“While 95% of the respondents said their organisations practise Agile, only 1% of the 3,880 respondents said their Agile implementation was unsuccessful.” – Versionone
When I read Matthew Kern’s post titled “Agile is Dead” on LinkedIn I was expecting facts, and not just a long list of links to other people’s personal opinions.
After reading it, the first instinct was that I should ignore the post as I don’t like being drawn into an argument of who is wrong or right, but I guess I am in this already as I think a lot of readers might be misinformed. I have therefore supplied some proven and indisputable facts and figures to counter his misleading personal opinion on Agile.
For the records, Agile is now a phenomenon that even its ‘propounders’ cannot contain anymore.
Unfortunately, the title of his article will draw the attention and excitement of a group of readers – those Agile skeptics resisting change in their organisations.
The facts and figures I want to present to counter Matthew’s opinion are from Versionone’s 10th annual State of Agile Survey.
In the past 10 years they have consistently conducted Agile surveys that make it clear that Agile software development has grown increasingly popular and adopted over the last decade. Participation in the survey has grown more than three-fold. In 2006, there were fewer than a thousand respondents to the survey, while the latest survey had 3,880.
The number of large enterprises that are embracing Agile continues to increase each year. More than 24% of the respondents worked for organizations with over 20,000 employees, compared to 21% last year.
Please, note that I have no connection whatsoever to Versionone and the survey is available publicly.
Here’s a sneak peek of the 2015 Survey
|Larger enterprises are embracing agile
24% of respondents work for organizations with 20,000+ employees.
|Agile is scaling
Scrum still dominates, but the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) made a big jump this year.
|Agile talent and experience is growing
63% said they were ‘very’ to ‘extremely’ knowledgeable about agile.
|Agile is going global
26% of the respondents work in Europe, and more than 18% work in Asia, South America, Oceania, and Africa.
|You’re succeeding with agile
95% reported that their organizations practice agile, and only 1% had experienced agile failure.
|Get more insights on the latest agile trends and best practices.|
There is a reader, Preetam De who commented on Matthew’s post on LinkeIn that I like so much and it summaries everything about the post for me … here it is
I quote Matthew - “I participated in an Agile development effort where the focus on the user was clearly highlighted as a myth in transformation initiatives. The end-users had no idea that their organizational function was obsolete and redundant. There was no reason to automate it. Millions were wasted.”
It’s a clear case of “a bad workman blames his tools”, only in this case it is a “Mindset” and not a tool, not a framework and not a methodology. I think he just never saw it, got frustrated, googled “Agile sucks” and added all link in one post to prove his point.
The number of respondents in very large organizations with more than 20,000 people continues to rise. Respondents from very large organizations increased from 20% last year to 24% this year. Compare that to 2006 when nearly two-thirds of the survey respondents said they worked in software organizations of fewer than 100 people.
AGILE DRIVES ENTERPRISE SUCCESS
Why are increasing numbers of enterprises adopting agile? The top reasons for the third year in a row are: accelerating product delivery (62%) and enhancing their ability to manage changing priorities (56%), which is not a surprise as organizations respond to increasing market demands and customer expectations. By all indications, agile is helping enterprises around the world succeed. For the past five years, the top three cited benefits of agile include: manage changing priorities (87%), team productivity (85%), and project visibility (84%).
HOW AGILE SUCCESS IS MEASURED
As agile grabs the attention of larger organizations and the C-suite, there is an increased interest in measuring agile success at the overall initiative level. For several years now the top three measures of successful agile initiatives has been on-time delivery of projects (58%), product quality
TOP TIPS FOR SUCCESS WITH SCALING AGILE
Now that momentum around scaling agile is growing, what are the key factors for success? The respondents said the top three tips for successfully scaling agile are consistent process and practices (43%), implementation of a common tool across teams (40%), and agile consultants or trainers (40%).
AGILE METHODS AND PRACTICES
While Scrum continues to dominate at the team level with 70% of respondents saying they practice Scrum or Scrum/XP hybrid, the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) made a significant jump to become the second most popular scaling methodology from 19% in 2014 to 27% in 2015.
Kanban is spreading too, as more organizations transition to more flow-based methods. From 2014 to 2015, the percentage of respondents who practiced Kanban techniques jumped from 31% to 39%. As Kanban popularity has increased, the number of people using work-In-progress and cycle time as measurements of agile success has grown as well.
BARRIERS TO ADOPTION AND SUCCESS
While agile adoption is increasing, there are still obstacles to overcome. The key barriers to further adoption usually hinge around culture, including the ability to change, general resistance to change, and management support. Interestingly, the majority of respondents pointed toward company culture as the reason for failed agile projects as well. Once these barriers are overcome, the limiting factor most often cited has been availability of personnel with the necessary agile experience.