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Jim Highsmith

Executive Consultant

Jim is an executive consultant with ThoughtWorks, Inc., having spent 30-plus years’ as an IT manager, product manager, project manager, consultant, and software developer. In 2005 he was honored to receive international Stevens Award for outstanding contributions to systems development.

His first job out of engineering school was on the Apollo manned space program. So he can say that my first project was a success ( my part was minor of course). Jim ran his first agile (not called agile back then) project in the early 1990′s, published his initial “agile” article in 1992, published “Adaptive Software Development” in 1999, co-authored the Agile Manifesto, co-founded the Agile Alliance, and the Agile Project Leadership Network. He published “Agile Project Management” in 2004 & 2009 (2nd edition), and "Adaptive Leadership" in 2013.

His work has included consulting with IT and software companies in the U.S., Europe, China, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Japan, India, and New Zealand, helping them adapt to the accelerated pace of change in increasingly complex, uncertain environments. He has held technical and management positions with software, computer hardware, banking, and energy companies. Jim's degrees are in Electrical Engineering and Management. He speaks at conferences worldwide, and has published dozens of articles in major industry publications. Jim is a semi-regular blogger and infrequent tweeter.

Major Publications

  • Adaptive Leadership: Accelerating Enterprise Agility (Addison-Wesley 2013).
  • Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products (Addison-Wesley 2004, 2009)
  • Agile Software Development Ecosystems(Addison-Wesley, 2002)
  • Adaptive Software Development: A Collaborative Approach to Managing Complex Systems(Dorset House, 2000) which won the prestigious Jolt Award
  • Co-editor, with Alistair Cockburn, of the Agile Software Development Series of books from Addison Wesley

Industry Contributions & Affiliations

Awards & Recognition

Latest Insights posts

18 Aug 2016

Technology Strategy

Building Reliable Digital Operations

Dan McClure and Jim Highsmith

13 Jul 2016

Technology

Inflection Points

Jim Highsmith, Mike Mason and Neal Ford

4 Feb 2016

Transformation

Portfolio Management in the Age of Digital Enterprises

Jim Highsmith and Natalie Hollier

16 Dec 2015

Technology Strategy

Implications of Tech Stack Complexity for Executives

Jim Highsmith, Mike Mason and Neal Ford

20 Aug 2015

Transformation

Forget Productivity

Jim Highsmith

1 Jun 2015

Technology Strategy

Redefining Operational Excellence in the Digital Age

Jim Highsmith

12 May 2015

Transformation

Priorities and Politics

Jim Highsmith

26 Apr 2015

Strategy

What’s the Hurry? Building a Digital Enterprise

David Robinson and Jim Highsmith

7 Aug 2014

Experience Design

Creating Sticky Ideas Through Storytelling

Jim Highsmith

20 Oct 2013

Continuous Delivery

[Webinar] Stop 'Doing Agile' Start 'Being Agile'

Jim Highsmith

4 Oct 2012

Innovation

Constraints Drive Innovation

Jim Highsmith

18 Sep 2012

Agile Project Management

Embracing Paradox

Jim Highsmith

20 Aug 2012

Agile Project Management

[Webinar] Dispelling Myths About Scaling Agile Projects

Jim Highsmith

14 Aug 2012

Agile Project Management

What is Agility?

Jim Highsmith

27 Jul 2012

Agile Project Management

Reducing Cycle Time

Jim Highsmith

10 Jul 2012

Agile Project Management

Agile Bureaucracy: When Practices become Principles

Jim Highsmith

29 Jun 2012

Transformation

Integrating Economics, Product, and Social Responsibility

Jim Highsmith

11 Jun 2012

Agile Project Management

Change is not Change

Jim Highsmith

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