Top 100 Agile Books (Edition 2011)

Note: this is an old list. Go here for the Top 100 Agile Books 2013.

One year ago, at the Agile 2010 conference, I came up with the idea to publish a Top 100 Agile Books. Like many of my other top 100 lists it was a great success (in terms of blog traffic).

This year I am not at the Agile 2011 conference (for various reasons, both good and bad). But nevertheless, I decided to publish a new edition of the Top 100 Agile Books, especially for my friends at Agile 2011 who are enjoying a great conference without me.

This list is based on quality (averate ratings) and quantity (number of ratings), both on and The age of the books also played a minor factor in the calculations. (Older books should keep acquiring new ratings, or else they drop in the list.)

Congratulations are in order for Roy Osherove, who pushed Mike Cohn away from the #1 slot, and Jonathan Rasmussen, the highest new entry this year with The Agile Samurai. Other high new entries are Specification by Example (Gojko Adzic), The Clean Coder (Bob Martin), The Elements of Scrum (Chris Sims), The Concise Executive Guide to Agile (Israel Gat) and Management 3.0 (hey, that’s me!).

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Enjoy the list!

Update 12 August: I fixed an error in the calculations. The book Continuous Delivery (Jez Humble, David Farley) is now a new entry at #50.

TY LY Title Author(s) Year
1 5 The Art of Unit Testing: With Examples in .Net Roy Osherove 2009
2 1 Agile Estimating and Planning Mike Cohn 2005
3 3 Working Effectively with Legacy Code Michael Feathers 2004
4 8 Kanban: Successful Evolutionary Change for Your Technology Business David J. Anderson 2010
5 9 Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum Mike Cohn 2009
6 2 Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship Robert C. Martin 2008
7 6 Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices Robert C. Martin 2002
8 4 Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code Martin Fowler, et al. 1999
9 The Agile Samurai: How Agile Masters Deliver Great Software Jonathan Rasmusson 2010
10 7 The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master Andrew Hunt, David Thomas 1999
11 11 User Stories Applied: For Agile Software Development Mike Cohn 2004
12 10 Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests Steve Freeman, Nat Pryce 2009
13 32 The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development Donald G. Reinertsen 2009
14 14 The Art of Agile Development James Shore, Shane Warden 2007
15 23 Scrum and XP from the Trenches Henrik Kniberg 2007
16 12 Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit Mary Poppendieck, Tom Poppendieck 2003
17 13 Domain-Driven Design: Tackling Complexity in the Heart of Software Eric Evans 2003
18 16 Agile Principles, Patterns, and Practices in C# Robert C. Martin, Micah Martin 2006
19 17 Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams Lisa Crispin, Janet Gregory 2009
20 24 Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash Mary Poppendieck, Tom Poppendieck 2006
21 18 Practices of an Agile Developer: Working in the Real World Venkat Subramaniam, Andy Hunt 2005
22 15 Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management Scott Berkun 2008
23 57 Beautiful Testing: Leading Professionals Reveal How They Improve Software Adam Goucher, Tim Riley 2009
24 19 Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management Johanna Rothman, Esther Derby 2005
25 34 Crystal Clear: A Human-Powered Methodology for Small Teams Alistair Cockburn 2004
26 28 Agile Coaching Rachel Davies, Liz Sedley 2009
27 20 Applied Software Project Management Andrew Stellman, Jennifer Greene 2005
28 21 Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products (2nd Edition) Jim Highsmith 2009
29 22 xUnit Test Patterns: Refactoring Test Code Gerard Meszaros 2007
30 31 Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects Johanna Rothman 2009
31 26 Writing Effective Use Cases Alistair Cockburn 2000
32 Specification by Example: How Successful Teams Deliver the Right Software Gojko Adzic 2011
33 41 Managing the Design Factory Donald G. Reinertsen 1997
34 The Clean Coder Robert C. Martin 2011
35 29 Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great Esther Derby, Diana Larsen 2006
36 39 Agile Project Management with Scrum Ken Schwaber 2004
37 30 Agile Adoption Patterns: A Roadmap to Organizational Succes Amr Elssamadisy 2008
38 27 Refactoring to Patterns Joshua Kerievsky 2004
39 40 Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change (1st+2nd Edition) Kent Beck, Cynthia Andres 1999
40 37 The Productive Programmer Neal Ford 2008
41 60 Agile Product Management with Scrum: Creating Products that Customers Love Roman Pichler 2010
42 25 Agile and Iterative Development: A Manager’s Guide Craig Larman 2003
43 68 Stand Back and Deliver: Accelerating Business Agility Pollyanna Pixton, Niel Nickolaisen, Todd Little, Kent McDonald 2009
44 The Elements of Scrum Chris Sims, Hillary Louise Johnson 2011
45 Management 3.0: Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders Jurgen Appelo 2011
46 47 Test Driven Development: By Example Kent Beck 2002
47 36 Agile Software Development with Scrum Ken Schwaber, Mike Beedle 2001
48 The Concise Executive Guide to Agile Israel Gat 2010
49 48 Continuous Integration: Improving Software Quality and Reducing Risk Paul M. Duvall, Steve Matyas, Andrew Glover 2007
50 Continuous Delivery: Reliable Software Releases through Build, Test, and Deployment Automation Jez Humble, David Farley 2010
51 35 Requirements by Collaboration Ellen Gottesdiener 2002
52 42 Manage It!: Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management Johanna Rothman 2007
53 45 Scaling Lean & Agile Development: Thinking and Organizational Tools for Large-Scale Scrum Craig Larman, Bas Vodde 2008
54 38 Organizational Patterns of Agile Software Development James O. Coplien, Neil B. Harrison 2004
55 43 Leading Lean Software Development: Results Are not the Point Mary Poppendieck, Tom Poppendieck 2009
56 51 Ship it! A Practical Guide to Successful Software Projects Jared Richardson, William A. Gwaltney 2005
57 86 Kanban and Scrum – Making the Most of Both Henrik Kniberg, Mattias Skarin 2010
58 71 Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition Lyssa Adkins 2010
59 49 Collaboration Explained: Facilitation Skills for Software Project Leaders Jean Tabaka 2006
60 55 Beyond Software Architecture: Creating and Sustaining Winning Solutions Luke Hohmann 2003
61 50 Changing Software Development: Learning to Become Agile Allan Kelly 2008
62 80 Innovation Games: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play Luke Hohmann 2006
63 70 Just Enough Requirements Management: Where Software Development Meets Marketing Alan Mark Davis 2005
64 52 Agility and Discipline Made Easy: Practices from OpenUP and RUP Per Kroll, Bruce MacIsaac 2006
65 61 Implementation Patterns Kent Beck 2006
66 62 Extreme Programming Installed Ron Jeffries, Ann Anderson, Chet Hendrickson 2000
67 56 Beautiful Teams: Inspiring and Cautionary Tales from Veteran Team Leaders Andrew Stellman, Jennifer Greene 2009
68 53 Refactoring Databases: Evolutionary Database Design Scott W. Ambler, Pramodkumar J. Sadalage 2006
69 88 Bridging the Communication Gap: Specification by Example and Agile Acceptance Testing Gojko Adzic 2009
70 58 Managing Agile Projects Sanjiv Augustine 2005
71 46 Agile Software Development: The Cooperative Game (2nd Edition) Alistair Cockburn 2006
72 81 Agile Management for Software Engineering: Applying the Theory of Constraints for Business Results David J. Anderson 2003
73 73 Becoming Agile: …in an Imperfect World Greg Smith, Ahmed Sidky 2008
74 66 Emergent Design: The Evolutionary Nature of Professional Software Development Scott L. Bain 2008
75 75 Test Driven: TDD and Acceptance TDD for Java Developers Lasse Koskela 2007
76 83 The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility Michele Sliger, Stacia Broderick 2008
77 Lean-Agile Acceptance Test-Driven Development: Better Software Through Collaboration Ken Pugh 2011
78 63 Agile Excellence for Product Managers: A Guide to Creating Winning Products with Agile Development Teams Greg Cohen 2010
79 54 Managing Agile Projects Kevin J. Aguanno 2005
80 69 A Tale of Two Systems: Lean and Agile Software Development for Business Leaders Michael K. Levine 2009
81 67 Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas Mary Lynn Manns, Linda Rising 2004
82 64 Balancing Agility and Discipline: A Guide for the Perplexed Barry Boehm, Richard Turner 2003
83 79 Patterns of Agile Practice Adoption Amr Elssamadisy 2007
84 Lean Architecture: for Agile Software Development James O. Coplien, Gertrud Bjørnvig 2010
85 59 Lean-Agile Software Development: Achieving Enterprise Agility Alan Shalloway, Guy Beaver, James R. Trott 2009
86 84 Business Agility: Sustainable Prosperity in a Relentlessly Competitive World Michael H. Hugos 2009
87 Just Enough Software Architecture: A Risk-Driven Approach George H. Fairbanks 2010
88 78 Principles of Software Development Leadership: Applying Project Management Principles to Agile Software Development Ken Whitaker 2009
89 77 A Practical Guide to Distributed Scrum Elizabeth Woodward, Steffan Surdek, Matthew Ganis 2010
90 76 The Business Value of Agile Software Methods: Maximizing Roi With Just-in-time Processes and Documentation David F. Rico, Hasan H. Sayani, Saya Sone 2009
91 Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life Jim Benson, Tonianne DeMaria Barry 2011
92 74 Agile Game Development with Scrum Clinton Keith 2010
93 Agile Software Requirements: Lean Requirements Practices for Teams, Programs, and the Enterprise Dean Leffingwell 2010
94 85 The Enterprise Unified Process: Extending the Rational Unified Process Scott W. Ambler, John Nalbone, Michael J. Vizdos 2005
95 Managing Software Debt: Building for Inevitable Change Chris Sterling 2010
96 82 Project Management the Agile Way: Making It Work in the Enterprise John C. Goodpasture 2009
97 Agile Software Development with Distributed Teams Jutta Eckstein 2010
98 SDLC 3.0: Beyond a Tacit Understanding of Agile Mark Kennaley 2010
99 33 Scaling Software Agility: Best Practices for Large Enterprises Dean Leffingwell 2007
100 95 Test-Driven Development: A Practical Guide David Astels 2003

TY = position this year

LY = position last year

Management 3.0Are you curious to know what managers can do in an Agile organization? 

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Management 3.0

Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders

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  • Vin D’Amico

    Jurgen, I think your book “Management 3.0” belongs on this list. Not sure how to do that without appearing self-serving but the book should be listed in some fashion. Nice work, thank you!

  • Jurgen Appelo

    My book is already on the list, at #45

  • Andre Java

    Great list Juan. Thanks very much for sharing this.

  • Kathy Wen

    The Chinese version of some titles had been or will be published by me:), including yours.

  • Kwangshin

    Wow, what a great work! Thanks a lot. I would like to share with my Korean agile guys.

  • Roy Osherove

    It is quite an honor to be #1 on this very big list!
    Thank you for taking the time to create it, and share.

  • Franck Depierre

    This list is really important to me, because:
    – you give us a list from real stats,
    – year by year we can understand the trends by comparison,
    Later, I would like to find a way to advice people on their leaning curve regarding these lists. Should I show them the list of the year or should I take the top 5 books of the 5 last 10 years?
    Anyway, this is brilliant.

  • Ed Staub

    Thanks also.
    Another indicator you might consider is how well the price of the book holds up in the used-book market. For books more than a couple of years old, this is a pretty good indicator. There are obviously a lot of other possible factors, but by and large, in my experience, it appears to reflect whether people think the book is worth holding on to.

  • Alalia

    Was there a 2012 and 2013 list?

  • Jurgen Appelo

    Yes, just type “Top 100 Agile Books (Edition 2013)” in Google. 🙂

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