Agile Quantitative Assessment – 14 Key Findings (June 2016)

This report summarizes the results of our recent analysis of the adoption and use of agile methods.  The survey polled 100 organizations in the United States to gather results from 2,000 projects, 1,000 of which were completed using agile methods, to develop its findings, conclusions and recommendations.  This survey differs from others in that it is not an opinion survey.  Rather, it relies on hard measurement data to provide a picture of the value realized by using agile methods. The primary purpose of this report is to provide its readers with reliable software productivity, cost and quality baselines which they can use for comparison purposes.  The results show convincingly that firms who adopt and put agile methods into practice generate quality software products quicker and cheaper than those who use traditional approaches.  Of course, there are many caveats that must be expressed as well.  As can be expected, these caveats revolve around the stage of adoption the firm is in, the skills, knowledge and abilities of the workforces involved, and the type of software being produced, including its size and difficulty.

Besides providing productivity, cost and quality benchmarks, this report also highlights 14 findings relative to agile use along with backup on how we came to these conclusions.  The five most important of these are:

  • Agile has become the mainstream approach for developing software in the USA.
  • The average gain in software productivity experienced by those using agile methods during the past three years has increased to about 10 to 15 percent per year.
  • The average reduction in software costs experienced by those using agile methods during the past three years is about 8 to 12 percent per year.
  • Use of agile methods cuts development time by 75 to 90 percent solution on time by focusing on delivery of functionality that the user designates as important.
  • Software quality increases when agile methods are used by as much as 20 percent as measured by defect densities during the first year of operations.

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Agile Quantitative Assessment – 14 Key Findings (2016)