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Agile insights from LitheSpeed
18
Nov

Agile Caravanserai: Alistair Cockburn

 

Alistair Cockburn is one of the 17 signatories of the Agile Manifesto, the author of the Crystal methodology and the founder of the Heart of Agile movement.

Back in 2002, Alistair wrote the seminal book, Agile Software Development: A Cooperative Game and brought his unique methodologist’s eye to agile methods.

I met Alistair in those early days, and was taken in by his energy, passion and erudition.  Alistair and I had several conversations that have stuck with me to this day several years later.  For instance, we had a conversation we had about autopoesis, which is Maturana and Varela’s term for the self-generating, self-maintaining structure in living systems. Another conversation that I can remember with Alistair was about his passion for designing spaces, both on agile teams and also for agile conferences, with such attention to detail. He thought about them as gardens and how to grow them and bring people together so that they could thrive.

I really believe that one of the reasons that we have the agile community today is because of Alistair’s contributions in bringing together this global community for the very first time in 2003 in Salt Lake City for the first unified conference.

Along with Jim Highsmith, Mike Cohn, David Anderson and Ole Jepsen, Alistair’s perspective influenced the writing of the Declaration of Interdependence for Agile and Adaptive projects.

Alistair’s influence has been fairly wide ranging. For instance, Alistair’s Crystal Orange methodology forms the foundational basis for all scaled methods today, including the Scaled Agile Framework and Disciplined Agile.

Over the years, Alistair has been a force of nature, rallying people together all over the world behind the agile cause. Today, Alistair brings his incredible passion and enthusiasm for life to the Heart of Agile movement, seeking to return agile methods to their first principles.

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-Sanjiv Augustine