12th Annual State of Agile from Version 1 is out


Whilst I always find the recommended agile management tool suspect, I think it is always an interesting read. What are you take aways?


Thanks for sharing Brad!

Few quick observations:

79% of resopondents report distrubuted teams. Last year it was around 84%. Trend?

45% of respondents report using agile to manage outsourced delivery. This is new, and is the world i’m currently living.

More as I continue to dig thru.


Yeah, I’ve seen those trends too… I think the original agile transformation started small and locally and now it’s really starting to snowball to the bigger companies (and wider within them).

The saddest part of the report is looking at the technical practices (and mentions of XP)… I fear that we’ve (global royal we) failed on the technical craftsmanship front and it’s only getting worse.


I’m doing a delta analysis between last year’s and this year’s, trying to see where the changes are. I believe @jasonlittle used to do this for a while as well. I think it will be helpful to see the trends…I’ll share when complete.


Thanks Brad - a timely one for me to share with my client. The high level themes and challenges to scaling and adoption pretty much reflects my work at the moment! Kinda spooky…


  • Organisational culture matters
  • Agile is expending in the enterprise (number of teams, increase in product roadmapping, agile portfolio planning)
  • Success is now measured in terms of customer satisfaction


  • Organisational culture is at odds with agile values
  • General resistance to change
  • Inadequate management support and sponsorship


I’m pretty sure I saw somewhere Culture has been the biggest challenge mentioned in ALL the State of Agile reports. It just underscores how important it is.


yeah, that bit I knew… it was more the at odds with the corporate culture - very pertinent!


Looks to me like learning and adoption patterns are still a choke point at most companies. No surprise there as the leading approach to agile learning is the certification route.

This is the 4-5th year in a row with these themes that i recall, possibly more.

What is that definition of insanity again…


Also…technical practices seem to be getting less and less important. And the reasons for adopting agile all seem to be around making “projects” more predictable and less costly. insert giant wet fart noise


Thats actually not too surprising, personally. I think the drift of “agile” as a project management thing is becoming more and more cemented in the market. Not happy about it, but it is likely a reality for more than 80%. By the demographics report, only 12% of the respondents are actually developers. So that leads me to think most technical people stopped caring about agile.

I type this from a DevOps conference. I do feel like this community is labeled differently than the “agile” community, but is 100% after the same thing the first wave of agile targeted. Perhaps (actually, very likely) I have a bias based on what I do, but the staggering difference between developers and non-developers in the report sort of substantiates this.

Maybe technical people feel agile has jumped the shark?


Many agile people felt that around 2010-2012! I pulled away from the community as all the conversations were about “switching to agile” and getting certifications. This community here was the first to pull me back in this past year. We just got tired of watching the terms and philosophies get usurped for other agendas!

The reason the manifesto signer interviews were so important was to remind people that this movement began with people who wrote and delivered code.

All that being said, I feel guilt in this myself as I’ve drifted away from code and towards the PM side of the community. I try my best to use my role to advocate for the XP practices and their importance to balance the ecosystem, but I have failed more often than desired because I can no longer do it myself and teach through example.


There is that. I’m working in the space. We forget that markets move and the techniques and practices that we take for granted aren’t taught. Some of them catch on, but many such as TDD and automation are often ignored because people don’t know better or go down the path of easiest.

It may even be generational.


I just did a recruiting event at Temple U, and when I chatting with the attendees afterwards about things like paired programming, automated testing, etc. they all had the same reaction…“why would you do anything else?” Maybe the solution is to get us like-minded folks further into higher education classrooms, and help plant the seeds earlier…


I sat in an open space yesterday about TDD and dependency management in the enterprise space. I loved the conversation! It is not dead, I just think it is marginalized because there is the second-wave-of-agile beating all the tech practices into the corner to make room fore more velocity reports and 2 day agile planning events.


So I was asked to present at a PI planning in two weeks. I’m taking the whole afternoon of the first day and doing workshops around pairing, mobbing, TDD, BDD and going to do my “Making the intangible, Tangible” talk I’m trying to do in public. So… i’m trying to bring it back man. I’m trying.


Not generational… the places I’ve seen it recently have been younger teams!


That reflects my experience as well. Because it isn’t taught in the Universities here, people doing the com-sci subjects don’t get exposed to the practice. Some get the TDD, but others haven’t really even heard of it. The might “know” unit tests, but when questioned closer, “Unit Testing is I test the unit of work I have done, after I’ve written it, by hand?” The automation is missing. Technical practice might be on the wane simply because it isn’t being taught.


I have a computer science degree… it taught me higher level problem solving, but none of it provided what I needed on the day to day job. Maybe I’m unique, but I feel like TDD/pairing is an on-the-job apprenticeship type of skill.


My Comp Sci and Comp Eng degrees did nothing for me when it comes to an Agile mindset or technical practice excellence for flexible solutions that can scale. All of those were learned on the job or independently through interest.

I’ve been trying to break through to the education space more myself with the Agile practices/mindset within colleges, but the professors are more worried about ensuring students know the coding syntax, algorithms, and “history” (some still make them do assembly?!?). I understand why they teach some of those older languages/concepts so that students can know the bones to how a computer works, but most students who graduate will never need to understand how memory banks are swapped or managed anymore while coding.


The event I just did at a large university here, one of the Comp Sci students told me one of his professors only teaches waterfall and “test everything so that it’s perfect in production”…a little part of me died after that exchange.

I would love to teach this stuff at a college level, but I don’t see any interest anywhere.