Mike Beedle, one of the original signatories of Agile Manifesto, has inspired millions of people and made a difference in the world in a positive way. His contributions to the Agile Community, innovative ways of working, courageous leadership and revolutionary thinking has a significant impact on how a lot of Agile enthusiasts work today. He was one of the greatest minds in Agile industry and will be always fondly remembered by us.
I was interested to interview Mike Beedle, unfortunately that could not happen. Therefore, I bring this blog as a collection of five of his greatest value contribution to us;
1. Agile Manifesto : Seventeen years back, seventeen software practitioners gathered, brainstormed and sought ways to quickly build working software, let it reach the end user and get rapid feedback. This is how Agile Manifesto became a reality on February 2001. Mike Beedle was one of those seventeen software practitioners who added his wisdom to the Manifesto.
I reached out to co-authors of Agile Manifesto Arie van Bennekum and Alistair Cockburn, here is what they remembered of Mike-
“An approachable friendly man who has visionary thoughts. Also, we were aligned on the business angle of what we do. Both very much thinking about how to create value on the corporate/business level. I remember during our session in 2011, when we celebrated 10 years of the Manifesto, we talked about this as the next step in Agile evolution. Since then so many corporates have been working on becoming Agile as an organisation completely to achieve the benefits Agile can bring on the corporate level. From what I know it has always stayed in his focus and his recent work on Enterprise Scrum demonstrate this even more. An awesome guy, huge energy, awesome personality.”
– Arie van Bennekum
“Mike was a good person, at the same time intense and kind, intelligent and understanding. He supported my initiatives while in the process of developing and establishing his own, rare for consultants and thought leaders.”
– Alistair Cockburn
2. Agile doesn’t cure Incompetence : In one of his recent tweets, Mike has mentioned that one can coach teams to be more engaged and collaborative. He adds that there is no Agile Framework, Method or Mindset that can save one from blatant failure if the development team is incompetent in basic engineering practices. According to him, Technical Excellence is a must. Agile is not solutions for everything, like incompetency.
3. Agile Software Development with Scrum – Mike was one of the early adopters of Scrum framework and worked closely with Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber. He co-authored much read book ‘Agile Software Development with Scrum’ with Ken Schwaber in which building system using descriptively simple method process, Scrum is described. This book provides understanding on cutting down complexity and ambiguity of complex, emergent requirements and deliver quality software quickly.
Jeff Sutherland, co-author of Agile Manifesto has shared his thoughts about Mike and his contribution towards the community –
“Mike was the second person to generate hyperproductive teams with Scrum and the first CEO to run an entire company with Scrum even before Ken and I got together to introduce Scrum to the industry. To this day, he is (was) one of a handful of people on the planet who understand how to generate a hyperproductive company (the entire company in any domain) with Scrum. That is the future of Scrum and he was the future of Scrum.”
– Jeff Sutherland
4. Enterprise Scrum – Mike has developed the first fully explicit Business Agility framework – Enterprise Scrum. He realized the need for Business Agility and Agile Management as the world is changing faster and outdated Management methods can no longer manage these changes. According to him, success can’t be achieved by maximizing one variable like profit, revenue, low cost, operational efficiency, customer satisfaction etc. Instead, it can be achieved by balancing customer satisfaction, employee happiness, profits and purpose in the world. He proposed Enterprise Scrum framework to Agilize entire company – top to bottom, side to side, at all levels and regardless of its size.
Mike simply explained it as – “Enterprise Scrum is to grow unicorns, and transform dianasoures into unicorns!!”
5. Make most of the time you have : Mike was a family man and never missed a chance to spend time with his lovely daughters. He called them his treasure. Be it playing music for them or taking them out for lunch and dinners at special occasion, he made sure the happiness of his family.
The grief of Mike Beedle’s fiance Barbara Misiur is incredibly individual. Her pain is heart-wrenching which she shared with me while speaking her heart out about Mike as a family man.
“Mike was the best father to my children. He always worked hard to make sure we had food on table and everything we could ever need. Mike was definitely a food lover, he loved to eat well – we always enjoyed dinner together. We met years ago through our mutual passion for music. Specifically, he was a trance lover and at some point he completed a synths set to produce his own music. Sometimes the house was ‘shaking’ from loud music but I knew at the same time he was very happy. Through his extensive travelling around the world, Mike came to understand the complexity of the world more than anyone else I know. He was open minded and respectful of all cultures – I truly considered him a citizen of world, He was polite, generous and always a gentleman. I was and will always be very proud of him and his ability to walk into any situation or room, and be a person to brighten everyone’s day. He just had that effect on people.
When I asked him how he knew so much about Scrum, he explained to me that his PhD in Physics helped him to see into the future of business, and this was his talent and a blessing. He was my genius.
He always had stories to tell, always something interesting and relevant. We were madly in love and wanted to get married in Poland at the end of April 2018. Our three beautiful daughters will always remind me of Mike, each one of them is different and possess something unique from Mike. They are very smart and confident.
Our life will never be the same but this tragedy will never stop the immense love admiration we have for him. I know he is now our guardian angel, and he will stay alive in our hearts forever.”
– Barbara Misiur
INNOVATION ROOTS sends it’s condolence to Mike’s family. RIP Mike Beedle.
Please support his family by raising funds at https://www.gofundme.com/mikebeedlesupport.