I finally completed reading Agile Estimating and Planning, the definitive book by Mike Cohn.
Though longer than many books in the Agile domain, it covers so much that it should be a mandatory reading for anyone interested in Agile. Every techniques that you hear about in books or trainings are there, detailed just enough so they can be applied right away.
If I would have to take only one thing from it, is how to draw up the initial release plan, once the functionalities are identified. The name of the game is to know your velocity. You basically have three options: re-use the velocity from a previous release (if you are conducting a new release with the same technical team); run a first iteration and re-use its velocity as basis; take a representative sample of functionalities, and get the technical team to split it in detailed tasks.
This book has been praised by many others. If you haven’t read it yet, buy it and put it to the top of your list.
Now, I’m on to my summer readings: Agile Web Development with Rails and Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t, not to mention How To Be a Programmer.