I thought I would just put up a quick post to point people to my favourite reading on agile and related project management topics.
User Stories Applied by Mike Cohn. This book is really easy to read and explains agile concepts in general by using common sense. It is also the book that I most heavilly drew upon when writing a course on using stories in agile projects.
Mike has also written a book on estimating that is good, though it covers some of the same material. (Just as a plug I have also written a specialist course on estimating and release planning in agile projects). And he has written what is apparently a really good book on implementing agile approaches in traditional organisations, though I have not actually read that one yet. You can find more info on Mike Cohn and his work by going to his blog.
With respect to agile project management I like “Agile Project Management” by Jim Highsmith. And for project management in general, “Manage IT” by Johanna Rothman is a really pragmatic and useful text for use in the real world or running IT projects (agile or not).
But there are some even better books on agile like concepts that go beyond running projects. I really like “ Implementing Lean Software Development” by Tom and Mary Poppendiek as a guide to running modern IT development teams. They have written several books and really get the concept of sustainable, quality delivery that leads to both speed and boat cruises when you have happy customers. (the link goes to their website where they list a lot of books they recommend reading, including their own).
But the all time best book on how to succeed in agile projects actually has nothing to do with agile projects or software development. It is a whole book focussed on nothing more than talking to people effectively. So I recommend you read Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott.