The State of Agile 2018
October 11, 2018

Eric Robertson
CollabNet

Agile is indeed expanding across the enterprise and there was a significant jump from last year to this year in the percentage of respondents who indicated that all or almost all of their teams were agile, according to the State of Agile 2018 report from CollabNet.

It seems that agile techniques are being applied now to higher-level planning as well.

Organizations that are adopting agile do so with high expectations and the numbers indicate that the expectations held when implementing agile are being met. Benefits of agile may include managing change priorities, better business and IT alignment, increased delivery and quality at speed with faster time to market, and increased overall productivity. Furthermore, more than half of the respondents reported that "most" or "all" of their agile projects have been successful.


The following are some more key findings from the report.

Organizational Culture Matters

Anyone trying to champion a change in a company understands the importance of having the right support from stakeholders and leaders in an organization, as well as having buy-in from all the employees involved. This year's report indicates that is particularly true when it comes to agile. In line with the findings from recent years, organizational culture is seen as a critical factor in achieving agile success. In fact, the top three most significant items seen as challenges to agile adoption are:

1. an organizational culture at odds with agile values

2. a general organizational resistance to change

3. inadequate management support and sponsorship

To help combat these issues, organizations reported it can be helpful to have internal agile coaches to act as champions for the agile transformation, as well as having consistent practices, processes and tools across teams. Respondents agreed that alignment across the organization is key to achieving success.

Customer Satisfaction is of Utmost Importance

This year marked a significant change from last year's survey, as customer satisfaction bubbled to the top of metrics used to measure success. In the past, organizations have looked at business value as the most important metric for success. While still important, that now takes a backseat to driving improved customer experiences and providing meaningful value for users.

This closely mirrors recent shifts driving digital transformation initiatives in which customer/user experience is seen as a driving force for business decisions.

As more organizations undergo digital transformations and customer expectations continue to rise, it is increasingly important for companies to deliver outstanding customer experiences to remain competitive. Users have more choices and are more value-driven than at any point in the past and, in response, companies are putting increased importance on delivering strong value to their users.

Agile-plus-DevOps through VSM is Leading the Way

A large majority of respondents indicated they either have a DevOps initiative currently underway or one planned for the next twelve months. As organizations continue to recognize the necessity of delivering higher-quality software at increased velocity to remain competitive, they are turning to scaling Agile-plus-DevOps methodologies to help drive change and increase efficiency. Which opens the door for organizations to capture, visualize, and analyze critical indicators of the speed and quality of software product creation and delivery via value streams.

When faced with the challenges of managing the entire value stream, having critical feedback loops in place, and having the organizational culture and tools necessary to manage and measure value delivered to the business across the entire development pipeline is paramount. As a result, companies are recognizing the need to have their agile portfolio planning, project management and continuous delivery efforts unified.

For these reasons, many organizations are turning to Agile-plus-DevOps through VSM (Value Stream Management) to tackle complex business conditions and requirements. In doing so, organizations cite the top three success metrics as accelerated delivery speed, improved quality of releases and increased flow of business value to users.

Finally, organizations are looking at Agile-plus-DevOps as a key top their organizational success, with a majority of respondents saying their Agile-plus-DevOps transition was important or very important to their organization.

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