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AgileAlliance meeting at OOPSLA

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  • Ken Schwaber
    The Agile Alliance Leaps Forward ... When the term ``agile methods was coined at Snowbird early in 2001, few of us could have predicted the speed with which
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 25, 2001
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      The Agile Alliance Leaps Forward
      --------------------------------

      When the term ``agile methods'' was coined at Snowbird early in 2001,
      few of us could have predicted the speed with which the word ``agile''
      would enter the lexicon. Since then, there's been a broad range of
      activity under the agile banner, both from the manifesto authors
      themselves and from other agile-minded people in the community.

      The annual OOPSLA conference held in Tampa, Florida in October marked
      the first occasion since Snowbird when most of the authors of the
      manifesto could get together to assess the effects of the last six
      months. One night, we evicted the students from the their rumpus room,
      and met, joined by others who were also interested in assessing what
      we'd done and what we should do next.

      Where we've been
      -----------------

      Jim Highsmith and Martin Fowler wrote an agile cover article for
      Software Development magazine; Jim teamed up with Alistair Cockburn to
      do a similar article for IEEE Computer. OOPSLA saw the debut of the
      book ``Agile Software Development'' by Alistair, another gaudily
      colored XP book by Ken Auer and Roy Miller and (finally) a book on
      Scrum by Ken Schwaber and Mike Beedle. In many ways a summit of our
      efforts was the fact that agile software development merited an
      article in that bastion of lucidity and taste, ``The Economist''.

      The object-oriented community has long had a inclination to work in an
      agile way, so there was no surprise to see that agile processes were
      heavily featured throughout the OOPSLA conference program. Alistair
      Cockburn's keynote was all about agility, and few will forget his
      notion of swimsuits as a metaphor for methodologies. Tom DeMarco's
      keynote praised agility as well, and he confided that his latest book
      was originally titled ``The Agile Organization''. There were also a
      dozen tutorials and four workshops with an agile theme. All in all,
      quite a buzz for concept that didn't even have a name last year.

      But one unanswered question seemed to be on everyone's mind. All of
      the authors of the agile manifesto have received emails from people
      asking to join the ``agile alliance'', despite the fact that there is
      no club to join. Many have asked how they can help, to which Alistair
      gives the reply that they should take a flag, start running and see
      who follows. The metaphor we liked best was that the Snowbird
      Seventeen had authored the manifesto and then broken a bottle of
      champagne over the bow of the good ship Agile Methodology, launching
      it into what we hope is a splendid dawn.


      Where we're going
      -----------------

      Having set the notion of agility loose in the world, we took the time
      at OOPSLA to discuss where we are going next. Ward Cunningham and
      Dave Thomas are adding a facility to the AgileAlliance.org site that
      will let people sign the manifesto--you can show the world your
      support for the concepts in the manifesto and in the principles by
      signing this page.

      Ken Schwaber is putting together a working group to examine ideas for
      forming an on-going agile organization to foster awareness and
      education of agile methods. Alistair and Jim have launched a new book
      series on agile development, Laurie Williams and Bob Martin are
      plotting to organize a conference next year, and Dave and Andy Hunt
      will be promoting agile construction techniques in their new column in
      IEEE Software magazine, as well as hosting an agile portal.

      Plenty of other ideas are brewing, including expanding the web site to
      include additional information such as a section for reviewed papers.

      How you can help
      ----------------

      We got more accomplished in a few hours of face-to-face conversation
      than we had in several months of back and forth email and phone calls,
      providing another firm data point for a fundamental assertion of the
      Agile manifesto--that collocation, conversations, and interaction are
      indeed the most effective ways to work.
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