Monday, 19 July 2021 07:55

Agile adoption still increasing strongly: report

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DevOps value stream delivery and management platform Digital.ai's 15th State of Agile Report finds a strong increase in Agile adoption plus a desire for ongoing distributed working by most development and IT practitioners.

The State of Agile Report is said to be the longest continuous annual survey of Agile techniques and practices.

This year's report finds:

• A significant increase in Agile adoption (from 37% to 86%) among software development teams, and a doubling of adoption by non-IT teams.

• Scrum and SAFe remain popular, with Scrum and its derivatives used by 81% of respondents, and SAFe used by almost 40%

• DevOps is being prioritised, with 74% of respondents saying they have a current or planned DevOps initiative.

• Value stream management is gaining momentum, with more than half of respondents stating they have implemented or plan to implement VSM across their organisation.

• Distributed and hybrid working is here to stay, with 56% of respondents (56%) preferring a mix of both office-based and remote work, and 25% saying they will work remotely full time and permanently.

"Since the report's inception, the tendency was to frame trends as evidence of how IT must align with the business to create value, which was reflective of broader industry conversations. COVID-19 has been a watershed moment for all of us as it has validated IT leadership in determining what the future of work will look like," said Digital.ai vice president and chief scientist Richard Knaster.

"The accelerated Agile adoption trends in this year's report show the path forward isn't about IT aligning to the business, but IT being integral to the business and leading the way to business agility. Agile adoption and broader adoption of other strategies, including value stream management are no longer solely in the realm of IT. Business leaders realise these strategies, long responsible for success within IT departments create and optimise business value and can be measured using business-related outcomes, not just outputs."

ServiceRocket ANZ Digital.ai practice head Ray Bradbery said "The latest State of Agile Report validates what I'm seeing in the Australian market. While there has been acceleration in the adoption of agile, there are question marks on how well it's being applied within organisations. Many of the technology executives I talk to regularly are still unsure if they are building what the business actually wants, and are struggling to undertake that development in the right order and priority.

"That's all been thrown into stark relief by the pandemic, which has forced most of us to move to digital and online channels. It's also turned how we work upside down. We used to have large groups of developers sitting together on projects, and now everyone is remote. That has significant implications on successful development outcomes. For example, how do we conduct application testing when we have a remote, distributed workforce and limited access to our physical lab resources?"

The full State of Agile Report is available here.

Research for the 2021 report was for the first time conducted entirely online. 1,382 complete survey responses were collected from people in a broad range of industries in the global software development community. The research was conducted by independent survey consultancy Regina Corso Consulting, with University of Exeter professor in the digital economy Alan Brown serving as strategy advisor.

Register here for a 21 July webinar to be presented by Knaster on the findings, or here for a September webinar in which Knaster and Brown will discuss the research.


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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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