A practical toolkit for new Scrum Masters
A practical toolkit for new Scrum Masters

Forming Agile Teams

Book Review

The first workbook in a series of four books to practically guide teams, based on personal experience, through the four stages of Bruce Tuckman’s group development theory towards high performance. According to the model, a team undergoes four distinct stages before they reach optimal performance, first forming, then storming, followed by norming and finally performing, with a final fifth stage of adjourning. This workbook focuses on the forming stage.

Who is it for?

The book is intended as a guide for agile transformation leaders, specifically Scrum Masters and agile coaches, yet, it is a valuable resource for the entire team.

Stakeholders, Product Owners and Team Members’ roles and responsibilities are covered in detail through each distinct phase of an agile iteration, making it an invaluable resource for anyone who needs guidance on task distribution and expectations during each phase of a typical software development project. It removes any grey areas by clearly defining expectations for standard Scrum roles as defined in the Scrum Guide.

What’s inside?

For those looking for a step-by-step guide on starting an agile implementation using Scrum, this is a much waited for resource.

The book is filled with practical tips, techniques and even complete checklists and templates to guide a new agile team member towards mastery, avoiding common pitfalls during a Scrum implementation.

It’s a book of practical answers equally for those new to agile and more experienced teams.

What is different from all other agile implementation books I’ve read is that it emphasizes the values and attitudes of the agile leaders, not only focusing on the tools and techniques, making it a recommended read for heart-centered leaders and teams.

The writing style

The book reads like a practical manual and implementation guide, well structured and logically laid out, making it easy to find the resources you need when you need it.

Written in plain English, it is an easy read for those familiar with enterprise organizational structures and ways of working.

I like, I wish, I wonder…

The abundance of diagrams and visual aids makes it an easy to implement book. It does not only rely on words to explain concepts, adding visuals, external resources and references for even more details, and templates for a comprehensive guide.

The tone and writing style reads like a gentle, down-to-earth conversation, making it accessible to anyone, from new team member to share holder.

Most of all, I simply love the explicit focus and practical examples on the desired attitude when delivering the messages in the book.

On the downside, it’s written for an enterprise size organization, making it maybe a bit too heavy for implementing in a small team. It also assumes that the team already has a structured and stable delivery process, thus not entirely a match for startups or organizations which have no defined roles, responsibilities or even processes.

About the author

Jesus Mendez is an experienced Scrum Master and agile coach based in Canada with his primary goal to help teams to become self-organizing.

He has contributed to more than 20 projects, with his expertise ranging from technical software development, to project management, facilitation and leadership. He brings a wealth of practical best practices to the table, consolidating a collection of tried and tested methods into a workbook for agile practitioners.


Forming Agile Teams is a comprehensive guide and welcome addition to the agile resource library for anyone looking for the practical how-to’s of an agile or Scrum implementation in a medium to large organization.

An invaluable resource and must read for anyone looking for a practical how-to guide to implement Scrum.

It fleshes out the basics of the Scrum framework, providing tips, checklists and templates and links to further reading. The best part is the inclusion of the right attitudes and focus on values such as humility and respect throughout the book.

Originally published on Medium: https://everydayagile.com/forming-agile-teams-f2b5a35cc94b