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What are your 3 most recommended books for Scrum Masters and why?

At the end of each of my Certified , Advanced Certified , and Certified Scrum Professional courses I provided delegates with a recommended reading list.

Scrum is built on the value proposition of achieving twice the work in half the time, and one of the reasons why that is possible is because Scrum is built on the concept of continuous improvement or Kaizen.

s need to invest in their own continuous improvement and reading forms a massive part of that self-development.

It provides you with insights into some of the most competent and skilled professionals in the Agile world. It provides you with essential knowledge and recommendations from people who have faced and overcome the very obstacles that you will encounter in your professional environment.

So, which 3 books would I recommend for scrum masters and why?

Coaching Agile Teams – Lyssa Adkins

A scrum master is an agile coach. It is their responsibility to coach the members of that team in scrum and how to work together creatively and effectively.

This is a great book for scrum masters because it gives you a real flavour of what your day-to-day activities and responsibilities are going to look like. In the book, Lyssa also highlights working with product owners as well as the development team.

Collaboration Explained – Jean Tabaka

This is a book about facilitation.

One of the weakest points I see when it comes to scrum masters is their ability to effectively facilitate a meeting.

Meetings are dreaded in the workplace because for the most part they achieve very little and consume a lot of time. Many scrum masters have never been in a well facilitated meeting and so they have no idea of what a great meeting looks like.

In this book, Jean walks you through how to effectively facilitate as a scrum master in agile environments and how to get your teams collaborating creatively and productively.

Large Scale Scrum, More with LeSS – Craig Larman and Bas Vodde

This may seem an odd choice for many people who know me because it speaks toward scaling scrum and I’m not generally a fan of scaling scrum at all.

The book gives you some great insights into the thinking behind single and multiple scrum team environments and why the LeSS (Large Scale Scrum) framework has become such a popular tool for scaling scrum.

LeSS is my preferred scaling framework for Scrum and this book delivers great insights into the challenges of scaling scrum and how best to scale scrum in your environment if that is what you are looking to adopt.

The book also explains the role of managers in Agile environments. It’s something that is often forgotten about when we speak about Agile or Scrum environments.

Bas and Craig help define how the management role has evolved from telling people what to do to creating environments where teams and individuals can excel.

Have a read of these three books and let me know what you think. If you have any great books that you have read and think we should include in our recommended reading list, please touch base with us and let us know.

If you like the idea of becoming a scrum master, visit our Certified course.

If you are already a scrum master and want to upskill, visit our Advanced Certified course.

If you have several years’ experience as a scrum master and want to both validate and certify your skills, visit our Certified Scrum Professional course page.

If you like the idea of mentored and coach-driven skills development, visit our Academy.

If you have identified coaching as a valuable skill to develop, visit our on-demand Introduction to Coaching course.

For more information on John McFadyen, visit

author avatar
John McFadyen Managing Partner
John McFadyen is an Executive and Enterprise Agile Coach with proven experience working on some of the UK and Europe’s largest, most complex Agile Transformations. As a Certified Scrum Trainer, John brings a wealth of experience as an Agile coach, Agile practitioner and software developer into each of the four core courses he provides. The war stories, the insights into successful Agile transformations and everything he has learned from coaching high-performance Agile teams combine to provide course delegates with a unique, compelling training experience that transforms as much as it empowers.

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