Third Annual State of Agile Survey Data Available

This survey was conducted and sponsored by VersionOne in June and July 2008. It received answers from 3061 participants in 80 countries; most of them (70%) were participating to the survey for the first time. The majority of the respondents were agile team leaders, coach or consultants. This could lead to a bias towards a perhaps slightly more optimistic vision of the reality of agile projects. Whether they are agile or not, managers stay managers ;o)

The survey doesn’t try to measure agile adoption, but it gives interesting information on how agile is adopted. A majority (55%) of the participants works in rather small organizations with less than 100 people involved in software development. For most of them agile is also relatively new, as only 34% of the companies have been practicing agile for more than 2 years. The percentage that has adopted agile in the previous year is 36%. We could see that adoption is often partial in software development organizations as 65% of the participants use agile in less than 50% of their projects. Full adoption is realized in 17% of the companies, a similar number that was found by a Methods & Tools survey conducted at the end of 2007.

Scrum is the most followed agile methodology. Amongst the practices, iteration planning, unit testing, daily standup, release planning and continuous integration were adopted by more than 2/3 of respondents. Surprisingly, pair programming, an emblematic practice of the XP approach, is ranked near the bottom of practices adopted with only around 31% of adopters. On-site customer is also poorly adopted. This shows that practices concerning people interactions seem to be the most difficult to implement, as people are the most difficult elements to change in software development processes.

An interesting question deals with the rate of success for agile projects. For 55% of the participants, close to 100% of agile projects are successful. On the other side, 24% estimate than one project out of two fails, mainly due to conflicts between the company culture and agile values or because of the lack of experience with agile approaches. A final part of the report gives interesting information about the tools used in agile projects. We can see that agile and traditional tools are currently used at the same level to manage projects.

Version One Survey Data

Methods & Tools Survey