IPMA International Project Management Association
30 August 2017 / 7:07

Status Quo Agile – Usage of Agile Methods

The BPM Laboratory (Professor Ayelt Komus) at the Koblenz University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with Scrum.org, GPM and IPMA performed the third study on “Success and forms of usage of agile methods”. The new edition of ”Status  Quo Agile” examined how the usage of agile methods have changed. Special focus was placed on the actual forms of usage, the successes and the interaction with classic project management and scaling of agile methods as well.

A total of over 1,000 people from over 30 countries took part. More details on the structure of the participant survey period, used tools etc are documented in the final report. If you would like to receive the report please send an e-mail with your complete contact information and the subject “study report Status Quo Agile 2016/17” to the BPM Laboratory [info].

Highlighted results are as follows:

  • The success rate of agile methods is still much more positive than that of classical project management;
  • Once again consistently agile users had the highest rate of success. – also in comparison to hybrid or selective users;
  • The evaluation of the success of agile methods is still very positive, but slightly less “enthusiastic” than in previous surveys;
  • Agile methods are primarily being used in software development, but already 40% and 34% of participants use agile methods for “only” IT-related or non-IT activities;
  • About 39% stated that he is supported by a traditional project manager or even acts like a traditional project manager;
  • Only a very small portion (< 5%) of the participants see lower quality or a lack of discipline as a result of agile methods. This assessment is also shared by the users of classic project management;
  • With 85%, the most used method is Scrum. Kanban, Lean and DevOps follow;
  • The majority of users of agile methods use them selectively or in combination;
  • 72% of the users of agile methods stated that change is an integral part of the company policy, only 50% of the users of classic project management stated the same;
  • The top 3 reasons to work with agile methods are improving time to market, improving quality and reducing project risk;
  • 91% see the improvements as (very much) higher than the effort needed to introduce agile methods;
  • Only one third of the participants has substantial reasons to not use agile methods – e.g. effort too high or too expensive, one third is planning to deal with the topic, and one third is missing the basic knowledge about agile methods.

In future, there should be a lot more research on how different approaches in project management are used, especially in which sectors and how they are adopted by the practice. The above mentioned results are certainly guiding the practitioners on how to make use of agile approaches.


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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.