BT

New Early adopter or innovator? InfoQ has been working on some new features for you. Learn more

Vale Agile Collaborator and Leader Jean Tabaka

| by Craig Smith Follow 3 Followers on Jun 10, 2016. Estimated reading time: 3 minutes |

Jean TabakaThe Agile community has lost a thought leader, influencer and friend, Jean Tabaka, who passed away earlier this week. She was best known through her work as an Agile Fellow at CA Technologies (formerly Rally Software) and author of the book "Collaboration Explained: Facilitation Skills for Software Product Leaders".

Tim Miller, former Chief Executive of Rally Software, broke the news to the community on his agility @ sea blog.

Today I found out a dear friend and colleague, Jean Tabaka, passed. Jean was someone very special and had a unique ability to influence and make the world a better place. When asked about what made Rally special, I’d always say collaboration and credit Jean.

He also reflected the thoughts of many in respect to her impact on the Agile community.

She was a lovely person, a great thought leader in the world of Agile and collaboration, and one of the most gifted colleagues I’ve ever worked with. Jean you will be sorely missed by the untold numbers of people that you touched with your many gifts.

She graduated Magna Cum Laude and as a University Scholar from the University of Missouri and held a Masters in French Literature from Michigan State University and a Masters in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University. In her early career she held down various software development roles with the US Government and companies such as Sybase and Siebel. She joined Rally in 2003 and it was in this role that she was able to coach, teach and share her areas of passion including collaboration, innovation and leadership. She was, in her own words, a road warrior and delivered a large number of talks and keynotes to numerous conferences and meetups across the world.

Yves Hanoulle profiled Jean in 2012 on his Who Is Agile blog (and the related "Who Is Agile?" book) in 2012, and asked her what her greatest achievement was:

As I look back on my life from where I am now, I am in utter awe that I get to do what I do and be who I am. I get to be incredibly passionate about my work, my colleagues, and the communities in which I engage. I get to give. And I receive so much. And I do it being Jean. Given that I had set my sights only on others for so long and assumed so little could be true for me, it truly is my biggest accomplishment: that I am really being Jean.

Her book, "Collaboration Explained" was published in 2006, and has constantly been a recommended book on top Agile book lists. Perhaps lesser known to the Agile community, she was also a co-author of "Physical Database Design for Sybase Sql Server", published in 1995. InfoQ published a review of "Collaboration Explained" in 2006, with the review author David Spann making the following conclusion:

Jean Tabaka, through her efforts as a teacher, consultant and as the author of "Collaboration Explained" has given the world a wonderful insight into what it takes to be collaborative, the techniques used by good facilitators to assist groups in being more productive, and some templates to assure their first efforts are well planned.

In 2010, Jean collaborated with Liz Keogh and Eric Willeke to produce a statement entitled "A Community of Thinkers" with an aim to challenge the Agile, Lean and Kanban community. The final line in that statement:

I am a member of a community of thinkers. If I should happen to be a catalyst more than others, I consider that a tribute to those who have inspired me.

Based on the tributes that have been pouring in from the Agile community this week, Jean was both a catalyst and an inspiration, and will be sorely missed.

Rate this Article

Adoption Stage
Style

Hello stranger!

You need to Register an InfoQ account or or login to post comments. But there's so much more behind being registered.

Get the most out of the InfoQ experience.

Tell us what you think

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

please contribute to the public slide deck by Yves Hanoulle

To celebrate and honor Jean, I create a public slide deck to co-create our stories goo.gl/6c17mO

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

1 Discuss

Login to InfoQ to interact with what matters most to you.


Recover your password...

Follow

Follow your favorite topics and editors

Quick overview of most important highlights in the industry and on the site.

Like

More signal, less noise

Build your own feed by choosing topics you want to read about and editors you want to hear from.

Notifications

Stay up-to-date

Set up your notifications and don't miss out on content that matters to you

BT