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Agile Project Types: 2011 Open Research

How to Measure Anything This open research into agile project types was performed the first two weeks of June 2011 and there were 168 respondents. The survey was announced on several agile LinkedIn discussion forums and by me via Twitter. The goal was to find out from agile developers the types of projects their organizations were, and weren’t, applying agile on.

The Survey Results

Some findings include:

  • Figure 1 depicts the average rates at which agile is being applied by type of project. It is interesting to note that agile techniques have been successfully applied on all of the project types asked about. For each project type a much smaller number of respondents indicated that their organizations had failed at applying agile techniques on that type.
  • Figure 2 depicts the average “non-adoption” rates by project types — situations where organizations were doing a given type of project but still not applying agile techniques on them.

Figure 1. The types of projects people are applying agile techniques on.



Figure 2. When are organizations doing a certain type of project yet still haven’t applied agile on?




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. Because the survey was announced on agile lists, there is a clear bias towards organizations doing agile. 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.