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Agile Project Success Rates: 2010 Open Research

How to Measure Anything This open research into agile project success rates was performed during the month of April 2010 and there was 108 respondents. The survey was announced on several agile mailing lists, my mailing list , and on my twitter feed.

The Survey Results

The survey results are summarized in my July 2010 Agile Update entitled 2010 IT Project Success Rates.

Some findings include:

  • The results reported by the agile community are comparable to those reported by the wider IT community in the 2010 IT Project Success Rates Survey
  • When it comes to time/schedule, 62% of agilists prefer to deliver on time according to the schedule and 34% prefer to deliver when the system is ready to be shipped
  • When comes to money, 28% of agilists prefer to deliver within budget and 60% prefer to provide good return on investment (ROI)
  • When it comes to functionality 15% of agilists prefer to build the system to specification and 82% prefer to meet the actual needs of stakeholders
  • When it comes to quality, 29% of agilists prefer to deliver on time and on budget and 66% prefer to deliver high-quality, easy-to-maintain systems
  • Agilists indicated that functionality was their most important success criteria, followed by quality, time/schedule, and money (in order)


Figure 1. Perceived agile project success rates.




Survey questions

The Survey Questions(58K)

Survey Data File

Raw Data(56K)

Survey Presentation

Summary Presentation(84kK)


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 knew the purpose of the survey, so that may have injected 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. 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.