2007-09-18

The State of Agile Development

A few days ago I came across interesting news (I've been digesting it a bit), following up on my first post about Agile Software Development and the Enterprise World (SCRUM + CMMI).

A survey conducted by VersionOne entitled "The State of Agile Development" (PDF) reports on various indicators regarding Agile Development and its impact on organizations, both positive and negative outcomes. The survey reached nearly 1700 individuals across 71 countries. Vishal Sharma's blog is the source where I found this, he has posted some highlights about the survey.


As my perception is that many companies still don't benefit from Agile development and management, I was curious to see who within the organizations has driven and supported most the transition (corresponding to the question "What role most closely identifies the initial champion of Agile development in your organization"):

  • Team Lead / Dev Management: 22%
  • VP / Director of Development: 19%
  • C-Level Executive: 18%
  • Project Manager: 15%
Maybe because upper level management perceives too many risks or is misinformed and developers simply don't have the necessary influence, it seems that middle management plays a key role when it comes to adopting Agile practices.

But ultimately the executives have to be convinced it's worth it to adopt Agile methodologies, so here are some figures for them, regarding what has improved or significantly improved since the adoption of Agile practices by the surveyed companies:
  • Enhanced ability to manage changing priorities: 92%
  • Improved project visibility: 83%
  • Improved team morale: 82%
  • Increased productivity: 80%
  • Enhanced software quality: 77%
  • Reduced project risk: 75%
[This does not mean that productivity increased 80%, it means that 80% of cases productivity increased or increased significantly.]

Incidentally, I read today an article titled "Welcome to the First World, Now Your Labor Rates are Too High" by Michael Hugos. The vision expressed is part of what attracts me so much into Agile development and management practices: more and more, timing is key to deliver successfully, as reducing waste is important to keep costs not too high. We're not in the days when delaying a project or product by months is an option anymore (except maybe for very big companies, but it costs them!).

Companies must empower teams and individuals if they plan to stay competitive. So, what are you waiting for?

1 comment:

Vishal Sharma said...

Thanks for pointing to my article.
Why dont you come and join at my blog as guest writer and put yr blog lins from my blog.
You will get a good coverage.
Let me know if you are interested
http://contact.sharmavishal.com