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Agile Project Initiation Survey Results: July/August 2009

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Practical Project Initiation This survey was performed in mid July to mid August 2009 and there was 280 respondents. The survey was announced on several agile mailing lists, including the Extreme Programming (XP), Test-Driven Development (TDD), Scrum Development, Agile Modeling, Agile Databases, and Agile Unified Process (AUP) mailing lists. The goal was to find out what agile developers were actually doing at the beginning of agile projects to compare it with what's being talked about.

The Survey Results

Some findings include:

Figure 1. How long did it take to initiate an agile project?

Agile project initiation times

Figure 2. Agile development and legacy assets.

Agile and legacy assets


Survey questions

The Survey Questions (106 K)

Survey Data File

Raw Data (155 K)

Survey Presentation

Summary Presentation (163 K)

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.

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.