We are headed to the Eastern hemisphere for the battle of the Aussie Agilists. Ilan Goldstein pulled out an impressive win over the Australian ‘Godfather of Agile’, Nigel Dalton. Both competitors have a significant footprint in Australia and other areas of the globe, but Ilan was able to edge out the ‘Godfather of Agile’ in almost all the categories.
Ilan is the founder of Scrum Australia and is an avid blogger, not afraid to challenge traditional theories. Ilan’s most notable accomplishment however, was his selection, among with 4 others, to be apart of a Mike Cohn agile book series. Ilan’s work on his book, ‘Scrum Shortcuts Without Cutting Corners’, sealed his victory over the Australian ‘Godfather of Agile’.
This match sparked an interesting debate: who’s done more for Agile? The new guy on the block with the hot book, and Ivy League resume? Or the Agile Coach that dedicates himself to helping other Agilists connect? By name, most people recognize Eric Ries. He’s got a book on the New York Times bestseller list, as well as Harvard backing his theories and content. He started off as a blogger, and grew his following to approx 75,000+ people. His book has sold 90,000 copies in under a year, and his twitter feed currently stands at 210,000 followers. Its hard to argue influence. What was under debate, was Agile Community involvement and Academics.
Yves does an excellent job connecting people in the Agile Community, and specifically looks to help promote lesser known folks . He’s contributed to articles that uncover bloggers “you’ve never heard of, but should read”, and has published some great books on Agile Games. For this match-up, it came down to partnerships, which Eric wins given his Lean Series Editor title, and continued promotion of lean principles through a host of new authors. Yves is a guy our Practice will follow, and hope to connect with to help him with his crusade of connecting Agile brethren.
In a landslide vote, Dean takes the match-up with a scorching 5-0 win. To Peter’s credit, his background doesn’t quite lend itself to our scoring criteria, though it should be noted he is a technology celebrity with an impressive list of technical accomplishments. Between BitLocker, Darknet, and his efforts to improve DVD and DVR technology, Peter would be a sure fire bet to beat Dean at coder’s camp.
Dean weighs in on this match up bringing his SAFe framework, 4 books, a partnership with Rally, and multiple keynote presentations over the last 5 years. Dean’s contributions are certainly significant, and it should be interesting to see how he stacks up against others with similar resumes.
While W. Edwards Deming is known for influencing numerous bodies of management and increasing the level of quality and effectiveness, he couldn’t win the match over the co-inventor of Scrum, Jeff Sutherland. Sutherland, a co-author of the Agile Manifesto, remains greatly active in the Agile Community.
His impressive list of publications has a lifespan beginning at the point he embarked upon Agile and continues to grow through the present day. Deming had a huge influence on the Japanese manufacturing industry after WWII. Sutherland has paired off with other great leaders such as Ken Schwaber and continues to battle the archaic delivery models.
This matchup was one of the reasons why this format and debate was so much fun. On the surface, it would be easy to argue the merits and accomplishments of either person, and this truly came down to our scoring criteria. Henrik regularly collaborates with Sutherland, Poppendieck, and Cockburn, notwithstanding his 3 books in publication, and his credentials as a board member of the Agile Alliance.
Ambler edges Henrik on publications, and has introduced Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) into the Agile ether as a potential framework for scaling, while also being associated with 4 other frameworks. The deciding factor in this debate was social media presence, and conference keynote presentations with Ambler leading both categories at 10K followers on twitter, a tweet per day, and 20 conference keynotes since the mid 90s. While scoring was tight, Ambler pulled out the victory, despite a valiant effort by Henrik.
Martin Fowler’s influence on the creation of Extreme Programming gave him the early lead by taking the Influencer category. The remaining four categories did not go as well for him. Jim Highsmith is the founding member of Agile Alliance which is a major contributor to the Agile Community today. Beyond that, Highsmith continued his dominance with his time served as Director of the Agile Project Management Advisory Service for the Cutter Consortium, which serves more than 5,200 clients from around the globe, including 42% of the Fortune 500 and more than 1,900 international clients.
Both have contributed to the Agile space from an academic perspective but this category was ultimately given to Highsmith. His supremacy in this category was further warranted for his Jolt Award for in 2000 and winning the 2005 International Stevens Award for outstanding contributions to the literature or practice of methods for software and systems development. Highsmith has also collaborated with Alistair Cockburn, co-editing the Agile Software Development Series of books from Addison Wesley, a very prominent series of books about various topics in today’s Agile Software Development realm.
The winner of this match-up is one of the co-developers of the Scrum methodology and one of the authors of the Agile Manifesto, Ken Schwaber. Gerald Weinberg is well known as a computer scientist with more than 40 published books, helping him with his only win, in the Academics category.
Ken sweeps the rest of the categories based on his extensive influence and partnerships, primarily around the creation of the Scrum framework with Jeff Sutherland. Ken is an active member in the Agile community, having founded the Scrum Alliance, Agile Alliance, and Scrum.org. Ken also speaks at various conferences and gatherings each year, actively contributes through his blog, and has written several books over the years.
Maria’s victory in the play-in round over Michael George was her moment to shine in this tournament, as Ward Cunningham brought a shut out to the first round party. While Maria’s efforts in Portugal are noteworthy, as is her most famous work “How to be a Great Product Owner”, she was outshined by Ward. As the inventor of the wiki, a pioneer in XP, and accredited with introducing the Framework for Integrated Tests (aka FIT, FitNesse), Ward sweeps the scoring on all categories. His social media presence is considerable at 32K followers, and he forges collegial debates with Ries and Beck when he gets the opportunity. He’s also the author of “The Wiki Way” and is also known as the inventor of the term, “technical debt”. With such an eclectic background, Ward is a contender with almost any Agilist in the 2015 bracket.
This battle came down to the wire, and proved to be a tough one to score. Ron Jeffries jumped out to an early lead taking the Influencer category with his contribution to XP. Jacobsen came back narrowly taking the frameworks category, for his involvement with RUP, UML, and Use Case Modeling. This was a point of contention with our Practice team, as Use Cases are more aligned to requirements than to frameworks, but still an interesting debate that split our team evenly. The argument made was that use cases helped paved the way for frameworks like test driven development (TDD) and behavior driven development (BDD), which led to Jacobsen taking the category over Jeffries and XP. Jacobsen is also the owner and CEO of a globally recognized and awarded consultancy, operating in 6 countries across 3 continents, and has published 6 books helping him take the Academics category. While Jeffries took the Partnership category with his work with Ward Cunningham and Kent Beck, he was still one point shy of taking the matchup.
In this match up, we had the pleasure of comparing one of the true lean pioneers in Ohno, to one of the men responsible for breathing life into the Agile Manifesto in Cockburn. Ohno’s contributions to the Toyota Production System, and further refinement of “Just in Time” delivery helped to not influence Kanban, but also our votes for the framework category. Ohno is also known for using Kaizen to help promote an environment predicated on self-empowerment, drastically different than the “command and control” approaches of all other major automobile manufacturers during his tenure at Toyota. Kaizen was more than just an continuous improvement; it was a mindset, an embodied culture, and truly one of the first forms of “inspect and adapt” found in manufacturing. Ohno also published 3 books, and retired in 1978, 22 years before the Agile Manifesto was published and signed.
While Cockburn has Crystal, which is a “human powered” methodology, it simply did not stand up against Ohno and the TPS. Cockburn however, has a vibrant list of academia, including 7 books, a blog, and an irreverence that is a joy to read. Besides being one of the folks considered the glue of the manifesto, he has partnered with Jim Highsmith as co-editor of the Agile Software Development Series of books from Addison Wesley, and can often be found tweeting various Agilists about articles or topics of hot debate within the Community. These contributions helped to sway votes, and seal a 4-1 win for Cockburn.
Bjarte got a tough round 1 draw with Mike Cohn. For those not familiar, Bjarte’s primary contribution to the Agile field, is his work on management and performance theory. While not directly related to Agile delivery, Bjarte is responsible for introducing “Beyond Budgeting” which describes issues like the illusion of control, micromanagement, and lack of self managing teams. From an Agile Transformation perspective, Bjarte also highlights core principles required to accelerate growth and trust. The reason Bjarte lost this match up, is due to Mike Cohn being a top tier contributor to the field. Mike is not only President at Mountain Goat Software, but also an author of 3 books, and a signature series editor of 8 books.
Mike is a founding member of the Scrum Alliance, very accessible on LinkedIn, and boasts 21K followers on twitter. in 2012, Mike was named to the Top 20 of Most Influential Agile People, and actually walked away with the #1 Ranking. This matchup, along with inspiration from Yves, may actually spark a bracket where we look at the folks that make more subtle contributions that we should acknowledge and embrace as an Agile Community.
Get out the dust pan, we have a clean sweep in this matchup. Craig Larman came into this competition with high hopes of being named one of the Top 20 Agile Most Influential People in 2012. Creating the Large Scale Scrum framework is nothing to bat an eye at however the credentials of his opponent proved to be far superior in the Agile space. With a 5-0 victory Mary Poppendick breezes into the sweet 16 without breaking a sweat. Her presence in the Agile academics space is astounding. An award winning author of books about Lean Software Development along with a website dedicated to lean essays pushed her past her competition here. She is the managing director of Agile Alliance so in terms of influence and being active in the agile community she could not be matched.
In the match up of Uncle Bob vs. the unpictured EA Edmonds, we give the nod to Uncle Bob. While EA Edmonds helped write an essay in 1974 that helped to spur the idea for the creation of the Manifesto, it was only enough to earn him votes for the Influencer category. Uncle Bob took votes for Academics with the publishing of 5 books, as well votes for his community involvement. Martin is known for “Clean Code”, a software craftsmanship movement, and also served as the first chairman for the Agile Alliance. Martin is a regular speaker at International conferences and trade shows.
David Anderson’s shutout victory was not one that went down without a fight in this battle of greatness. While these two prominent figures partnered against one another in this match-up, they are known for partnering with one another in their efforts to establish FDD and its framework principles. Known as the pioneer of the Kanban method alongside his establishment of numerous Agile and Lean networks, Anderson took the edge over one of the Agile Manifesto’s founding fathers. While Kern certainly has engineering expertise alongside an impressive history, Anderson is continuing to promote a greater knowledge base of Kanban and other Agile models through the Lean Kanban University and by facilitating a multitude of classes and conferences around the globe.
In this battle of the brains, Dr. Barry Boehm just barely took the win over Peter Drucker. Having created the Spiral method, Boehm won the Frameworks category due to the software development model later becoming a foundational element of XP. Despite having a PHD in mathematics, Boehm was not able to take the Academics category as Drucker’s long list of published books was no match against his counterpart. Since neither competitor had an edge in the other categories, the winner was deemed after reviewing the Wild Card factor.
Considering that one of Drucker’s published works was adapted into both a Japanese anime feature in 2009 and then a live action film two years later, he caught our attention on account of obscure uniqueness. However, Boehm’s Constructive Cost (COCOMO) model won our hearts as it displays that throwing additional programmers at an already late project, only makes it later.
You might live under a rock if you’ve not yet heard of Kent Beck. And if you’re Kent Beck, you’re going to rock the vote. Both Beck and Keeling are known for sharing their personal software engineering experiences through blogs, social media and speaking engagements. Kent Beck however takes home the gold when it comes to these contributions sparking discussion and greater collaboration. This signer of the Agile Manifesto has continued to be an active member of the Agile community.
He has created several test frameworks and boasts an extensive number of authored works. Kent Beck is the founder of XP, S Unit, J Unit-Java and Three Rivers Institute. He revived Test Driven Development and no doubt, will continue to remain a household name in the world of Agile.