The Agile Alliance


In John Stenbeck’s book “PMI-ACP® and Certified Scrum Professional Exam Prep and Desk Reference”, he talks briefly about the origins of Agile Methodology, in particular the development of the Agile Alliance that grew out of a seminal meeting of seventeen luminaries in the field of software development who met in the Snowbird resort in Utah in February 2001.    Out of that Agile Alliance came the Agile Manifesto, the Agile Principles, and the Ethos of Agile Project Management.

According to one of those luminaries, Martin Fowler (see his post http://martinfowler.com/articles/agileStory.html for details), there was a retreat held for various leaders in the Extreme Programming community in the Spring of 2000.   Extreme Programming was the result of the focus on newer object-oriented methods of programming rather than the typical procedural programming that had been prevalent before.   This type of programming evolved as a response to the ever shorter product cycles which the software business faced.

Kent Beck had invited extreme programmers or XPers to  discuss various issues in XP, and he also invited a number of people who were interested but separate from XP: such as Alistair Cockburn, Jim Highsmith, and Dave Thomas.

The discussion centered around the relationship between XP and other methods that were similar, which were not called Agile at the time but Lightweight Methods, as opposed to the waterfall or traditional Heavyweight Methods.     Bob Martin decided to put together a meeting of people interested in this broader range of methods.

This meeting was held at the Snowbird resort in Utah from February 11-13, 2001.   As a result of their discussions, this group called themselves the Agile Alliance (I’m glad they used that term and not the “Lightweight League”), and they created the Agile Manifesto, which is the subject of the next post.

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