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IT Project Success Rates by Team Size and Paradigm: 2010 Open Research

How to Measure Anything 2nd Edition This open research into IT project success rates was performed during the month of July 2010 and there was 233 respondents. The survey was announced in my June 2010 DDJ newsletter, in Jon Erickson’s blog, 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:

  • Compared with two years ago: 40% of respondents indicated that teams are getting smaller , 38% indicated team size remains the same, and 18% indicated that team size is increasing
  • Figure 1 depicts the perceived agile project success rates by team size.
  • Figure 2 summarizes the perceived success rates for the four paradigms by team size.
  • To reflect team size, 57% of respondents indicated that they vary their team organization strategy, 51% indicated that their organization tailors their software process, 35% indicated that their organization change their tooling strategy, and 28% indicated that their senior management varies their governance strategy

Figure 1. Perceived agile success rates by team size.



Figure 2: IT Project success rates by paradigm.




Survey questions

The Survey Questions(86 K)

Survey Data File

Raw Data(67 K)

Survey Presentation

Summary Presentation(127 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. People didn’t know the purpose of the survey, so that likely removed some bias. My strategy for the DDJ surveys is to send out a short survey every two months entitled “State of the IT Union, DATE” but to not indicate what the topic of the survey actually is (other than an IT topic of course).
  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.