Agile Adoption Rate Survey
The results of the survey are summarized in
Has Agile Peaked? published in the June 2008 issue of Dr. Dobb's Journal.
Some findings include:
- 69% of respondents indicated that their organizations are doing one or
more agile projects. Of those that hadn't yet started, 15% believed
their organizations would do so within the next year.
- 61% of developers think that their orgs are doing agile, whereas 78% of
management thinks so. Apparently developers are a bit more discerning.
- 82% of organizations doing agile were beyond the pilot project phase.
- Respondents overwhelmingly indicated that agile teams are producing
higher quality, have greater productivity, and enjoy greater stakeholder
satisfaction. See Figure 1.
- Agile success rates: 82% for co-located teams, 72% for near located
(people in different cubes, on different floors, working from home, ...),
60% for significantly distributed (planes would be involved to get people
together). See Figure 2.
- 84% of agile teams have iteration lengths of 4 weeks or less, and 2 week
iterations are the most popular.
- Although on average the costs are lower on agile teams, 23% of
respondents believe they are experiencing higher average costs. 40%
said costs were unchanged and 37% had lower costs.
- Co-located agile projects are more successful on average than
non-co-located, which in turn are more successful than projects involving
Figure 1. Effectiveness of agile software
development compared with traditional approaches.
Figure 2. Agile success rates by level of team
You may use this data
as you see fit, but may not sell it in whole or in part.
You may publish summaries of the findings, but if you do
so you must reference the survey accordingly (include
the name and the URL to this page). Feel free to
with questions. Better yet, if you publish,
please let me know so I can link to your work.
- It is clearly an incredibly low-risk decision to consider adopting agile
techniques. Only 5% of respondents indicated lower productivity, 9%
lower quality, and 7% lower business stakeholder satisfaction.
- There is a significant risk premium on team distribution, 11% just for
having people in separate cubicles or working from home compared with being
co-located. 23% when members of the team are in significantly
different locations compared with being co-located. If your team is
distributed, get good tooling.
- Short iterations are clearly the norm.
- Some organizations are succeeding at large agile teams.
- The results may be a bit optimistic because I used a mailing list
composed of IT professionals who very likely read on a regular basis. Therefore they may be more aware of new trends in IT
than people who don't read.
- The request that went out indicated that the survey was exploring agile
adoption, so the adoption figures could be a bit higher as a result due to
- The vast majority of respondents are in North America, so these results
likely represent the experiences of IT professionals in North America but
perhaps not other parts of the world.
- This survey suffers from the
fundamental challenges faced by all surveys.
Links to Other Articles/Surveys
- My other surveys
Why Share This Much Information?
I'm sharing the results, and in particular the source data, of my surveys for
- Other people can do a much better job of analysis than I can. If
they publish online, I am more than happy to include links to their
- Once I've published my column summarizing the data in DDJ, I really
don't have any reason not to share the information.
- Too many traditionalists out there like to use the "where's
the proof" question as an excuse not to adopt agile techniques. By
providing some evidence that a wide range of organizations seem to be
adopting these techniques maybe we can get them to rethink things a bit.
- I think that it's a good thing to do and I invite others to do the same.