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Agile insights from LitheSpeed
10
Nov

Agile Caravanserai: Jim Highsmith

Jim Highsmith is one of the 17 signatories who met in Snowbird, Utah and gave us the gift of the Agile Manifesto. 

For two decades, Jim has inspired me with his example of pragmatic agility. His model of leadership-collaboration has stood the test of time as an alternative to the traditional command and control management model.  

Jim is a prolific writer and the author of five books on Agile, all of which have had a tremendous impact on the agile movement. Today, Jim is an executive consultant with ThoughtWorks helping organizations with their agile and digital transformations.  

I met Jim in the early 2000s, towards the beginning of my own agile journey.  Jim was an inspiration to me when I wrote my own first book, Managing Agile Projects way back in 2004.  We shared a belief in Complex Adaptive Systems as a foundation for agile methods. 

Also in 2004, at Jim’s invitation, several of us including Alistair Cockburn and David Anderson collaborated on the Declaration of Interdependence for agile and adaptive projects.  Jim’s leadership propelled the founding of the worldwide Agile Project Leadership Network. 

Those early days also saw a few of us applying agile methods to management and leadership for the very first time. 

As my long-time friend and mentor, I find Jim to be the classic example of a pragmatic leader who brings out the very best in each person he meets.

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-Sanjiv Augustine