I started reading about agile like crazy... actually started with Sanjiv Augustine's book and Mary Poppendieck's book on Lean.
Working with an XP Team Opened the Door
Mike Cottmeyer, VersionOne
I started working with a team at CheckFree that was doing XP. Prior to that, I did not really know there was a thing called agile (although I had accidentally been doing some agile practices by accident). When I sat down and started talking with the Director of Development that hired me, that was when I had probably my specific moment of discovery.
I started reading about agile like crazy… actually started with Sanjiv Augustine’s book and Mary Poppendieck’s book on Lean. Everything that I was reading really resonated based on my experiences over the previous few years. The team that I was working with was pretty undisciplined in many respects and I started trying to model what I was formally learning in a way that I could actually run the project.
I discovered Scrum and Schwaber’s book Agile Project Management with Scrum. That helped me put some structure around things that had previously been unstructured. Of course, Cohn’s book on Agile Estimating and Planning helped as well.
So… those first few conversations with the Director of the team doing XP were the moment. That is what clicked everything into place. My philosophy around managing agile projects (as a specific discipline) emerged over the following year through reading and implementing the practices on real projects.