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12 Findings from the Quantitative Analysis of Agile Methods Study

Reifer Consultants have posted a lengthy study at InfoQ, examining data from 3,000 completed projects across 150 organizations globally. This study examines agile trends and how agile is improving productivity in the enterprise. Twelve findings were derived from the research:

  1. Agile methods continue to be the predominant approach used for software development.
  2. Scrum is the most popular agile methodology.
  3. Usage of hybrid methods and agile-at-scale methods on large projects are nearly equal.
  4. Agile reversal has decreased.
  5. Agile productivity gains have stabilized.
  6. Agile cost savings have also stabilized.
  7. Agile effort and duration distributions differ from traditional norms.
  8. Agile improves the ability to meet schedule deadlines.
  9. Agile quality is better than traditional norms.
  10. The value of agile continues to remain hard to quantify.
  11. Agile continues to provide its users with a competitive advantage.
  12. Agile impacts on government acquisition practices can be major.

Data Snapshot

This is surely a lot to process. Some of these findings are not so surprising, (Scrum is popular? Who knew!) while others are even a bit frustrating. (We still cannot quantify agile value?) But here is a sampling of what the study has to say about stabilizing productivity gains:

… the average software productivity gains as compared to those being made by those using traditional methods … are exceptional. For example, based on our data set of 1,500 traditional and 1,500 completed agile projects, the average productivity gains being achieved during development by groups using agile methods during the past three years were from 7 to 12 percent better per year than for those firms using traditional methods. Such improvements are still notable especially in large organizations where these gains achieved using agile methods translate into savings of thousands of person-hours.

To dive into an ocean of bullet points and recommended best practices, you can view the full study here: https://www.infoq.com/articles/reifer-agile-study-2017

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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