Mature consultants published a quantitative study analyzing 3000 agile projects, carried out by 150 organizations worldwide. The first study in 2015 shows the application of agile methods in comparison to traditional project methods and its efficiency. Here are the results of the recently published study.
Agile methods are still the prevailing approach to software development
Between 2009 and 2014, especially in the U.S., most software companies have introduced agile methods throughout the world. Europe, Asia and Australia are lagging, but they have quickly joined the bandwagon.
Scrum is the most popular among the methods
Also, mentioned besides Scrum or Large Scale Scrum were other methods like Agile Unified Process (AUP), Extreme Programming (XP), and Feature Driven Development (FDD), agile-at-scale (AS) like the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and hybrid (HYB)
The use of hybrid methods and “agile at scale” methods for large projects are almost the same
Teams are big, time limits and deadlines are often tight. Releases must be processed over geographical distances. Releases must be planned, coordinated and synchronized. Based on the most recent data, the organizations that pursue such major developments use either an agile-in-scale (48%) or a hybrid (52%) methodology. Two years ago, agile-at-scale usage was about half of what it is today.
Agile reversion rate has decreased
During the first part of the last decade, the reversion rate was around 25 percent. As agile methods gained wider acceptance, the reversion rate improved and converged about 15 percent. Based on our data, only 10 percent of those who gave agile methods returned to traditional methods. The others used other agile, hybrid or homemade approaches to fill the void.
Agile productivity gains and cost savings have stabilized
In other words, the gains and cost savings that have been made during the implementation and initial implementation tend to compensate as soon as the methods reach an operational status. However, the average software productivity gains compared to those made using traditional methods are still exceptional. For example, based on the data set of 1,500 traditional and 1,500 completed agile projects, the average productivity gains achieved during the development of groups with agile methods over the last three years were between 7 to 12 percent better per year than those companies using traditional methods. The cost savings are still between 5 and 12 percent per year cheaper than the traditional project forms.
Agile quality is better
Based on the results of a previous agile quality study (Agile Software Quality: A Quantitative Assessment, February 2017) agile software quality surpasses traditional methods between 6-12% over a period of 3 years.
Software quality improves both in development and post-release, as it is integrated into the product by the developer team when the work software is generated.
Agile comply with deadlines
If deadlines or changing requirements become a problem, the lower priority functions are reset because the higher priorities are highlighted. In contrast, traditional developments depend on an “all or nothing” philosophy where delays rather than timely deliveries are the norm. Agile offers an 80 to 90 percent solution on time and budget, while traditional methods tend to delay.
Agility promises competitive advantage
If agile methods are used in other areas of the company, they also show a forward-looking attitude that can keep pace with technological change.
Once the transformation into the use of agile methods is completed, companies need to train the technology and build an operational pace that allows them to continue to exploit the many benefits that agile methods bring with them. The goal is to stabilize the dynamics, to ensure the development and implementation of best practices, to establish an interdisciplinary approach as well as a product management focus in a collaborative team environment.
Agile is a mindset. It can also lead to rejection or other barriers. Professional coaching, training and mentoring can help with the transformation.
More information about the study
Veronika Kotrba, Ralph Miarka