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Agile Outsourcing 2013 Survey Results

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How to Measure Anything 2nd Edition This survey was performed during March and April 2013 and there was 158 respondents. The survey was announced with a title of "March 2013 Agile State of the Art Survey" via a link on my IT Surveys home page at, announced on my Twitter feed, and the Agile and Lean and Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) discussion groups on LinkedIn.

The Survey Results

The goal of the survey was to explore how well "agile teams" were at meeting the five agile criteria (Is the team delivering value? Is the team validating its own work? Is the team working closely with their stakeholders? Is the team self-organizing? Is the team improving their process?) which I've used for several years now to judge whether teams claiming to be agile actually are.

Some findings include:

Figure 1. Why are organizations outsourcing?

Why agile outsourcing?

Figure 2. How are organizations outsourcing?

How are organizations outsourcing?

Figure 3. How well is agile outsourcing working?

How well is agile outsourcing working?

Figure 4. Are you seeing benefits from agile outsourcing?

Are you seeing benefits from agile outsourcing?


Survey questions

The Survey Questions

Survey Data File

Raw Data

Survey Presentation

Summary Presentation

What You May Do With This Information

You may use this data as you see fit, but may not sell it in whole or in part. You may publish summaries of the findings, but if you do so you must reference the survey accordingly (include the name and the URL to this page). Feel free to contact me with questions. Better yet, if you publish, please let me know so I can link to your work.

Discussion of the Results

  1. People didn't know the purpose of the survey, so that likely removed some bias. My strategy for these sorts of surveys is to send out a short survey every few months entitled "State of the Agile Union, DATE" but to not indicate what the topic of the survey actually is.
  2. This survey suffers from the fundamental challenges faced by all surveys.

Links to Other Articles/Surveys

  1. My other surveys

Why Share This Much Information?

I'm sharing the results, and in particular the source data, of my surveys for several reasons:

  1. Other people can do a much better job of analysis than I can. If they publish online, I am more than happy to include links to their articles/papers.
  2. Once I've published my column summarizing the data in DDJ, I really don't have any reason not to share the information.
  3. Too many traditionalists out there like to use the "where's the proof" question as an excuse not to adopt agile techniques. By providing some evidence that a wide range of organizations seem to be adopting these techniques maybe we can get them to rethink things a bit.
  4. I think that it's a good thing to do and I invite others to do the same.