Reviews for Scrum Shortcuts Without Cutting Corners

Great books give you advice you can follow and Scrum Shortcuts without Cutting Corners most definitely does. Written to suit newcomers or experienced practitioners who have a healthy interest in Scrum, the knowledge contained in this book can be game-changing. Ilan Goldstein shares his extensive global experience to produce a well-written and valuable insight into practicing and sustaining effective agile practices.

Kevin Austin, Agile coach and transition lead, Fortune 50 investment bank

A software team succeeds because it has the right people, who are allowed to do their best work. Understanding the patterns and anti-patterns (my favorite anti-pattern— “test sprint”) in this guidebook will help you know who the right people are and how to help them work well. These shortcuts focus on people and that’s why they work. Get your team (and the rest of your company) reading and discussing this today.

Lisa Crispin, coauthor with Janet Gregory, of Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams

Ilan Goldstein has earned a loyal following in the Agile community for his no-nonsense advice and practical solutions that deliver real results for teams. I’m thrilled that he’s been able to distill this expertise into a book that’s rich with insights and also very readable. I can’t wait to use all his best ideas in my own practice!

Pete Deemer, CEO of Stormglass and author of The Scrum Primer

This book is an outstanding reference for anyone using Scrum to build software. Whether you are an experienced practitioner or a beginner just starting out, you’ll find something worthy in here that you can learn and apply right away. Ilan’s casual and engaging writing style describes perfectly the real-world challenges that you may face when using Scrum, and gives you practical guidance for working through them.

Ryan Dorrell, CTO, AgileThought

I especially like the essay style. It invites me to skip around to find topics of interest, and makes it easy to find what Ilan thinks about things. Ilan takes us over ground we’ve covered before, but he gives us a fresh look at things. Very valuable!

Ron Jeffries, coauthor of The Agile Manifesto and founder of

Scrum is not a solution. Your solution will only come clear through a journey of inspection and adaptation. The journey is not straightforward, and you will make some mistakes as you try to customize Scrum to your organization. Ilan’s work for me is a Hitch Hiker’s Guide to Scrum, giving you insights, tools, approaches, and belief to support you. I really appreciate the openness in Ilan’s stories and how he shares his experiences. I don’t have to agree with every technique or idea, as Ilan is not trying to instruct. He is asking you to think; to challenge your assumptions and help you on your way.

Martin Kearns, Scrum trainer and national Agile and innovation lead at SMS Management & Technology

Most books about Scrum are on theory and speak from a distant third-person perspective. They are hard to read. Ilan has created the opposite. He has created a book that feels like a conversation. I kept nodding in recognition at all the real-world problems he identifies and laughing at the pragmatic, humorous, and spot-on wisdom he shares. His writing flows smoothly and draws you in to the point where you will hate to put this book down at the end.

Clinton Keith, Scrum trainer and author of Agile Game Development with Scrum

With Scrum Shortcuts without Cutting Corners, Ilan Goldstein has delivered the must-have text for Scrum teams. The fact that Scrum is a framework is often used to justify tinkering with its fundamental mechanisms—to the extent that what was once Scrum becomes something altogether different and less effective. Goldstein clearly identifies the delineation between those mechanisms that can be tailored and those that must remain true to ensure success.

Arik Kogan, business intelligence manager at Cougar Software

A refreshing perspective on Scrum. Ilan will take you beyond the theory and share his real-world experiences, offering practical advice for successful Scrum adoption and maturity within your organization. His insights and philosophical views on the subject will keep you one move ahead in the game.

John Madden, program manager at HotelsCombined

Ilan has done some great work here. This book is an insightful look at what it takes to grow as a Scrum Master, and provides practical real-world experience to guide you on the journey. It’s part practical advice and part story-telling woven together to make a book that is useful and enjoyable to read at the same time. I enjoyed the book and look forward to having a copy on my bookshelf. Ilan has done a wonderful job.

Kane Mar, Scrum trainer; cofounder and president of

Scrum is deceptively simple, but as someone said, it is easy to do this in a mediocre way. I have fallen into many of the traps myself. In his book, Ilan shows you how to succeed with Scrum. The book makes it easy to find the information that is most helpful to you right now. Each of the many short chapters is to the point and a pleasure to read. I couldn’t recommend it more.

Jens Meydam, head of development, Zahnärztekasse AG

Ilan has put together a fantastic read in Scrum Shortcuts without Cutting Corners. I will be handing out copies to Engineering Managers currently exploring Scrum and asking them to read it over the weekend. I’m confident they will return to work with plenty of new approaches to put into practice and share with their teams. A key takeaway for me was the We Prefer Attitude over Aptitude section – we want the people that want to make a difference, that want to disrupt, that yearn to learn. This is gold!

Nicholas Muldoon, Agile Coach, Twitter

Ilan’s book isn’t the usual cookbook on how to use Scrum in the workplace but rather a toolkit of practical advice that covers every aspect of setting up self-organizing, high-performing teams using Scrum. It is a highly engaging, enjoyable and meaningful read for all Scrum practitioners.

Michael Rembach, applications development manager, Transport for New South Wales

Ilan’s valuable tactics, tools, and tips for applying Scrum clearly illustrate his own hard-fought, on-the-job experience. This is not a theoretical book about Scrum, but instead a practitioner-focused, get-your-hands-dirty guide to getting the job done with Scrum. It is a delightful read with topics presented concisely and in an easily digestible way. Scrum Shortcuts without Cutting Corners is a critical addition to the body of Scrum literature, and a perfect follow-on to my Essential Scrum book!

Kenny Rubin, managing principal, Innolution, LLC and author of Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process

If Scrum and Agile were easy, everybody would be doing it! Now that so many are, this book is the virtual Agile coach I wish I had when I was on the early steps of my Scrum journey. Ilan is a world-class coach, and he has packed this book full of ideas and approaches to all of the common questions and issues that are bound to come up as you transform your world of work to Scrum.

Craig Smith, Agile coach and editor at InfoQ

If the Scrum Guide is the rulebook, then Scrum Shortcuts without Cutting Corners is the experts’ guide to playing the game. Ilan Goldstein reveals all the little secrets that every team should know to be effective in adopting Scrum. From Sprint lengths, to splitting down work, to relative estimation, Ilan tackles the gray zones in Scrum, offering sage advice in a world of “it depends.”

Renee Troughton, Agile coach and author of Agile Forest

Sharing what he has learned implementing Scrum over many years with many teams, Ilan goes beyond the surface and gives practical tips to help you raise your Scrum teams to the next level. With humor, trivia, and stories from personal experience, Scrum Shortcuts without Cutting Corners is an accessible and adaptable Scrum recipe book ScrumMasters can use in any environment. Whether you have a few months or many years of experience with Scrum, this book will give you new ideas on how to approach whatever challenges are facing your team.

Liza Wood, ScrumMaster and blogger at Sockets and Lightbulbs