Scrum Shortcuts without Cutting Corners: Agile Tactics, Tools, & Tips

by Ilan Goldstein

Rather than a conventional review, here is the foreword I was asked to write for this book.


In the spirit of this book, I’ll take a shortcut and come right to the point: Buy this book. I assure you, you’ll find the wisdom in this collection of shortcuts extremely helpful.

However, experience tells us to be leery of shortcuts. Very few work out. Horror movies begin when a group of teenagers take a shortcut through the woods on a dark night. The driver on a family trip opts for what looks like a shortcut and is reminded for years about how it turned out not to be. We’re told “there are no shortcuts to success,” and that success comes from a combination of perseverance and skill.

Yes, in life many shortcuts do not work out. The shortcuts in this book are different. They work.

I first met Ilan Goldstein online when a web search led me to his blog of Scrum shortcuts. He hadn’t written many shortcuts by then, but the few he had were tremendously helpful—and funny. Ilan’s sense of humor shone through in every shortcut.

It didn’t take a genius to see that Ilan was onto something with his shortcuts. And so I asked him if he’d consider writing a book of shortcuts. This book is the result. In it, Ilan offers thirty tips, covering the full gamut of a Scrum implementation. He offers tips on getting started, on requirements, on estimating and planning. There are tips about quality and metrics, about team members and roles, about managing bosses, and about continuous improvement. If you’ve struggled with it on a Scrum project, it’s likely Ilan has a shortcut to help you.

Ilan has been there and done that. His tips come from his experience as a ScrumMaster and Certified Scrum Trainer. His shortcuts all come from routes he’s traveled. They’re practical, not theoretical. Further, I like that he’s not afraid to take a stand. Too many books rely too often on the consultant’s standard answer of “It depends.” You won’t find that here.

Whether you are a month, a year, or a decade into Scrum, you will find shortcuts here that will help you improve. I wish you well on your Scrum journey. I know you’ll arrive more quickly by following the shortcuts in this book.