Bibliography of Resources, Agile Product and Project Management

This bibliography is being developed throughout the course of the Spring 2020 Training Series, Agile Product and Project Management for Information Products and Services.  The course moderator of this series has been Chris Shillum of Swiss House Information who took on the responsibility of identifying and recruiting each of the guest lecturers featured in that training. Each guest lecturer has contributed a set of useful resources from which they believe other professionals in the field may benefit. 

Building An Agile Team (May 14)

Jonathan Clark, Principal, Jonathan Clark & Partners

Recommended Reading and Resources

Cagan, Marty, Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love (Wiley, 2017)
A real “go to” book to always have close by to remind you of what’s important

Highsmith, Jim, Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Product  (Addison-Wesley, 2009)
Excellent down-to-earth explanations of how Agile Project Management differs from the traditional approach. Written with a business perspective 

Cohn, Mike, Succeeding With Agile: Software Development Using Scrum (Addison Wesley, 2010)
Mike Cohn is a wonderful educator and he writes well too.

Derby, Esther & Larsen, Diana, Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great (Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2006)
In my opinion there has never been a better resource for how to run retrospectives. It has everything you need to know to run great sessions. 

Jeff Patton & Associates,
Whenever I go looking for information on Agile on the web, I seem to end up on one of Jeff’s articles and they are always insightful

Mountain Goat Software, 
This is Mike Cohn’s company. He trained me in Agile back in 2003 and I have never forgotten what I learned in his classes. 

Cutter Consortium, 
Jim Highsmith founded the Agile Product & Project Management practice at Cutter. He was highly influential in helping me make a start with Agile.

Defining a Minimum Viable Product (May 21)

Eric Swenson, President, Swensonia Consulting

Recommended Reading and Resources

Bland, David J., and Osterwalder, Alexander, Testing Business Ideas (Wiley, 2019)

Cagan, Marty, Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love (Wiley, 2017)

Croll, Alistair and Yoskovitz, Benjamin, Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster (Lean (O'Reilly))  (O’Reilly, 2013

Highsmith, Jim, Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Product (Addison-Wesley, 2009)

Levy, Jaime. UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Want (O’Reilly, 2015

Maurya, Ash, Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works (Lean Series) 2nd Edition (O’Reilly Media, 2012)

Olsen, Dan, and Dixon, Walter. The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback (Wiley, 2015)

Osterwalder, Alexander, Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want (Wiley, 2015)

Osterwalder, Alexander, and Pigneur, Yves. Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers (John Wiley and Sons, 2010)

Ries, Eric, The Lean Start-Up: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses (Currency, 2011)

Ries, Eric, The Start-Up Way: How Modern Companies Use Entrepreneurial Management to Transform Culture and Drive Long-Term Growth (Currency, 2017)

Professional Associations & Training Consultancies

Mind the Product : Amazing conference/s; a robust educational platform throughout the year. At one point, MTP was where the “who’s who” of product management would go to see, be seen, network -- and learn. (Let’s see how this goes as the COVID economy takes hold; they have recently been soliciting rather actively for subscribers to their paid tier.)

PDMA (Product Development Management Association) | The PDMA is the PMI of product management (e.g. they are the “gold standard” organization, globally). Regional chapters are available and content is quite good. The PDMA has been pushing the “certification” modality the past few years (I have mixed feelings about certification). PDMA books, events, etc. are all highly recommended. 

Product Gym : PG is an “exclusive membership association dedicated to the advancement of product managers”. Important; payment is via an ISA (income sharing agreement) so they are motivated to help you get the training and job of your dreams…but be careful, this type of scheme is not for everyone and it’s not the type that is typically covered by corporate employers. To be clear, it is a members-only community. 

Product School : PS is a training business that sponsors a lot of free events, webinars, etc and publishes some high quality material. They sponsor a plethora of MeetUp events (at least, in big cities) which are now all online. Product School is a great resource for new product managers or those who are considering pivoting to PM from another discipline. Caveat: like PDMA and other organizations listed here, PS offers its own “Product Manager Certificate”*. 

Strategyzer : Corporate innovation, tools and training. Strategyzer is the umbrella brand for the online Canvas tools; workshops and online training courses that revolve around the various canvas models invented by Osterwalder and Pigneur. I have sent teams to their in-person workshop trainings and found them to be outstanding. Not that understanding business models, value proposition articulation, etc. is not being represented as “product management training” per se; instead, Strategyzer arms members of the extended product organization with a common vocabulary and powerful visual tool set to communicate and align business goals. 

SVPG (Silicon Valley Product Group) : SVPG is a product management consultancy that is frequently identified by the book Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love by founder/partner Marty Cagan. The SVPG approach is holistic and works well in corporate environments; it’s not a “networking organization” -- they are a professional product management consultancy. Your mileage may vary; my personal grade from my experience in a 2 day SVPG workshop was mediocre; others loved it. Read their blog and seek references. 

  • NOTE REGARDING CERTIFICATIONS: Shop and choose wisely if/when you are seeking out a “certification” in product management; they are not all created equal and your employer (or future employer/s) may not all assign the same value to certifications in this field, especially those from private businesses vs. recognized societies such as PDMA, PMI, etc.

Understanding Needs and Setting Priorities (May 28)

Jonathan Clark, Principal, Jonathan Clark & Partners

Recommended Reading and Resources

Cagan, Marty, Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love (Wiley, 2017)
In many ways, this book is really all about Product Discovery. Highly recommended

Cohn, Mike, Agile Estimation and Planning (Prentice Hall, 2006)
This is an absolute classic. My copy is falling apart - enough said!

Knapp, Jake, Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days (Simon & Schuster, 2016) 
How to test ideas in 5 days from Google Ventures. Great book on prototyping in the widest sense. 

Kelley, Tom, The Art of Innovation, (Profile Books, 2001)
This wonderful book is full of stories from IDEO (an iconic design agency), many of which I find myself retelling in my workshops and presentations. There’s lots on prototyping!

Heath, Chip & Dan, Made to Stick (Random House 2007)
What makes a story sticky so that people tell and retell it? This book shows the power of storytelling using metaphors and more

Belsky, Scott, Making Ideas Happen (Portfolio Penguin, 2010) 
Ideas are the easy bit (!), it’s bringing them to life that’s hard - and that’s where this book comes in

Hohmann, Luke, Innovation Games®: Creating Breakthrough Products Through Collaborative Play (Addison-Wesley Professional, 2006)
Full of activities to support every stage of agile development, including Product Box 

Silicon Valley Product Group, 
The company that inspired the book “Inspired” or was it the other way around? Either way the company has become very successful and Marty Cagan’s blog is a great resource.

Jeff Lash,
Jeff is undoubtedly the best Product Manager I have ever had the privilege to work with. He now works at SiriusDecisions, Checkout his great blog on all things Product Management. He also runs a consultancy on Customer Needs Discovery framework focused on B2B (

User Research (June 4)

Serena Rosenhan, Vice President, User Experience Design, ProQuest

Recommended Reading and Resources

1. Starter articles & references:

UX Research Cheat Sheet  by Susan Farrell of the Nielson Norman Group (February 12, 2017)
Good overview of UX Research methods and when to use. Links to additional articles explaining some methods.

Interview-Based Tasks: Learning from Leonardo DiCaprio by Jared M. Spool,  (December 4, 2019).
Discusses characteristics of good task-based usability testing.

How to Overcome Cognitive Bias in User Research by Nick Babich (Mar 20th, 2020)

DIY Recruiting: How to Find Participants for Your Research  by Ania Mastalerz (November 21, 2017)

How-to and Tools (
Good general reference on user research and usability best practices with templates and resources.  

Diary Studies: User Research Resources for Beginners and Pros  by Brad Dalrymple (May 10, 2017)
Overview of several resources with examples and practical advice about conducting diary studies.  Good general user research information also available at

2. Deeper Reads

Buley, Leah.  The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide, (Rosenfeld Media, 2013)

Krug, Steve. Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited:  A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (New Riders, 2014, 3rd Edition)

Krug, Steve.  Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems (New Riders, 2010)

Quick primer for the non-technical.  It assumes that testing isn't your full-time job, so it tells you only what you absolutely need to know

Nunnaly, Brad and David K. Farkas, UX Research:Practical Techniques for Designing Better Products (O’Reilly, 2016)

3. Professional Associations and Consultancies

User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA) International 
Supports people who research, design, and evaluate the user experience (UX) of products and services. Many local chapters.

User Interface Engineering (Jared M. Spool)
Offers consultancy, video and article library, training. 

Nielsen Norman Group (Jakob Nielsen) 
Many articles and videos about usability, design and user research.

Recommend exploring the short instructional videos on the site which are excellent explanations of best practices and processes.  For example:

Advanced Common Sense  (Steve Krug)

4. Other

Research Tools (Note that this is not an exhaustive list nor should it be taken as an endorsement of any particular tool.  Many tools require subscriptions.)

Types of tools that can make user research easier. 


  • Axure
  • Adobe XD
  • Sketch
  • Figma

Each tool has different strengths. Some differences are explained here

Remote Usability Testing Tools:

  • Validately
  • UserZoom
  • Lookback
  • Maze (compatible with Sketch)

Other tools:

  • Optimal Workshop (card sorting & other methods)
  • Dovetail  (Analyzing qualitative data) 

5 Effective UX Research Tools That the Experts Use by Oliver Lindberg (March 31, 2020)