Agile market penetration

Post written by Chris Spagnuolo. Follow Chris on Twitter Add comment

image I’ve been spending the past few days working in Cupertino in the heart of Silicon Valley.  As I look out my hotel room window, I can see below me the headquarters of Apple and Symantec.  This evening, I took a short drive to see the headquarters of Adobe, Google, HP, Intel, Yahoo and a few others (OK, I was bored and a little geeked out by being here).  Spending time at the epicenter of the tech community had me asking the question, “If agile has really gone mainstream, how many of these tech companies are using agile practices, and if they are using agile, how are they doing?” When I got back to my hotel room, I Googled “agile adoption rates” and came across a survey that Scott Ambler did in March 2007 about the rate of agile adoption.  Scott received 781 responses to his interview and published his findings on his website and in Dr. Dobb’s.  According to Scott, his key findings were:

  1. 69% of respondents indicated that their organizations are doing one or more agile projects.  Of those that hadn’t yet started, 24% believed their organizations would do so within the next year.
  2. 44% indicated a 90%+ success rate at agile projects, 33% indicated between 75% and 90%.  It appears that agile seems to be working out.
  3. Co-located agile projects are more successful on average than non-co-located, which in turn are more successful than projects involving offshoring.
  4. 98.6% of agile teams worked adopted iterations, and 83% had iteration lengths between 1 and 4 weeks.
  5. Smaller teams had higher success rates than larger teams.
  6. 85% of organizations doing agile had more than one project completed, so it’s gone beyond the pilot project stage in most organizations.

Of course, this led me to my inevitable question that has been dogging me for some time.  If the adoption rates are so high amongst the mainstream development community, why hasn’t the GIS development community gravitated toward agile practices?  I know I keep asking this, but it really worth exploring.  To those of you out there in the GIS community, I ask you: should we conduct a similar survey to Scott’s and find out just what the state of GIS development looks like?  I’d like to hear your thoughts on this as I am seriously considering undertaking a survey like this for the GIS community.

© Copyright 2007, ChrisSpagnuolo.com GeoScrum! by Chris Spagnuolo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

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Edgehopper by Chris Spagnuolo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.