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Publisher's Summary

By the man who helped invent the red-hot management process known as "Scrum", Scrum unveils what is wrong with the way we currently do work, and how a simple set of principles, applied in exactly the right sequence, can accelerate productivity and quality as much as 1,200 percent.

Scrum (which gets its name from the formation in rugby in which the whole team locks its arms to gain control of the ball) is the reason that Amazon can launch a new feature on its website every day. It's why the Red River Army Depot in Texas was able to roll out armored Humvees 39 times faster than before. It's how the FBI finally created a massive terrorist-tracking database.

The reason for the rapid embrace of Scrum across so many disciplines is simple: organizations that implement Scrum typically double productivity and quality - and sometimes the increase can be as much as 12-fold. But the promise of Scrum as a project management tool extends far beyond business. Much as Atul Gawande did in The Checklist Manifesto, Sutherland shows how this unique approach to problem solving and team optimization has nearly universal application.

At bottom, Scrum is about coming together with your team, looking at what you're doing, and course correcting. It may be the key to solving some of this era's most intractable problems.

Please note: The author has intentionally omitted three consecutive pages of the 256-page print edition from this audiobook.

©2014 Jeff Sutherland (P)2014 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Great book but...

I'm new to audiobooks and my fear of listening to books like this is that I wouldn't be able to scroll to a the appendix and see some of the graphics discussed. It would be really cool if you could get an access code with the audiobook that would give you access to a website that shows the appendix or any other graphic discussed

55 of 58 people found this review helpful

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A 7 hour sales pitch "made for why, not how"

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I actually would, it was not a bad book by any stretch and I learned a fair bit. However I feel this book could be quickly cut down by 3 hours.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

This guy is super self-indulgent. I enjoy scrum and I love that he is passionate about his creation, but it's painful.

Which character – as performed by JJ Sutherland – was your favorite?

N/A

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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It was alright

The book had some really good overall concepts, which I have no doubt work very well when implemented. I definitely agree with all that the author spoke on about organizations needing to use a different method and scrum really does sound like a great option. I will likely bring it up in my own place of work.

My issue is that the entire book (except the one-chapter index at the very end) was basically just the author trying to explain scrum's achievements, which I pretty much already understood by reading the book's description (which is why I bought the book in the first place). He gives example after example of organizations that were using an archaic system for years, didn't want to change until they had no choice, then they implemented scrum and all their problems went away. I definitely believe that what the author says is true, but I feel like the entire book was just these same stories over and over again, like he was trying to convince his readers that scrum really does work, as if we still didn't believe him from the first ten times he told us.

I think it's cool how his son read the audio book, though he did come across as a bit arrogant with a touch of mild sarcasm scattered in from time to time.

Overall, I'm not unhappy that I bought/listened to this book, but I'm not crazy about the fact that 90% of the time I spent on it was pretty much pointless.

32 of 34 people found this review helpful

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  • Martin
  • Cork, Ireland
  • 07-12-15

When All You Have Got Is A Hammer ......

I needed a quick introduction to scrum and decided to go to the source based on the reviews. I was ultimately disappointed with the audiobook. There is way too much proselytizing and self-congratulating going on in it for my taste. I just wanted him to cut to the chase and explain the method. As another reviewer mentions, he also seems to have fallen into the trap that he has found a panacea for all the world's ills. The author follows a trend very common in technology writing of using lots of testosterone driven analogies and metaphors. Even though he is all for diversity in teams his language would be a major turn-off for a significant percentage of the population. It does eventually cover the ground but I would have preferred a shorter book by someone else that ditched the evangelical zeal.

41 of 44 people found this review helpful

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Gives a justification for pursuing scrum

The book focuses on the reasons and benefits of using scrum but does not go into the details of how to use scrum.

Very useful if, like me, you are new to the concept. The only complaint I have is that the author overstates his case and goes so far as to present scrum as the solution to all of he worlds problems. That was a little bit silly.

37 of 42 people found this review helpful

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Read Me First

I've been an agile developer since, well, before there was a manifesto. I've been Apache Agile, Extreme Programming Agile, and, nowadays, on my team we use Scrum with all the trimmings.

Sutherland's book is helping me gain a new respect for Scrum, and also helping me see some places where our own practice can be improved in small but significant ways.

The book is full of hard advice and riveting anecdotes, including how the FBI uses Scrum to keep us safe, and how Scrum brought us ATMs and prescriptions by mail.

A key theme of the book is that Scrum isn't just for manufacturing or for software, it's for planning and managing any process subject to constraints: Weddings, Black Ops teams, Frontline News Correspondents, Home Improvement Contractors -- you name it!

Best of all: Sutherland's book is totally boss-friendly. If you have, or you are, a manager, CTO, or CEO that doesn't really get what Scrum is about, but would be willing to learn: this is the book to read first.

Or, if you practice Scrum yourself, and think you know it all, trust me, you don't.

Newbie or not, this may be the last Scrum book you ever need to read.

84 of 98 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Sold scrum well

The book definitely sold the methodology well but you certainly don't come out of it knowing how to do the methodology. This book is more about the why then the how.

31 of 36 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

This was an amazing book to listen to. it was very clear on what scrum is, how it came about, and how to properly implement it. The numerous real world examples really helped solidify the teachings.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Lots of why and exapke stories and little of how

Good for Scrum beginner and experts also. Beginners should read additional info how to implement it in different scenarios.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Good Intro and practical Tips

Felt it was a very good intro into the topic. Good case study's. Maybe a bit to many of FBI, military stories for non us readers.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Zimmy
  • 03-13-15

Scrum is great but...

Scrum is a great way of working & this book is a must read if you are a project manager or involved in development but one star off for saying "When *I* invented Scrum..." about 60 million times. It smacks of rewriting history & I'm sure others were involved.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Kelly
  • 12-27-14

Brilliant refresher

Brilliant refresher for those who know Scrum well as well as a great introduction. Highly recommended read.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • fizzler
  • 05-03-15

Some good basic applicable techniques

Having listened to/read a number of books of this nature, I usually purchase looking for small number of actionable improvement techniques for everyday situations. This book delivers this to a reasonable degree and is worthy of a listen.

The somewhat egotistical delivery did not bother me, however this has been a concern for some (going by other reviews)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jon
  • 12-12-14

Genuinely useful ideas here

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If you're interested in productivity ideas, then this will be worth reading. Most books like this promise a lot but turn out to be a single, small idea that's been overinflated. This one's genuinely helpful.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Scrum?

The unusual structure was risky but worked well. Most of the book illustrates why the Scrum method is helpful; only near the end is the method outlined step by step. It does work well this way. By the time you reach the method, you have good reason to believe that it's necessary.

Have you listened to any of J. J. Sutherland’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I'm Glad this is narrated by the author - it conveys his enthusiasm well. He sound a lot more real than some other non-fiction narrators I've heard.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Peter
  • 07-02-15

Practical and easy to read and understand. The lessons are immediately actionable. I read in one week and then executed the next

Practical and easy to read and understand. The lessons are immediately actionable. I read in one week and then executed the next

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • 12-20-14

Disappointing

What would have made Scrum better?

Maybe a little more humility and to the point delivery. To me it was full of self important waffle, admittedly however I did give up on the book before the end and maybe I just missed the best bits?

Would you ever listen to anything by Jeff Sutherland again?

Probably not.

Would you be willing to try another one of J. J. Sutherland’s performances?

Probably not.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Scrum?

All the armed forces references......I couldn't see how they added anything to the title.

Any additional comments?

Maybe it was just me, but I was hoping for a book that would help me find ways to improve team productivity. What I found was a self indulgent book written and read by a guy about a team building system he apparently 'invented' and which the big corporations can't do without. I completely lost interest by chapter 3.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Brad
  • 06-21-15

Awesome book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new way of working in teams of people.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

The book is great. It tells you the benefits of scrum / agile development and why you should start using it and how to start using it. I'm sold on it and am going to try and implement it into my workplace.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Neville
  • 06-21-15

The big idea has arrived

This book is very comprehensive in the use of the scrum, the author anticipates your questions in regard to what at first seems like bold comments by providing the names of the authors and papers that backs up his comments. The book provides plenty of working examples and give you the tools so that you can start to use scrum in your business.

It is my ambition to be the largest provider of housing to charities in the UK, however, I have found that as I move forward I will need to advice these charities on the best way of moving forward in regard to changing their practices so that they can house more of their clients faster and reduce costs to themselves.

I have given five stars as this book is an action book that has been backed up by theory, the Author is still teaching his principals and will be teaching in Holland in December 2015, so he walks the walk as well

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Enyinnaya
  • 06-16-15

Practical approaches to Business

Well explained business tactics. Well worth reading. Many things that can be used and implemented straight away. Well worth reading.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • anthony evans
  • 02-28-15

Revolutionary

If we could use this in education administration and in the classroom, then we'd see a great acceleration of progress and a reduction in waste.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Intorox
  • 06-06-17

This is about the why not the how

The book is well designed and interesting but what let's me down is that the primary purpose of the book appears to be to convince you why scrum is required. I was convinced before reading the book. I waited and waited for the author to lay out in great detail how to execute scrum. The appendix at the end was a short fifteen minute synopsis of the "how". Disappointing.

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  • PEter
  • 05-26-17

Great for anyone who wants to understand the 'why'

A great book for anyone looking to implement scrum. It provides the 'why' behind the effectiveness of the methodology and the thinking behind it.

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  • David
  • 06-28-15

A fantastic resource

Well worth it, I've listened to it twice now and wouldn't rule out another, as I seem to keep getting new insights from it as I come to grasp Scrum. Valuable information delivered in an effective way.

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  • Alan
  • 06-16-15

Awesome

Inspiring method for making change. Scrum can indeed be implemented anywhere. I've listened twice and will be coming back time and time again. I want this

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  • Caycoo
  • 05-04-15

This book can literally change the world.

Reading this book will equip you with the skills to help change the world. And this is not an exaggeration! I have seen scrum in action, not knowing much about it, but seeing first hand the difference it makes to GETTING STUFF DONE.

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  • Rebecca
  • 12-01-14

Great practical read

Great book, practical to the point that I am using it for a large project two days after I finished it. The narrator is also great, a radio journalist with many years of experience, who used Scrum in his own radio work. He also happens to be the son of the author, and helped writing the book, and therefore this is one of those rare occasions where the narrator actually knows what he's talking about!