The State of Agile

2 minutes reading time (497 words)

While it may seem like the world has moved from agile to DevOps, a lot of organizations are still working on maturing agile processes. After all, DevOps should be considered an extension of agile, making the need to scale and mature agile first an important consideration for all involved. The 12th Annual State of Agile by VersionOne, the longest and largest running agile report, shows that this time around, companies are starting to see tangible benefits, like those they expected from implementing agile.

"A higher percentage of respondents this year report that "all or almost all" of their teams are agile, and that agile principles and practices are being adopted at higher levels in the organization." - VersionOne 12th State of Agile

What this statistic seeks to highlight is that the depth of agile adoption is increasing across organizations, with the majority of the respondents working in the technology and financial services sector. The magnitude that agile has reached, and the benefits that are being realized, such as managing changing priorities, increasing project visibility, and business and IT alignment, are helping business transform in an age when digital transformation is a necessity in order to remain relevant.

Measuring Success in Agile Projects

Metrics should be used to drive decision making, especially when adopting new methodologies or ways of working. However, collecting and analysing the right metrics, and not just for metrics sake, is another story. For agile, measuring the success of a project can take many forms, and usually evolves over time. Working on agile projects gives teams the opportunity to test the quality and usability of the metrics collected during retros after every sprint.

Respondents of the survey mentioned the following indicators as being the most important to measure the success of projects in agile. Note, these are also different than the indicators used to measure the success of agile initiatives. 

  1. Customer/user Satisfaction
  2. Business value delivered
  3. Velocity
  4. Budget vs. actual cost
  5. Planned vs. actual stories per iteration

The Challenges for Scaling Agile

  • 53% of respondents said, "operational culture at odds with agile values"
  • 46% noted, "general organizational resistance to change"

While the most commonly stated barriers to adopting or scaling agile at an organization are nothing new, the results can serve as another reminder that organizational change is a complex issue. From our experience and research, it's incredibly important to approach change from a human-centered lens and understand each individual's central role in making any change viable on an organizational-wide level. 

Tips to Make Agile Work

One of the best parts about the report is that it highlights some of the most successful strategies for scaling agile, strategies and tips based on the results of the respondents. And while one might not be right for you organization, there are plenty of other options to help drive agile to scale.

  1. Internal Agile Coaches
  2. Consistent Processes and Principles Across teams
  3. Common Tools Implemented Across Teams
  4. External Agile Trainers
  5. Executive Sponsorship

To read more, you can find the full report here. 

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Saturday, 18 September 2021

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