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6 Scrum Master Books every Scrum Master should Read

17 Oct 2019

Anyone who has ever taken on a role of Scrum Master will tell you it is much harder than it looks. The responsibilities are massive, the traps are common and the organizations are unwilling to change. 

That is why we have made a selection of 6 Scrum Master books you should read if you are thinking of becoming a Scrum Master, or even if you are already one. 

1. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, Jeff Sutherland

Twice the work in half the time

This book was written by the current CEO of Scrum, Inc and the co-creator of Scrum himself, Jeff Sutherland and you want to read this book. The book is one of the main reads for anyone who even thinks about considering becoming a Scrum Master. 

It’s as simple as that. 

The book explains what Scrum is, where it came from and how it can be implemented in various contexts, among other things. If you have concerns or questions about leadership and management, you should refer to this book. It's less technical and more inspirational about finding the more Agile and more efficient way to get things done. 

2. The Great Scrum Master: #SrumMasterWay, Zuzana Šochová

The Great Scrum Master

If you want to master the Scrum, you have to become one with the Scrum! Jokes aside, this book is a great asset that will help Scrum Master begin their journey of transforming the organizations they work for or are about to work for. 

The Great Scrum Master, written by Zuzana Šochová will help you understand difficult situations you may face as well as help you find the right solution by implementing the right strategies through practical examples portrayed in the book. 


3. Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches and Project Managers in Transition, Lyssa Adkins

Coaching agile teams

We previously included this book on our list of best books for Agile project management, but we simply couldn’t leave it off this list as well. 

As you may already know, your responsibility as a Scrum Master doesn't only include transforming an organization but also guiding the Scrum teams and Product Owners on utilizing the Scrum framework in the most efficient and reliable way. 

Any questions you may have about how to embrace the role of an Agile coach and how to properly guide the teams, you will find the right answers in this book. Written by Lyssa Adkins, this book will guide you through adopting a new mindset and how to guide teams to extraordinary performance in a re-energized work environment.

4. Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great, Esther Derby, Ken Schwaber

Making good teams great

This book is brought to you by Esther Derby, Diana Larsen and Ken Schwaber. Yes, that Ken Schwaber. The book describes retrospectives, one of the fundamental practices in Agile that every Scrum Master must be familiar with. You'll be able to learn how to leverage a high-value retrospective framework. 

Normally, retrospectives are designed to determine what went right and what went wrong at the end of the project when it's too late to fix anything. However, this book focuses on Agile retrospectives and how they are made to be incremental and iterative to help you fix problems during the project's lifecycle.

5. The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable, Patric Lencioni

5 dysfunctions of a team

As its name suggests, this book focuses on the main 5 dysfunctions that hold the teams back and prevent them from being highly-functional and productive. This is a must-read for Scrum Masters who want to ensure optimal productivity for their Scrum teams. 

The author of this book, Patrick Lencioni tells a story about the root problems within the teams that are also the underlying issue that leads to other and more serious problems. This is actually a third book in the series besides The Five Temptations of a CEO and The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive, but you don't have to read all of them if you don't want to, just the last one will do. 

If you want to learn how to recognize and remedy these issues, this book will certainly help you out immensely. 

6. The Scrum Field Guide: Practical Advice For Your First year, Mitch Lacey

The Scrum field guide

Many of you have just obtained their certification and are about to kick start your Scrum Master career. As you're probably aware by now, knowledge in theory and practice are two different things. You undoubtedly understand what you have to do or how to do it but once you have to put it in practice, you might freeze. 

That's okay and you shouldn't be intimidated if it ever happens to you first day on the job. That's why this book, written by Mitch Lacey and forwarded by Jim Highsmith and Jeff Sutherland will help you navigate your first year as a Scrum Master. 

All the fundamental practices of Scrum, as well as business aspects, such as approaching contacts and stakeholders, are covered in this book in great detail. Give it a go, it will help you get your foot in the door.

Closing word

Improving oneself is never a bad thing. Agile is designed to adapt to changes and dynamics of the market. The same can be said for Scrum Masters. If you don't work on yourself and seek to improve your knowledge, skills and experiences, you'll be stuck.

These Scrum Master books can help you avoid this.