There is a great deal of literature available on software development, agility, project management, leadership, and related topics. Here are a few things that are in my collection that I would recommend be in yours as well.
In Agile Retrospectives, Esther Derby and Diana Larsen compile a wealth of information about conducting retrospectives that lead your teams to continuous learning. Based on their years of experience the authors provide a six stage process to help ensure you can steer your team toward the path of improvement. Using the tips in this book will help Scrum Masters succeed at one of their greatest challenges.
Just from that quote, it is pretty clear what author and management consultant Stephen Denning the focus of business should be. In reading his book, The Leader's Guide to Radical Management, you will also discover how much of today's management theories and practices miss the mark by focusing on everything but customer delight.
Denning defines 7 principles of what he terms Radical Management which will be very familiar to agile proponents:
- Focus Work on Delighting the Client
- Do Work Through Self-Organizing Teams
- Do Work in Client-Drive Iterations
- Deliver Value to Client Each Iteration
- Be Totally Open About Impediments to Improvement
- Create a Context for Continuous Self-Improvement by the Team Itself
- Communicate Through Interactive Conversations
As I continue to work with more and more teams, Lyssa Adkins' Coaching Agile Teams has become a constant companion. Whether I'm searching for a way to reach a particular individual, or seeking to raise the level of the team as whole Lyssa has provided a wealth of practical information to guide the way. No Scrum Master or Agile Project Manager should be without this book.
I've recently re-read both of these books and continue to get more insight from them both. Told in a story format, neither is the typical leadership or organizational development foray into the nebula. They speak of real people and real situations to help us understand that solving other people's problems begins with solving our own -- we are part of the problem too. Are we looking at others as people with similar needs as our own, or simply as objects that stand in the way of what we want? Do we allow our actions and interactions to be colored by the "Better-Than " or "Must-Be-Seen-As" boxes? Are our interactions really collusions that make the issues worse, not better?
All of us, and each of our team members, will too frequently find the answer to all of those questions to be a resounding yes! Read these books to learn about getting out of those boxes to lead in ways that respect people and their needs to astounding results.
Also visit the Arbinger Institute for more information and additional resources.