IPMA International Project Management Association
15 May 2019 / 9:00

Findings of the 13th State of Agile Report

All sectors of our society experience an increasing pressure to change. As modern information, communication and collaboration tools are gaining ground, the pace of work has accelerated tremendously and the shift from traditional ways of performing work to agile approaches is a challenge for all organisations. Not only the software industry, but also the “traditional” organisations, rather hierarchical with “command & control” alike leadership and traditional work modes are shifting towards an application of what is called “Agile”.

The 13th annual State of Agile Report of CollabNet VersionOne provides interesting insights in what is going on globally and what organisations should consider on their way forward. The survey was conducted between August and December 2018. 1,319 full responses were collected, analysed, and represented in this report. In the Executive Summary it is reported that Scrum is the most widely-practiced agile “methodology”, with at least 72% of respondents practicing Scrum or a hybrid that includes Scrum… 30% of the respondents report that “SAFe®” is the approach their organization follows most closely, with “Scrum of Scrums” following closely… the responses indicate that organization cultural issues remain the leading impediments to adopting and scaling agile. General resistance to change, inadequate management support and sponsorship, and organizational culture that is at odds with agile values rank as the top three challenges…

This year´s survey saw a 71% increase in those selecting “Reduce Project Cost” as a reason for adopting agile. There was also a 27% increase in “Project Cost Reduction” as a reported benefit of implementing agile… When asked what has been the most valuable in helping to scale agile practices, the top three responses were “Internal agile coaches”, “Executive sponsorship”, and “Company-provided training”. All three of these point to a commitment to invest in success. While buy-in and support for agile continues to grow, most respondents (78%) state that not all of their company’s teams have adopted agile practices, an indication that most enterprise agile adoptions are still in flight… Top three responses cited as barriers to adopting and scaling agile practices indicate that internal culture remains an obstacle for success in many organizations.

While working together, face-to-face, can be desirable for agile practices, survey respondents indicated that organizations are supporting distributed teams and team members. There is no evidence of a trend toward increased co-location, as organizations continue to support and encourage team collaboration across geographic boundaries and time zones. 78% of respondents said their organization practices agile with team members distributed (not co-located). 68% of respondents said their organization practices agile with multiple co-located teams, collaborating across geographic boundaries…

Finally, when asked about how organizations measure success of agile transformations, respondents indicated the three measures of success have remained the same over the  last few years: Customer/user satisfaction (52%), Business value (48%) and On-time delivery (41%), while Product scope saw a decline over the past years going from 40% to 12% this year.


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Reinhard Wagner

Author of this post

Reinhard Wagner has been active for more than 30 years in the field of project- related leadership, in such diverse sectors as Air Defense, Automotive Engineering, and Machinery, as well as various not-for-profit organizations. As a Certified Projects Director (IPMA Level A), he has proven experience in managing projects, programmes and project portfolios in complex and dynamic contexts. He is also an IPMA Certified Programme and Portfolio Management Consultant, and as such supports senior executives in developing and improving their organizational competence in managing projects. For more than 15 years, he has been actively involved in the development of project, programme and portfolio management standards, for example as Convenor of the ISO 21500 “Guidance on Project Management” and the ISO 21503 “Guidance on Programme Management”. Reinhard Wagner is Past President of IPMA and Chairman of the Council, Honorary Chairman of GPM (the German Project Management Association), as well as Managing Director of Tiba Managementberatung GmbH.