The Lifetime Achievement Award was introduced in 2017. It has been given to broadly accomplished Agilists every year since.

Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award gain automatic entry into the World Agility Forum recognition book.

2021 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

Dr. Vinton G. Cerf and Dr. Robert E. Kahn

Dr. Vinton G. Cerf (born June 23, 1943) is an American Internet pioneer and is recognized as one of "the fathers of the Internet", sharing this title with TCP/IP co-developer Bob Kahn. He has received honorary degrees and awards that include the National Medal of Technology, the Turing Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Marconi Prize and membership in the National Academy of Engineering.

Dr. Robert E. Kahn (born December 23, 1938) is an American electrical engineer, who, along with Vint Cerf, first proposed the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), the fundamental communication protocols at the heart of the Internet.

In 2004, Kahn won the Turing Award with Vint Cerf for their work on TCP/IP.

Cerf and Kahn developed a set of guidelines for data transfer using packet switching in 1980, calling those guidelines TCP/IP, or Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol. The TCP part of the protocol is in charge of packing the data before it moves across the network and unpacking it once it has arrived. The IP component acts as the trip coordinator and maps the movement of information from its start point to its end point.

While Kleinrock’s experiment proved that a single network between two computer systems was possible, Cerf and Kahn’s TCP/IP provided the backbone for an efficient and large web of interconnected networks—thus the name “Internet.” 

2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Linda Rising

Linda Rising is an American author, lecturer, and independent consultant. Rising is credited with having played a major role in having "moved the pattern approach from design into corporate change." She also contributed to the book 97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know , edited by Kevlin Henney and published by O´Reilly in 2009.

The study  of scrum software development process for small teams  by Rising and Norman S. Janoff is cited as the first published study in which the scrum, a development process for small teams which includes a series of "sprints" which each last typically between one and four weeks, was tested in real-life projects. The study has been cited for showing "that nonhierarchical teams work more effectively through the complex iterations and time-consuming gestation of a software program" and that "they gain strength through shared successes and failures".

She is editor of the book  Design Patterns in Communication Software , a compendium of patterns, which appeared in 2001. Contributors to her book include experts from the patterns community such as James O. Coplien and Douglas C. Schmidt. She is the author of Fearless Change : Patterns for Introducing New Ideas , co-authored with Mary Lynn Manns and published 2004.

Rising has been a keynote speaker at the  Agile2007  conference (topic: "Are agilists the bonobos of software development?"), the  OOP 2009  conference (topic: "Who Do You Trust?"), the  Agile testing days Berlin 2010  (topic: "Deception and Estimation: How we fool ourselves"), at the  GOTO Amsterdam 2014  conference (topic: "Science or Stories?"), and at the  European Testing Conference 2016  in Bucharest (topic: "The Agile Mindset")

Her work has inspired many in the agile community, for instance, Steve Adolph and Paul Bramble, who, together with Alistair Cockburn and Andy Pols, expanded further on Rising's use patterns.

Rising lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

Here is a link to her testimony at the World Agility Awards Gala.

2019 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Ken Schwaber

Ken Schwaber  (born 1945 in Wheaton, Illinois) is a software developer, product manager, and industry consultant. He worked with Jeff Sutherland to formulate the initial versions of the Scrum framework and to present Scrum as a formal process at OOPSLA'95. Schwaber and Sutherland are two of the 17 initial signatories of the Agile Manifesto. They are co-authors of the  Scrum Guide . Schwaber runs, which provides Scrum resources, training, assessments, and certifications for Scrum Masters, Scrum Developers, Scrum Product Owners, and organizations using Scrum.

Schwaber is one of the leaders of the agile software development movement. He is a founder of the Agile Alliance, and he is responsible for founding the Scrum Alliance and creating the Certified Scrum Master programs and their derivatives. He resigned from the Scrum Alliance in 2009 after a disagreement with the board regarding assessments, certification, and a developer program. He subsequently founded At, he led the development of new courseware, assessments, and partnerships to improve the quality and effectiveness of Scrum. He has published and updated Scrum with Jeff Sutherland and wrote "Software in Thirty Days" also with Sutherland.

Here a link to his testimony at the World Agility Awards Gala.

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

Ron Jeffries & Chet Hendrickson

Ron Jeffries  (born December 26, 1939) is one of the three founders of the Extreme Programming (XP) software development methodology circa 1996, along with Kent Beck and Ward Cunningham. He was from 1996, an XP coach on the Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation System project, which was where XP was invented. He is an author of Extreme Programming Installed, the second book published about XP. He has also written Extreme Programming Adventures in C#. He is one of the 17 original signatories of the Agile Manifesto..

My teams and I have implemented software products earning over half a billion dollars in revenue, including commercial software in assembler, FORTRAN, Pascal, C, C++, and Smalltalk. (I wonder why I didn't get any of the money.) I've also done substantial non-commercial development in LISP, Forth, and probably half a dozen other languages. I've implemented commercial operating systems, compilers, relational and set-theoretic database systems, and a wide range of applications. I have degrees in Mathematics and in Computer and Communication Science. All this experience comes at a price: I absolutely never get carded when I order a glass of beer. I was fortunate enough to get involved with Extreme Programming at the beginning, and I've been doing nothing but helping people with it ever since. Looking back over all my successful (and not so successful) projects, I'd apply XP techniques to all of them were I to do them over.

Chet Hendrickson has been involved with Agile Software Development since 1996, when as a member of Chrysler’s C3 project he helped develop Extreme Programming. In 2000, Ron Jeffries, Ann Anderson, and Chet wrote Extreme Programming Installed. It detailed XP’s core practices, how to do them, and how they work together to help teams be successful.

Since 2002, Chet has been an independent consultant, coach, and trainer. In 2009, he was asked by the Scrum Alliance to help develop the Certified Scrum Developer program. Chet and Ron Jeffries taught the first CSD course and continue to offer them in the United States and Europe. He has been a Certified Scrum Trainer since 2009.