On the plus side, this survey indicates that agile continues to have legs, with future plans to implement agile increasing from 59% last year to 83% this year, along with an increase of organizations with 5+ agile teams (48% this year compared to 33% last year).
Top 3 Reasons for Adopting Agile
- Accelerate time to market
- Manage changing priorities
- Better align IT/Business
VersionOne states that most responses centered on better customer focus and increased productivity.
Top 3 Benefits Obtained from Implementing Agile
- Ability to manage changing priorities
- Project visibility (this category saw the greatest increase in benefit, from 77% in 2011 to 84% in 2012)
Top 3 Barriers to Further Agile Adoption
- Ability to change organizational culture
- General resistance to change
- Trying to fit elements into a non-agile framework
Organizational culture has been cited as a barrier in successive years, and is something that I covered in multiple posts in October and November of last year, summarizing my thoughts in A Cultural Recipe for Agile Organizations,
Top 3 Concerns about Adopting Agile
- Lack of up-front planning
- Loss of management control
- Management opposition
I wonder if management opposition would decrease if there was a better understanding of the planning and empirical controls present in agile development. It seems that we have a great deal of executive management education to do.
Leading Causes of Failed Agile Projects
- Company philosophy or culture at odds with core agile values
- External pressure to follow traditional waterfall processes
- A broader organizational or communications problem
Actually, none failed was at the top of the list, but I listed the top three reasons for actual failures. Once again, it appears culture and traditional ways of doing things have a significant impact. My takeway is that there is a stronger need to increase awareness about what agile is and how obtaining the benefits of going agile requires actual change in mindsets and approaches to work.
VersionOne added something that I really liked, quoting answers to the question, “If you could say one thing to your company president about agile, what would you say?” A couple of answers:
- “Agile comes with a cultural change, or don’t do it at all.”
- “Managers should be willing to listen and learn about agile. They should not look at it as an uncontrolled process.”