Eric Ries had an incredible run for being the ‘new’ guy on the Agile block (which some would even argue that he’s not technically an Agile guy, but we can save that debate for another day). While Eric certainly has a substantial following, the only category he could wrangle from Sutherland is academics. Apart from “Lean Start Up”, Eric has Harvard’s endorsement with their inclusion of his concepts into their Entrepreneurial education track. While Influencer was an interesting category to debate amongst our group, we ultimately decided we might not be having this debate without Sutherland’s extensive contributions – not sure how you can get more influential than that. Sutherland has been deeply involved in Scrum, and Scrum at Scale as frameworks, as well as a historic partnership with Ken Schwaber. Sutherland is the CEO of Scrum Inc., co-author of the ‘Definitive Scrum Guide’, and contributor to the Manifesto. Sutherland has also contributed significantly to the Distributed Agile field, as well as helped promote CMMI. At one point Sutherland introduced his brand of Scrum to a CMMI 5 (Optimizing – Top Tie rating), and helped them maintain a CMMI rating, while allowing them to bid on fixed price contracts at half their previous rate. He’s quite simply a juggernaut in the field, and humbly sends Eric Ries back to start up consulting.
One of the highest debated match ups in the Elite 8, Ken Schwaber took down the heavy hitting Scott Ambler in a strong showing. Scott Ambler was only able to pull out a win in one category, Academics, having published 6 books to date and being a keynote presenter at over 20 conferences since the mid-’90s. Scott Ambler is currently most known for establishing the Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) framework, helping organizations deliver value at scale. Ambler also has made significant improvements to the Rational Unified Process (RUP) with the introduction of the Agile Unified Process (AUP) and Enterprise Unified Process (EUP). Ambler also has done work on Agile Modeling and the Agile Scaling Model.
In a battle of the frameworks, it’s impossible to ignore the magnitude, scale, and impact Scrum has had on the Agile community. Schwaber notably co-created the Scrum framework with Jeff Sutherland and recently launched Scaled Professional Scrum helping him claim the ‘W’ in the influencer and framework categories. Schwaber also won the Agile Community and Partnerships categories by co-authoring the ‘Definitive Scrum Guide’ with Sutherland and founding the 3 major Scrum groups, Agile Alliance, Scrum Alliance, and Scrum.org with Sutherland and Cohn. Schwaber continues to actively contribute to the Agile community with his blog posts and training courses on Scrum.org. Schwaber continues his barrage on the Agile Madness bracket by claiming another Agile victim, and seals his spot in the Final Four.
This was a match-up of Agile giants. In fact, the Partnerships category was so tight; we could not identify a clear winner. Cockburn has been a driving force in keeping the Manifesto fresh, and the signers together in meetings since the initial meeting in Utah 14 years ago. Cockburn has partnered with Highsmith as co-editor on an Addison Wesley series for Agile Software Development, and has interactions throughout the years with nearly everyone on this Agile Bracket. Mike Cohn has partnered with Schwaber, Goldstein, Crispin, Gregory, and Adkins, to name a few – and has interactions throughout the years with nearly everyone on this Agile Bracket as well. Cockburn took the framework category with the introduction of Crystal Clear, while Cohn took the Influencer, Academics, and Agile Community categories. Mike not only has frontrowagile.com, and a signature series of books, but he also helped create both the Scrum Alliance and Agile Alliance. Mike truly looks to help new Practitioners and seasoned Practitioners alike, and his twitter feed contains lots of great references and articles relevant to today’s agile challenges. Mike ends an amazing run by Alistair, and moves to the Final 4!
Leave it to David Anderson to come close, but not quite bend it like Beck for the win during this round. While Kent Beck was able to edge out the Influencer category over Barry Boehm previously, his ability to change the future of software methodology did not seem as recent or relevant as Anderson’s capacity to pave the path for Lean practitioners. Though Beck has authored a considerable amount of writings, and provided the Agile community with many analogies including “Mr. Flat File”, Anderson won the Academics portion on account of his published works being more contemporary and also for his promotion of academics through the many networks he’s involved in. These multiple networks in correlation with his presence at conferences and within social media gave Anderson the lead in the Agile Community category. Anderson has had a decent number of partnerships, but Kent Beck has co-written several books with other thought leaders including Ward Cunningham and Martin Fowler. Not to mention, he was one of the core contributors to the Agile Manifesto. We love that Kent Beck keeps goats on his Oregon property and even uses them as examples when he talks about finding the “itchy spot”. Goats aside, he took the win over Anderson as he has what we consider to be a development edge taking his creation of J Unit and TDD into account.