Book Review: Collaboration Explained

Photo by Garry Knight

Photo by Garry Knight

I've noticed that some project managers who become Scrum Masters struggle because they lack the facilitation skills needed, so I picked up Jean Tabaka's Collaboration Explained, hoping it would be a resource I could recommend or would provide me with ideas on how to teach them to be more effective.  Needless to say, I was underwhelmed by the book.

Jean Tabaka is an Agile Coach with Rally Software Development, and she included some good anecdotes throughout the book, but overall I felt like the book was a long read that didn't share anything new.  There is information on how to run various Agile meetings, including agendas in the back of the book.  There are some tips and tools throughout that can be used by any project leader on how to manage team collaboration and conflict, including basic information like how to decide who to include in meetings and setting a meeting agenda.

It may be a great resource for those who are starting to transition into a role where more facilitation skills are needed, but it is probably not a book to help you improve your skills and step up your game.  At least, I hope that experienced folks would be familiar with all of the information found in this book!

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.