This match up was as close they get. Ilan represents Scrum Australia, and has forged partnerships with not only his countrymen, but also with Mike Cohn as an author selected to represent Mike’s series of books through Addison Wesley. Ilan is also only 1 of 5 Global CST’s, and sets a high bench mark for his contributions within the Agile Community.
Eric took the influencer category with his best selling book, Lean Start Up (90,000 copies sold), as well as his blog following of 75,000+ registered users. While both have contributed extensively to Agile Academia, Eric won the category for his recognition from Harvard, and their inclusion of his material into the Entrepreneurial track.
Neither Ilan or Eric can be accredited with any specific framework, though its safe to conclude their contributions to Agile are still rather substantial. Ilan is more of traditional contributor, given his credentials and certifications. Ilan has helped develop other agile leaders, and continues to pour energy into making connections across the globe. Eric’s book has taken the product owner community by storm, and more importantly, set up countless start ups with an approach for helping accelerate Minimum Viable Product (MVP) candidates. This has helped start ups determine whether they should invest energy building against their current platform, or pivot to another nuance that might be more beneficial to their user community.
This match up could be justified as going to either Ilan or Eric, so we had to determine an ultimate tie breaker. In this case, we opted to examine social media presence, and went with twitter presence and followers. In this case, Eric beat Ilan out, 221,000 followers to 786.
Two titans of scaling Scrum for enterprises go head to head in this epic Sweet 16 match up. In the end, Jeff Sutherland takes the 4-0 victory. Jeff has dominated the round with his participation in the creation of Scrum, his continued collaboration in the Agile community through blogs, forums, print media, and Scrum research conducted at Scrum Inc. He is a co-inventor of the Scrum framework and the creator of Scrum at Scale, a direct competitor to Leffingwell’s SAFe framework. Without Scrum, Leffingwell’s SAFe framework would likely not exist. To Leffingwell’s credit, the SAFe framework has proven to be effective in large corporations and government agencies where complete culture shifts to Agile can be abnormally challenging. The Sutherland Express has left the station and this is one train that’s going to be hard to derail.
Jim Highsmith got a tough draw for the sweet 16 round. Jim has had a storied career, highlighted by his involvement in the Manifesto creation and signing, as well as 3 books, and the introduction of Adaptive Software Development (ASD). Jim was also one of the founding members of the Agile Alliance, as well as the Agile Project Leadership Network (APLN). Jim was also a co-editor with Alistair Cockburn on an Addison Wesley series for Agile Software Development.
Scott Ambler has made significant contributions to the landscape of frameworks, not only making improvements to the Rational Unified Process (RUP) with the introduction of the Agile Unified Process (AUP) and Enterprise Unified Process (EUP) – but most recently with his effort to introduce Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD). Scott also has done work on Agile Modeling and the Agile Scaling Model. Ambler has published 6 books to date and has been a keynote presenter at over 20 conferences since the mid-’90s.
Ambler takes the categories of Influencer, Frameworks, and Academics, with Partnerships being won Highsmith (for his work with Cockburn, and the Manifesto signers). Ambler won out the Agile Community category for his extensive conference participation. Another great match up, and another tough debate!
In a surprising blow out, Ken Schwaber dominated Ward Cunningham during this unexpected Sweet 16 matchup. Ward Cunningham had a strong opening in the first round, sweeping all 5 categories, creating what we thought would be an interactive debate during his matchup with Ken Schwaber in the Sweet 16 round.
Cunningham is most notably recognized as the inventor of the Wiki, authoring his book ‘The Wiki Way’. Cunningham is an original signer of the Agile Manifesto, a pioneer using Extreme Programming (XP), and creator of the Framework for integrated test (Fit) in 2002. Additionally, Cunningham is credited with coining the term ‘Technical Debt’, has a strong social media presence with 32k+ Twitter followers, and was the recipient of the 2012 Dr. Dobb’s Award.
Cunningham’s list of accolades fell short however in comparison to the magnitude of Ken Schwaber’s many contributions to the Agile realm. Schwaber notably co-created the Scrum framework with Jeff Sutherland and is also an original signer of the Agile Manifesto. Schwaber is the only founding member of the 3 major Scrum groups, Agile Alliance, Scrum Alliance, and Scrum.org. Schwaber has authored or co-authored 5 publications including, the ‘Definitive Scrum Guide’ with Sutherland in 2010. Schwaber actively contributes to the Agile community with his blog posts and has recently launched the Scaled Professional Scrum curriculum and training courses on Scrum.org. Schwaber’s depth and breadth of influence and knowledge in the Agile universe proved to be the final blow to any chance Cunningham had in the Agile Madness bracket.
This was another tight match. With Ivar’s international consulting company operating in 6 countries and 3 continents, and their gold designation as the leading provider for SAFe training in Europe – Ivar won the Influencer category. Ivar also narrowly took the framework category, with the contributions that helped define Test Driven Development (TDD) and Behavior Driven Design (BDD). Cockburn has Crystal to his credit on the framework side, though not very ubiquitous in use or application. Cockburn easily won the next 3 categories, weighing in with 7 books, a partnership with Highsmith, and bunch of free videos discussing various points of agile development. With Highsmith, Cockburn is not just an editor; they have a variety of articles and interviews they have done together as well. Cockburn is also a regular on the Agile speaking circuit, and is easily accessible on linkedin.
Mary was a dark horse for running her way to the Final 4 prior to drawing Mike Cohn in her bracket. Mary has an extensive catalog of writing, spanning 42 essays, 4 books, and a Jolt Award for Software Development Productivity. She is currently the Managing Director of the Agile Alliance and a teacher at Lean Systems Society. Mary’s academic contributions, and her continuous zest for coaching and teaching Lean, has helped cement her as mainstay in the Agile Community.
Mike Cohn is a juggernaut in this tourney, as well as one of the nicest guys in Agile. Mike is the current owner of Mountain Goat Software, and one of the world’s most recognized Agile trainers. Mike was a founding member of the Scrum Alliance, and has 3 books to his credit, notwithstanding his Addison Wesley Signature Series (with authors like Ilan Goldstein, Janet Gregory, Lisa Crispin, Lyssa Adkins, Roman Pichler, Clinton Keith, Jurgen Appelo, and Kenny Rubin). Mike currently uses his twitterverse influence of 21K followers, to help share best practices and offer advice on how to solve some of Agile’s most common pitfalls.
While Mary’s academic prowess is rarely challenged, Mike pulled out the win with his Signature Series and frontrowagile.com contributions. Mike has also partnered with more than 25% of this Agile Madness Bracket in one capacity or another. Mike has actively responded to our Practice team when we have questions or ask for background on him that we might not find in our own research. Apart from the frameworks category, that is not relevant for either Mike or Mary, Mike takes a clean sweep, and is one step closer to the Final 4.
Leave it to the king of Kanban, David Anderson, to dethrone Robert C. Martin in every category of this round. With over 40-years of experience, ‘Uncle Bob’ has about a decade’s worth more of involvement within the software development community than his counterpart. He also has thousands of views on his YouTube videos that discuss Clean Architecture and S.O.L.I.D. However, Anderson’s extensive and continuous contributions to each of our 5 categories allowed him to defeat his opponent. Between authoring several books, maintaining an Agile Management Blog, co-founding multiple networks, and having contributed toward the establishment of Feature-driven Development (FDD) and the revolution of Kanban, Anderson won by means of a royal flush.
In a wild card win, Barry Boehm moved on to face off against Kent Beck in this Sweet 16 matchup. COCOMO could not save Barry this round, with a 4-1 win by Beck. Beck’s contributions have changed software and testing methods in the Agile community with the creation of the J-Unit and other testing frameworks. Based on the Boehm Spiral Model, and his partnership with other thought leaders, Beck introduced the Extreme Programming (XP) framework. While this framework is not as widely used today, the underlying components have had significant influence on other frameworks like Scrum. Beck continues to contribute to the Agile community through LinkedIn, blog posts, and through his company Three Rivers Institute. As one of the only remaining software engineers left in tournament, a dark horse seems to be emerging. The only question that remains, is can Beck keep this momentum going in to the Elite 8?