Every organization knows the feeling of trying to find better, more efficient ways of creating their product or service. Agile development is a relatively young workflow methodology. At the start of the millennium, software devs pioneered the development of agile, and here we are. Since its inception, agile has seen incredible adoption across the business world, especially in tech sectors. For your organization, you will want to understand the benefits and drawbacks.
As a result, we explored crucial statistics in adoption, implementation, challenges, performance, and pandemic response. We also examined the most important trends, exploring the attributes that make agile poised to succeed in the future.
For a quick refresher on the difference between agile and waterfall, or to simply learn more about each, click the link below:
Essential Agile Statistics for 2022 and Beyond
It is essential to understand current data and trends in agile development given how fast such methods evolve. Whether you are looking to adopt this method or are a long-term advocate, this information is invaluable. To serve that need, here are the most important agile development statistics and trends you need to know about.
Agile Adoption Snapshot
- 94% of companies in the software sector report at least some experience with agile development. (Digital.ai, 2022)
- Agile development exploded in 2021, growing from 37% to 86% of teams in the software industry. This represents a 232% increase. (Digital.ai, 2022)
- Growth in non-IT industries was also substantial, with adoption doubling year on year. (Digital.ai, 2022)
- IT saw 63% adoption of Agile, with Operations at 29%, Security at 17%, and HR at 16%. (Digital.ai, 2022)
- 43% of marketers use some form of agile in their work. (Issuu 2022)
- 51% of marketers not using agile plan to implement it. (Issuu 2022)
- 91% of marketers who plan on adopting agile expect to do so in the next year. (Issuu 2022)
- 58% of marketers list a lack of training or knowledge about agile as a barrier to adoption. (Issuu 2022)
- Some of the other commonly reported barriers to agile are:
- Inconsistencies in processes and practices, 46% reported. (Digital.ai, 2022)
- Cultural clashes, 43% reported. (Digital.ai, 2022)
- General organizational resistance to change, 42% reported. (Digital.ai, 2022)
- Inconsistencies in processes and practices, 46% reported. (Digital.ai, 2022)
Agile Businesses Outperformed Others during Covid-19
- 93% of agile companies reported better customer satisfaction than the non-agile competition. (McKinsey 2020)
- 76% of agile companies reported better employee engagement than the non-agile competition. (McKinsey 2020)
- 93% of agile companies reported better operational performance than the non-agile competition. (McKinsey 2020)
- Teleco-operaters whose companies had long-standing agile workflows saw 2x higher reaction time than the non-agile competition. (McKinsey 2020)
Agile Workflow Performance.
- 97% of marketers who implemented agile reported success. (Issuu 2022)
- Agile Projects are 3X more likely to succeed than waterfall projects. And Waterfall projects are 2X more likely to fail. (Vitality Chicago 2020)
- 42% of agile projects were successful, and 11% failed. This is compared to 13% success and 28% failure of those managed under waterfall productions. (Vitality Chicago 2020)
- 80% of marketers found agile useful as a management tool. (Issuu 2022)
- 92% of marketing teams using agile say they are confident they can handle unexpected work in-person or remote. (Issuu 2022)
- 31% of those who adopt agile experiment with it on a few projects before a full rollout. (Issuu 2022)
- 28% of those who adopt agile trusted someone from another company who sponsored its rollout. (Issuu 2022)
- 20% of those who adopt agile saw executives mandate it company-wide. (Issuu 2022)
- 61% of agile marketers report using hybrid agile methods. (Issuu 2022)
Agile Methodology Challenges
- 42% of those who report challenges with agile cite people reverting to non-agile processes. (Issuu 2022)
- 42% of those who report challenges with agile cite difficulty to manage unplanned work. (Issuu 2022)
- 27% of those who report challenges with agile cite a lack of visibility into future plans/roadmaps. (Issuu 2022)
- 74% of agile marketers think it would be easier to work with other departments if they also had an agile workflow. (Issuu 2022)
Agile Development Explosion in Popularity
Even a glance at the statistics above yields a remarkable view into the rapid expansion in agile adoption. More and more companies are using this for a variety of teams, including those outside the traditional areas of strength for agile.
With that said, agile still dominates mostly in sectors where its perks shine. Software and IT make up a massive slice of its use in organizations across industries. Despite this dominance, we also are seeing expansion into other areas. As mentioned, sectors like marketing, security, HR and more saw a doubling in year-on-year adoption of the method. This is perhaps being drowned out by the astronomical usage numbers from agile’s more historic homes.
Looking to the future, agile seems poised to continue its growth and expand outside of the bastions in which it found its initial success in the 00s and 10s. Factors such as technological improvements, remote work, and cultural shifts make this method more appealing to more people.
There are some factors to take into consideration that may slow this growth. Economic downturns around the world are currently impacting many, and a strong recession seems likely. In times of uncertainty, those who are unsure about agile adoption may be more conservative in their willingness to change. With that said, these same factors may force change, in one way or another.
Expect the growth trend of agile to continue, with its rate being the real factor that is up for debate.
Agile Workflows Post-Covid
Neither Covid-19 nor its impacts are going away anytime soon, and the impacts of both are substantial. In the world of agile development, the pandemic and its consequences have raised huge questions about the workflow and its future.
Just 3% of remote and hybrid workers say they plan to return to the office full time. 25% say they will absolutely be remaining fully remote. This represents a massive change in many industries, including those where agile is most prevalent.
Luckily, there are few things more well-suited to change than agile development. At its very core, the development methods ethos focuses on adaptability, and responsiveness to change Proponents of agile will feel vindicated by the statistics demonstrating the effectiveness of work from home. They have long maintained that over-documentation and complex processes can slow down efficiency. Organizations report a 47% increase in productivity from remote work.
Perhaps the astonishing adoption rates discussed earlier, with the number of teams in the software sector using this nearly doubling year-on-year, is unsurprising. While there will always be industries where agile is poorly suited, the pandemic seems to have accelerated and vindicated the adoption of many agile development core values.
Agile Development and Gen-Z: A Match Made in Heaven?
Unless we come up with a way to stop the linear flow of time, a focus on the Gen-Z workforce is essential. When thinking about agile development and Gen-Z, a quick look and the favored attributes of both show promise.
Gen-Z workers have a set of core values that align well with what makes agile tick. This younger group demands flexibility, and are not going to be pulling the same “linger in the office to fulfill processes until 9 pm” of their older colleagues. They demand work-life balance and flexible work options. As we mentioned, agile is well-suited to remote, work.
That does not mean this demographic is opposed to hard work. 58% are willing to work nights and weekends for a clear purpose or to get ahead. Essentially, the emphasis is on a clear boundary, defined expectations, and communication. They value cooperation, diversity, and strong utilization of technology. Sound familiar?
In more abstract concepts, Gen-Z and agile work well. Gen-Z value environmentalism and agile enables less transit. This is a generation that was largely born after this development process’s conception. They will not have to unlearn more traditional workflows.
Put in the simplest terms, agile boasts a simple attitude: as long as it works, quickly, and through collaborative methods, we’re happy. This is a mantra that screams Gen-Z. Perhaps this demographic will pioneer their own development methods in the future, but for now, agile and Gen-Z seem like a perfect pair.
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