diana Larsen, Ainsley Nies

Larsen and Ainsley explain the importance of lift off (kickoff, project launch, team launch) to the project’s success and how to facilitate this important Agile practice including activities and a working framework.


The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

Author: Douglas Adams

This book is for those searching for the meaning of life or needs answers to important questions. Also for those who just want a whimsical fun read.


Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life

Author: Jim Benson

It’s not about the amount of work you do, but what work you should be doing. Benson uses Lean principles from manufacturing and applies it to the individual. Do we know why that task or project is on the board? What is the impact or value will completing the item bring?


Tribal Leadership

Authors: Dave Logan, John King, Halee Fischer-Wright

A piece is to a puzzle as a tribe is to a business. What is a tribe? How do they develop and how do you lead them? Mentioned in Carrie Kish’s closing keynote, the book helps leaders organize tribes within their organization and harness their unique traits and skills for a common goal.


Badass: Making Users Awesome

Author: Kathy Sierra

During the Wednesday keynote, Joshua Kerievsky explained how great designers make their users look good. The water balloon hose adapter for example, made him look good because he was able to make a lot of water balloons in a fraction of the time. A win for him, and a win for his little girl.

Given the same pricing, marketing, and quality, why does one product outsell the others? Sierra explains that the strategy is not about making successful products, but about making successful users.


Bookstore (marketing books that I should have bought that I was there)

  • Nicely Said: Writing For The Web With Style And Purpose
  • 100 Things Every Designer Needs To Know About People


Workout Book For Your Brain

  • Lethal Lateral Thinking Puzzles


2 Responses to “Agile2016 Souvenir Booklist”

  1. Good list. I’ve read most and will add those I haven’t on my list. Two to add to the list are:

    Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers into Leaders
    Author: L. David Marquet

    Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World
    Author: General Stanley McChrystal

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