The Art of Agile Development

The second edition of The Art of Agile Development is now available! This new edition is a complete update of the classic Agile how-to guide. The book has been completely reorganized and is full of all-new material.

Buy it from Amazon or find it on O’Reilly’s learning platform.


From code to product delivery, this book has it all. Decades of hard-earned knowledge made readable and digestible—a must-have for anybody working with or on a software development team.

Avi Kessner, Staff Engineer, Forter

The Art of Agile Development, Second Edition achieves quite a feat, condensing modern software delivery into a short, readable, and enjoyable book.

Gojko Adzic, author of Running Servless, Impact Mapping, and Specfication by Example

One of the most comprehensive books in agile software development I’ve ever read. Very pragmatic, with powerful examples easily applicable to any software development project regardless of tech stack, team size, or industry domain.

Luiza Nunes, Program Manager, ThoughtWorks

James has been around since early-agile days and knows his stuff. This book cuts through the crap in our industry, the meaningless “agile” that is all around, and provides a thorough, holistic approach.

Bas Vodde, Co-creator of LeSS

About the Book

Watch James Shore discuss the book and read an early version of the first chapter:

Transcript here.

Discussion Forums

Discuss the book online! There are two options available:

Mailing listGoogle Groups sign-up
Live discussionDiscord invite

Art of Agile Development Book Club

Join the Art of Agile Development book club! We discuss a chapter of the book every Friday from 8-8:45am Pacific time. The discussion chapters are available for free in the table of contents below.

For details, see the book club event page. Recordings of past sessions are available in the book club index.

Table of Contents

Follow the links for an excerpt from each section. Links marked with a book 📖 have the full text available. Discuss them in the Art of Agile Development book club!

Links marked with a microphone 🎙 have been the subject of a past book club session. Find the recordings in the book club index.

  1. Preface
  2. Part I: Improving Agility
    1. 🎙 What is Agile?
    2. 🎙 How to Be Agile
    3. 🎙 Choose Your Agility
    4. 🎙 Invest in Agility
    5. 🎙 Invest in Change
    6. 🎙 Scaling Agility
  3. Part II: Focusing on Value
    1. Teamwork
      1. 🎙 Whole Team
      2. Team Room
      3. Safety
      4. Purpose
      5. Context
      6. Alignment
      7. Energized Work
    2. Planning
      1. Stories
      2. Adaptive Planning
      3. Visual Planning
      4. The Planning Game
      5. Real Customer Involvement
      6. Incremental Requirements
    3. Ownership
      1. Task Planning
      2. Capacity
      3. Slack
      4. Stand-Up Meetings
      5. Informative Workspace
      6. Customer Examples
      7. “Done Done”
    4. Accountability
      1. Stakeholder Trust
      2. Stakeholder Demos
      3. Forecasting
      4. Roadmaps
      5. Management
    5. Improvement
      1. Retrospectives
      2. Team Dynamics
      3. Impediment Removal
  4. Part III: Delivering Reliably
    1. Collaboration
      1. Collective Code Ownership
      2. Pair Programming
      3. Mob Programming
      4. Ubiquitous Language
    2. Development
      1. Zero Friction
      2. Continuous Integration
      3. Test-Driven Development
      4. Fast, Reliable Tests
      5. Refactoring
      6. Spike Solutions
    3. Design
      1. Incremental Design
      2. Simple Design
      3. Reflective Design
    4. DevOps
      1. Build for Operation
      2. Feature Flags
      3. Continuous Deployment
      4. Evolutionary System Architecture
    5. Quality
      1. No Bugs
      2. Blind Spot Discovery
      3. Incident Analysis
  5. Part IV: Optimizing Outcomes
    1. Autonomy
    2. Discovery
    3. Into the Future