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The Most Influential People in Agile

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A recent post by Paul Dolman-Darrall on the Value, Flow, Quality blog proposed a list of the 20 most influential people in the Agile community.

The final list took into account a number of factors:

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.

The top 20 people on the list are:

  1. Mike Cohn
  2. Ken Schwaber
  3. Robert (Uncle Bob) Martin
  4. Martin Fowler
  5. David J. Anderson
  6. Jurgen Appelo
  7. Ron Jeffries
  8. Craig Larman
  9. Jeff Sutherland
  10. Kent Beck
  11. Mary Poppendieck
  12. Scott Ambler
  13. Esther Derby
  14. Alistair Cockburn
  15. Roman Pichler
  16. Jim Highsmith
  17. Israel Gat
  18. Lyssa Adkins
  19. James Shore
  20. Henrik Kniberg

Not surprisingly, every person in the list has published one or many books, and all of them (with the exception of Jeff Sutherland) appeared in Top 100 Agile books (Edition 2011) published by Jurgen Appelo. The same goes for blogs with most of this list (with the exception of Jim Highsmith, Scott Ambler, Kent Beck and Craig Larman) appearing on the Top 200 Agile Blogs list published in 2011 on the Agile Scout blog.

For Craig Larman, being included on the list appeared to be a surprise, as he stated on the front page of his site:

Without trying (don't blog or twitter on the subject) made #8 on "the top 20 most influential agile people". thanks!

Roman Pichler expressed his excitement on Google Plus:

I am really chuffed to be named as one of the 20 most influential agile people.

Commenting on the list, Erik Petersen suggested that the Gordon Pask Award should have been considered as an extra data source:

Of the 15 people awarded, only Jim Shore makes your list. I'd say that shows a downside to your data collection method. I'm not saying they should be in the top 20, it should be a criteria in your ranking.  I've personally found sometimes there is an inverse relationship between number of books published and actual influence, just saying.....

There was also some discussion on those who perhaps should have made the list. Yves Hanoulle commented that other people like Naresh Jain, Jean Tabaka, Jerry Weinberg, Lisa Crispin, Johanna Rothman and Eric Ries, amongst others, have made a considerable influence on the community.

There were 500 names considered in the process of making the list, according to Paul Dolman-Darrall. These lists always elicit discussion, so are there any influential people in the Agile community that you think should have ranked in the top 20? 

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