New to Agile and Scrum?

Top 10 Agile Peoples

"Well, somebody has to be number one. It was a surprise to me that the clear winner is not responsible for the leading Scrum or Kanban approaches. Mike Cohn, the Scrum Alliance Chairman, author of multiple leading books on the subject has been awarded first place. In almost every category, Mike Cohn’s name appeared in the top 10, and almost always in first or second position. Congratulations Mike."

-Mike Cohn

Even with Scrum’s market share under attack from those choosing to use Kanban, the highly criticised Scrum Master program, which Ken has replicated and the controversial resignation (technically caused by a bicycle accident) from the Scrum Alliance. Ken still remains very popular. Behind the original invention of Scrum, he still resonates with a large proportion of the community.

- Ken Schwaber

Highly influential on the development community. He has several books in the bestsellers list, often years after their release and is very popular on twitter. Uncle Bob as he is known has been a software professional since 1970 and initiated the meeting which led to the Agile Manifesto.

- Uncle Bob Martin

Over 40,000 twitter followers (making him the most popular in the Agile community) and a hard-core fan base makes Martin Fowler a key influential member of the community. Having spent most of his career at Thoughtworks, he continues to be a strong advocate for refactoring.

- Martin Fowler

David Anderson is the father of software Kanban. Though he scores considerably lower (book sales for example) than I expected, one cannot ignore the impact he has had on the community through Kanban. He has recently launched accreditation and is the chairman of the Lean SSC.

- David Anderson

A bigger name in Europe than America. Jurgen Appelo has taken the market by storm with his Management 3.0 book about complexity. Has recently been an advocate of the Stoos movement and Agile Lean Europe. He has also released a book called How to change the world. He is one of the few ‘new guard’ to make the list and so it may be worth reading.

- Jurgen Appelo

One of the three founder of Extreme Programming, and though Kent Beck typically gets more credit, most people name the practices as listed by Ron Jeffries. Still active in the community today, he has a very popular blog.

- Ron Jeffries

A surprise high entrant. Craig has three titles, which all sell reasonably well which drives his influence. Still one of the leading authors on how to scale Agile.

- Craig Larman

The second founder of Scrum. Jeff Sutherland continues to promote hyper productivity at conferences and the beauty of 30 day software. As Jeff points out on his blog, interest in agile scrum continues to grow, and it is still the main Agile approach for software development teams today. Jeff has never really been a writer of books, but has two coming out, which if they sell well, may improve his position.

- Jeff Sutherland

There are those who will be very critical of Kent Beck’s position. He drives a hard-core fan base, but the reality is that XP seems to be unfashionable today compared to other Agile methods. Kent Beck has a highly popular twitter account, but despite two excellent books, he was not on the best-seller list provided by Amazon.

- Kent Beck

New to Agile and Scrum?


When looking at the agile process, it is important to understand that agile is an umbrella term used to describe a general approach to software development. Though there are many agile incarnations, all agile methods, including the Scrum agile process, emphasize teamwork, frequent deliveries of working software, close customer collaboration, and the ability to respond quickly to change.


FAQ’s

How is scrum different than Agile?

Scrum is one of many in the agile process. You can think of agile as an umbrella term that encompasses other processes, such as Extreme Programming, Adaptive System Development, DSDM, Feature Driven Development, Kanban, Crystal and more.
Another way to think about the relationship between agile and Scrum is this: If your refrigerator were to break, you would go to an appliance store and be shown various refrigerators.
You might see refrigerators from Maytag, General Electric, Viking, Whirlpool, Frigidaire, SubZero, Bosch and so on. You would leave the store, let's say with a Maytag, because its unique features best fit your needs. In the same way that Maytag is a brand of refrigerator, Scrum is a brand of agile.
Unlike refrigerators, however, you can customize the agile process to better fit your team. You can choose to primarily use Scrum, for instance, but also incorporate some of the desirable features of the other agile processes.
For example, many teams that use Scrum also employ test-driven development and pair programming, both of which are components of Extreme Programming. The flexibility of the agile process is a large part of its appeal.

How will Agile and scrum help me?

Transitioning to a new process is hard. The benefits of doing so must outweigh the cost. Organizations that have made the switch to the Scrum agile process report the following benefits, all of which are related and build on each other:
• Higher productivity
• Higher quality
• Reduced time-to-market
• Improved stakeholder satisfaction
• Increased job satisfaction
• More engaged employees
Having more engaged employees leads to more productivity gains, initiating a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement.

What’s so bad about waterfall development?

If whatever process you're using today is working, by all means stick with it. Keep in mind, though, that the rate of change in the world has accelerated dramatically over the past 30 years and especially over the past 10. Product development cycles that were acceptable 10 years ago would be laughable now.
There is no reason not to expect this quickening trend to continue. Today's “fast enough” will likely not be fast enough tomorrow. In order to remain competitive, companies developing software need an agile process that can help them keep up with the accelerating rate of change.
Agile and Scrum helps teams develop software quicker, and at lower costs, giving them a competitive advantage in a fast-paced market.

Isn’t Scrum just another fad!

Transitioning to a new process is hard. The benefits of doing so must outweigh the cost. Organizations that have made the switch to the Scrum agile process report the following benefits, all of which are related and build on each other:
• Higher productivity
• Higher quality
• Reduced time-to-market
• Improved stakeholder satisfaction
• Increased job satisfaction
• More engaged employees
Having more engaged employees leads to more productivity gains, initiating a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement.

Isn’t Scrum just another fad!

Scrum has been around a lot longer than you may think. The first paper on Scrum appeared in the Harvard Business Review in January 1986. Software teams started using the Scrum agile process in 1993.
Other agile processes started popping up shortly after this but the term “agile” was first applied to Scrum and similar processes in early 2001. With this long history, agile processes like Scrum have clearly passed the fad stage.
In fact, a 2009 survey by Search Software Quality found that 56 percent of organizations were using an agile process on at least some of their projects.

When using an Agile process, is Pair Programming required?

Of course they don't have to write all code in pairs, but that might be worthwhile on some projects and for some programmers. Pair programming is one of the Extreme Programming (XP) practices. But because it can often be a great idea, it has expanded beyond XP and into teams using other agile approaches, such as Scrum.
Every agile team should experiment with pair programming and figure out when it's appropriate for them and their project. It's quite possible that it's not 100 percent of the time, but it's even more likely that it's not 0 percent.

How do I get started with Agile and Scrum?

Change begins when an awareness that the status quo could be improved turns into a desire to do something different. All of the awareness and desire in the world, however, won't get you anywhere if you do not also acquire the ability to be agile. You will need not only to learn new skills but also to unlearn old ones to be efficient in the agile process, including:
• New technical skills, such as test automation and design evolution
• How to think and work as a team
• How to create working software within short time boxes
Because the Scrum agile process is sufficiently different from traditional software development, training along with on-site coaching or mentoring is usually required. What seems to work best for most companies is some initial training, oriented at creating a willingness to try Scrum and to understanding its core principles.
This general training is usually then followed up with practice-specific training or coaching, such as bringing a test-driven development expert on-site to work hands-on with teams in their code.
certs-school offers Agile and Scrum Certification Training to help you and your team get started and get better at agile and Scrum. To reinforce training, companies should provide opportunities (wikis, informal lunch-and-learns, cross-team exchanges) for teams to share information with each other.


The top 10 most influential Agile people

We buy the books, read the blogs, look for insights on twitter, hope they will follow us back, and search their names. It may be known as cult of personality, but it is very clear that we are influenced by particular individuals in the Agile community. We have used a combination of statistics from a number of different sites, Amazon Book Sales (US, UK & EU), the top 200 Agile blogs, Google insight and trend information, Klout data, Twitter numbers and rankings, the top 100 Agile books (which measures reader’s scores), and combined that with a final editorial decision to produce a list of the most influential people in Agile. This list is definitely not meant to be definitive and is posted with both good intentions and with good humour. A lot of data was gathered using Mechnical Turk, and then has been compiled by the editor. As this is an editorial, thus subjective, it represents the opinions of the writer, not the company, nor the scores produced by the Mechanical Turk. We considered over 500 names during the whole process. However, if you are sure your name should be on the list – please mail me in confidence. I hope you enjoy the list.


10. Kent Beck
There are those who will be very critical of Kent Beck’s position. He drives a hard-core fan base, but the reality is that XP seems to be unfashionable today compared to other Agile methods. Kent Beck has a highly popular twitter account, but despite two excellent books, he was not on the best-seller list provided by Amazon.

9. Jeff Sutherland
The second founder of Scrum. Jeff Sutherland continues to promote hyper productivity at conferences and the beauty of 30 day software. As Jeff points out on his blog, interest in agile scrum continues to grow, and it is still the main Agile approach for software development teams today. Jeff has never really been a writer of books, but has two coming out, which if they sell well, may improve his position.

8. Craig Larman
A surprise high entrant. Craig has three titles, which all sell reasonably well which drives his influence. Still one of the leading authors on how to scale Agile.

7. Ron Jeffries
One of the three founder of Extreme Programming, and though Kent Beck typically gets more credit, most people name the practices as listed by Ron Jeffries. Still active in the community today, he has a very popular blog.

6. Jurgen Appelo
A bigger name in Europe than America. Jurgen Appelo has taken the market by storm with his Management 3.0 book about complexity. Has recently been an advocate of the Stoos movement and Agile Lean Europe. He has also released a book called How to change the world. He is one of the few ‘new guard’ to make the list and so it may be worth reading.

5. David Anderson
David Anderson is the father of software Kanban. Though he scores considerably lower (book sales for example) than I expected, one cannot ignore the impact he has had on the community through Kanban. He has recently launched accreditation and is the chairman of the Lean SSC.

4. Martin Fowler
Over 40,000 twitter followers (making him the most popular in the Agile community) and a hard-core fan base makes Martin Fowler a key influential member of the community. Having spent most of his career at Thoughtworks, he continues to be a strong advocate for refactoring.

3. Uncle Bob Martin
Highly influential on the development community. He has several books in the bestsellers list, often years after their release and is very popular on twitter. Uncle Bob as he is known has been a software professional since 1970 and initiated the meeting which led to the Agile Manifesto.

2. Ken Schwaber
Even with Scrum’s market share under attack from those choosing to use Kanban, the highly criticised Scrum Master program, which Ken has replicated and the controversial resignation (technically caused by a bicycle accident) from the Scrum Alliance. Ken still remains very popular. Behind the original invention of Scrum, he still resonates with a large proportion of the community.

1. Mike Cohn
Well, somebody has to be number one. It was a surprise to me that the clear winner is not responsible for the leading Scrum or Kanban approaches. Mike Cohn, the Scrum Alliance Chairman, author of multiple leading books on the subject has been awarded first place. In almost every category, Mike Cohn’s name appeared in the top 10, and almost always in first or second position. Congratulations Mike.

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Agile and Scrum
"Before looking at what is expected of a Scrum Master, one should first understand the concept of the scrum framework. Scrum is a lightweight agile management framework primarily used for software development tasks, including developing complete software packages or some components of larger systems. It describes an iterative and incremental approach for project work that allows it to remain flexible enough to change in a controlled manner without extra expenses and risks of destroying large sections of previous work."


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