Agile methods have seen a surge of adoption within I.T. in the last few years. Agile is clearly not a fad or limited to early adopters - it has entered the mainstream and is here to stay. For those of you not yet using Agile, I wanted to provide statistics and recommendations from widely-recognized industry sources to emphasize just how significant Agile has become, and to strongly encourage you to adopt Agile as well.
I will start with statistics regarding the adoption of agile. The Forrester / Dr. Dobb's Q3 2010 Global Technographics Survey, as referenced in the Forrester paper Water-Scrum-Fall is the Reality of Agile for Most Organizations Today, found that 55% of projects where using some form of agile or iterative method. This statistic is now almost 2 years old. The Project Management Institute (PMI) reports that the use of Agile has tripled from 2008 to 2011 and states that Gartner predicts 80% of software development projects will be using Agile by the end of 2012.
Agile has often been perceived as developer-centric, so I have found it quite revealing that over the last year other I.T. roles have formally recognized the importance of Agile. The PMI has come out with its Agile Certified Practitioner certification and the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) is finalizing their Agile Extension to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge.
This information about the adoption of agile is interesting but I do not view it as sufficient evidence on its own to adopt agile. What I do find compelling is the benefits that Agile brings. This is clearly summarized by the 2011 CHAOS Manifesto from the Standish Group which states that "software applications developed through the agile process have three times the success rate of the traditional waterfall method and a much lower percentage of time and cost overruns".
I will conclude this article with one final reference that I believe perfectly captures the point of my article. Gartner's 2012 Planning Guide for Application Delivery Strategies has a section that is simply titled "Say goodbye to waterfall".
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