Farewell, Martin Burns.

Farewell, Martin Burns.

Community News
Congratulating Martin for launching the SAFe Leadership Retreat. Click to enlarge. Photo courtesy of Phil Gardiner.

Recently, the SAFe community, and indeed the entire Agile movement, lost a dear friend and champion.

Coach, collaborator, big thinker, and host extraordinaire—I knew Martin Burns to be a truly independent, non-partisan, and deeply thoughtful industry leader.

Martin believed in SAFe, passionately, and was a follower of the Framework from its earliest days. In 2013, he attended an SPC class I taught in London where he brought an expansive view of agility, and inherently understood its potential beyond team-level Agile.

In an industry that is rich with ideology and conjecture, Martin was referred to as a “respectful antagonist,” which, based on my experience with him, is spot on. He had the rare ability to be considerate of many different opinions while at the same time delivering compelling arguments for his own ideas without hesitation or pretension.

Perhaps one of the reasons why Martin thrived in the world of SAFe was that he believed in the power of bringing people together under one roof. In fact, I’ve heard his own home referred to as the “SAFe House.”  He was an active contributor to many events that have helped nurture Lean-Agile communities in Europe, and in 2015, Martin and his wife Lucy organized the SAFe Leadership Retreat. Over the next few years, it became a high-level think-tank that helped us better understand the needs of the community and was key to the evolution of the Framework.

There is much to learn from Martin—his inquisitiveness, curiosity, and push for knowledge is something that will continue to inspire me and all of us at Scaled Agile. Our hearts are with Martin’s family and loved ones. Rest in peace.

—Dean and the team at Scaled Agile.

P.S.  There is a Go Fund Me campaign set up for his family here.

Other tributes:

Phil Gardiner and Martin Burns at 2015 SAFe Leadership Retreat. Photo courtesy of Phil Gardiner. Click to enlarge.

Author Info

Dean Leffingwell

Recognized as the one of the world’s foremost authorities on Lean-Agile best practices, Dean Leffingwell is an author, entrepreneur, and software development methodologist.

comment (2)

  1. Phil Gardiner

    10 Apr 2020 - 1:46 pm

    I can’t think of a single customer that I have coached that does not have me thinking of the lessons I learned from Martin. I think that he would be proud to see how the global SPCT community and SAI have partnered to help everyone shift to the reality of remote work. Thinking of you, Martin and Lucy. Regards. Phil

  2. Lucy Burns

    03 Jun 2019 - 11:43 pm

    Thank you for those words Dean.

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