Agility at Scale Survey:

Results from the Summer 2012 DDJ State of the IT Union Survey

Scott W. Ambler + Associates
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How to Measure Anything 2nd Edition This survey was performed June through early September 2012 and there was 113 respondents. The survey was announced in my June 2012 DDJ article Disciplined Agile Change Management. The primary goals of the survey were to find out whether people are attempting to apply agile at scale (they are), whether they are succeeding at doing so (they are), and whether some are also struggling to do so (they are). We looked at several scaling factors as called out in the Agile Scaling Model (ASM) and Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD).

The Survey Results

Some findings include:

Figure 1. Agile adoption rates.

Agile Adoption Rates 2012

Figure 2. Agile experiences with team size.

Agile Team Size Success Rates 2012

Figure 3. Agile experiences with geographic distribution.

Agile and Geographic Distribution 2012

Figure 4. Agile experiences with regulatory compliance.

Agile and Regulatory Compliance 2012

Figure 5. Agile experiences with technical complexity.

Agile and Technical Complexity 2012


Survey questions

The Survey Questions

Survey Data File

Raw Data

Survey Presentation

Summary Presentation

What You May Do With This Information

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 contact me with questions.Better yet, if you publish, please let me know so I can link to your work.

Discussion of the Results

  1. 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 course).
  2. This survey suffers from the fundamental challenges faced by all surveys.

Links to Other Articles/Surveys

  1. My other surveys

Why Share This Much Information?

I'm sharing the results, and in particular the source data, of my surveys for several reasons:

  1. 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 articles/papers.
  2. Once I've published my column summarizing the data in DDJ, I really don't have any reason not to share the information.
  3. 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.
  4. I think that it's a good thing to do and I invite others to do the same.

Disciplined Agile Delivery: The Foundation for Scaling Agile Agile Modeling: Practices for Scaling Agile Agile Data: Practices for Scaling Agile EnterpriseUP: Agility at Scale Software Development Practices Advisor Scott Ambler + Associates Follow @scottwambler on Twitter!

Copyright 2012 Scott W. Ambler

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