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Agile Planning Mini-Survey Results: January 2012

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Beautiful Teams This survey was performed the last two weeks of January 2012 and there were 149 respondents. The survey was announced on the Agile and Lean Discussion group on LinkedIn, the Agile Project Management group on Yahoogroups, and by me via Twitter. The goal was to find out from agilists how they were addressing planning activities on their projects.

The Survey Results

Some findings include:

Figure 1. What is the value of common agile planning practices?

Agile planning practices

Figure 2. Approach to initial planning on agile projects.

Initial release plannig

Figure 3. Time spent doing iteration planning.

Time spent doing iteration planning

Figure 4. Adoption rate of look-ahead planning.

Adoption of look-ahead planning on agile teams

Figure 5. The frequency of coordination meetings.

Coordination meetings on agile teams


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. This survey suffers from the fundamental challenges faced by all surveys.
  2. As I indicated above, I wish I had given options around initial modeling when I asked about initial planning.
  3. I likely should have worded the iteration planning question to be inclusive of JIT planning that we see on Kanban teams.
  4. Because the survey was announced on agile lists, there is a clear bias towards organizations doing agile. This was done on purpose. Therefore these figures should not be used to calculate overall adoption of agile techniques.

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.