Organizations upping agile adoption for increased benefits during COVID-19: Study

Agile adoption improves key capabilities needed to respond to current business challenges, especially those resulting from the pandemic. With 60% of survey respondents saying Agile has helped increase speed to market, 41% agreeing they are better able to manage distributed teams, and 58% saying they have improved team productivity, it is clear these practices are invaluable during these challenging times, according to 14th annual State of Agile report. The report documents the experiences of more than 1,100 IT and business professionals across a range of industries and roles worldwide.

?Our all-in move to the cloud in recent years allowed us to go to fully virtualized in one day,? said Kim Gokce, Sr. Director IT Capabilities at The Coca-Cola Company. ?Our people showcased their agility in immediately reorganizing the work.  For me, it was a ?burn the ships? moment on our journey to agility.?

In mid-May 2020, conducted a brief supplemental survey of respondents to learn more about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their Agile adoption. Supplemental findings reveal:

  • 55% say their company plans to increase the use of Agile in the next 12-14 months. This is an increase of 13% over the original survey completed just five months ago.
  • 43% of organizations say their momentum for Agile adoption has increased over the past 90 days, with 15% saying it has increased significantly.
  • 33% say they increased or expanded Agile adoption in the last 90 days to help manage distributed teams.

Other notable findings from the 14th annual report, completed in December 2019, include:

  • Risk and compliance continue to trend upward, as the value of identifying and measuring technical risk prior to deployment increased by 54% and the importance of automated audit compliance and governance across control points increased by 10% over last year.
  • A significant shift in Agile techniques occurred, as product road-mapping increased nine percent while release planning decreased 11%. Drivers for this change may include a general increase in continuous integration/continuous deployment and better-defined program increment planning.
  • The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) continues to be the most popular scaling method cited by respondents, increasing 5% over last year and outpacing the number two choice, Scrum@Scale, by 19%.

?We are proud that SAFe continues to be the most popular, effective scaling method on the market,? says Dean Leffingwell, Creator of SAFe and Chief Methodologist at Scaled Agile Inc. ?Since the earliest days at Scaled Agile, our core belief has been simple: better software and systems make the world a better place. What has emerged during this global pandemic is confirmation that?given the right environment?remote Agile teams can be highly productive, and enterprises continue to get outstanding business benefits from applying SAFe.?

The survey results were filtered along demographic lines to reveal insights beyond the general results. The analysis indicated a correlation between length of time practicing Agile, improved time to market, and the ability to manage changing priorities. The survey indicated that companies with more than 20,000 people were more likely to be practicing Agile for at least five years. While companies with less than 1,000 people continue to mature quickly and are increasingly embracing a broader view of business agility by applying Agile principles to areas of the business outside development, IT, and operations.

?As we are pleased to continue providing the State of Agile report to the software development community,? said Ashok Reddy, CEO of ?This year more than half of the IT and business professionals surveyed said their organizations are currently implementing Value Stream Management (VSM) or are planning to do so. As Agile practices mature beyond product development, we expect more organizations to embrace VSM to unify their value streams and drive value for the business, and we look forward to helping them achieve their goals.?

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