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Agile State of the Art: 2010 Open Research

How to Measure Anything This open research into the agile state of the art was performed during the month of October and early November 2010 and there was 180 respondents. The survey was announced in on several agile mailing lists, on my Twitter feed, and on the Agile Alliance forum on LinkedIn.

The Survey Results

Some findings include:

  • Figure 1 depicts the amount of agile experience on ‘agile teams’
  • Experienced agile teams:
    • 66% provided an initial estimate/budget
    • 67% (of the 66%) evolved their initial estimate
    • 20% of teams did either evolutionary or staged-gate funding without an initial estimate at first
    • Had an average iteration length of 2.3 weeks, as depicted in Figure 2
    • Took an average of 4.6 weeks to run through a transition/release phase to move their solution into production, as depicted in Figure 3
    • Released ever 11.4 weeks on average
  • Inexperienced agile teams:
    • 72% provided an initial estimate/budget
    • 62% (of the 72%) evolved their initial estimate
    • 12% of teams did either evolutionary or staged-gate funding without an
      initial estimate at first
    • Had an average iteration length of 2.6 weeks
    • Took an average of 6.0 weeks to run through a transition/release phase
    • Released ever 13.8 weeks on average


Figure 1. Amount of experience with agile on “agile teams”.


Figure 2. Iteration lengths for experienced agile teams.


Figure 3. Amount of time experienced agile teams invested in releasing/transitioning their solution into production.



The Survey Questions

Raw Data

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.
  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. 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.
  3. I think that it’s a good thing to do and I invite others to do the same.