Agility at Scale Survey
from the November 2009 DDJ
State of the IT Union Survey
The survey results will be summarized in my December 2009 DDJ newsletter.
Some findings include:
- The minority of agile teams, 45%, are co-located. See
Figure 1 for how geographically distributed some
agile teams are.
- Most agile project teams are 20 people or less, although some
organizations are succeeding at applying agile techniques on
large agile teams of hundreds of people.
- Some organizations are successfully applying agile strategies in
regulatory situations such as complying to FDA, HIPPA, or Basel 2
- Some organizations are successfully applying agile strategies with
frameworks such as ISO 900x, CMMI, and TOGAF
- 92% of organizations have taken agile past the pilot project stage
- 40% have successfully applied agile in complex or very complex
situations, see Figure 2 for the levels of domain
complexity being addressed by agile teams
- Many organizations are successfully applying agile strategies in
organizationally distributed situations
- 15% of organizations are successfully applying agile strategies with
- 62% of organizations are successfully applying agile strategies on
integration with legacy systems, and 45% on projects working with
- 54% of organizations have had to overcome a waterfall culture when
adopting agile, 52% have struggled to gain stakeholder access, 32% applied
agile in a command and control culture, and 31% in an organization where IT
professionals were overly specialized
- 32% of organizations have agile teams which have worked successfully
with their technical
enterprise architecture team, 17% with their
enterprise data team, 11% with their
IT governance group, and 10% with their
portfolio management team. See Figure 3 for how
agile teams are working with enterprise-level teams.
- Many organizations are still finding excuses - such as having a rigid
culture (59%), no training and education resources for agile (47%),
geographic distribution of teams (23%) - for not adopting agile which other
organizations have clearly overcome. See Figure 4
for a summary of the excuses.
Figure 1. Agile teams and geographic distribution.
Figure 2. Agile teams and domain complexity.
Figure 3. Agile teams and enterprise disciplines.
Figure 4. Excuses given for not adopting agile.
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.
- People didn't know the purpose of the survey, so that likely removed
some bias. My strategy for the DDJ surveys is to send out a short
survey every two months entitled "State of the IT Union, DATE" but to not
indicate what the topic of the survey actually is (other than an IT topic of
- 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.