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A Lean/Agile Reading List to Kick-off Your Summer

Published By Leyna O’Quinn
A Lean/Agile Reading List to Kick-off Your Summer

The weather’s warming up, kids are kicking off their summer breaks, and many of us are switching our hot coffees to their iced counterparts—summer is officially here! Although it’s tempting to let the heat of the season curb your productivity, there’s no better time to invest in your personal and professional development. The summer months provide ample opportunity for reading—whether you’re lounging by the pool, at the beach, on a plane, or simply on the couch after a long day. Keep your mind engaged by reading a title that will help you achieve more in both work and life—here’s what’s on our Lean/Agile summer reading list!

Our Lean/Agile Summer Reading List

  • Lean Startup – Eric Ries: This book introduced much of the mainstream business world to Lean thinking, and is a must-read for anyone looking to grow in their practice of Lean/Agile. Ries’ entrepreneurship blog, Startup Lessons Learned, is also an excellent resource for Lean thinkers.
  • Start with Why – Simon Sinek: You’ve probably seen Simon Sinek’s now-famous TED Talk about the power of why. In his follow-up book, Sinek shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way—and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired—starting with why. Although not an expressly Lean text, Sinek’s ideology aligns closely with the core Lean principles, and provides excellent inspiration for Lean leaders.
  • 4 Lean Management Tools to Help You Grow as a Lean Leader – Planview AgilePlace: Lean/Agile thinking encourages leaders to become students, and students to become leaders—tools like going to the gemba and implementing WIP limits provide practical, actionable ways to achieve those goals. Whether you’re an individual contributor or a CEO, you’re sure to learn something meaningful in this quick read from Planview AgilePlace.
  • Radical Candor – Kim Scott: Sharing lessons learned from experiences working at Apple, Google, and other innovative companies, Kim Scott shares actionable insights for managing people in a way that is honest, human, and real. If you’ve been looking for practical help in practicing Lean leadership, this book is for you.
  • Leading with Respect – Mike Orzen: Continuous improvement and respect for people are the two pillars of Lean. While most Lean/Agile teams are able to wrap their minds around how to implement continuous improvement, respect for people is often more difficult to put into practice. In this blog post and video, Lean IT author Mike Orzen shares how to lead with respect in a Lean/Agile environment.
  • Regain Focus with Kanban – Planview AgilePlace: If you’ve been in the Lean/Agile space for a while, you’ve probably heard of Kanban. Kanban is a workflow management method often praised for its effects on productivity and communication—but its benefits go far deeper. Learn from a seasoned Kanban practitioner about the mental health benefits of Kanban in this quick read.
  • Lean Business Report – Planview AgilePlace: How are companies like yours finding success with Lean? This ebook shares research collected from over 3,000 Lean practitioners on how to plan, work, manage, and lead smarter with Lean.


We hope you end your summer feeling refreshed, energized, and armed with knowledge by reading these titles on our Lean/Agile summer reading list! If you’re interested in learning more about Lean and Agile, check out our Learning Center.

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Written by Leyna O’Quinn Sr. Content Strategist

Leyna O’Quinn is a Certified Scrum Master and Certified SAFe Agilist. She has been managing the Planview blog strategy for more than 7 years. She writes about portfolio and resource management, Lean and Agile delivery, project collaboration, innovation management, and enterprise architecture. She has more than 15 years of experience writing about technology, industry trends, and best practices. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Marketing.