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Agile Alliance Survey: Are We There Yet?

Posted by Diana Larsen on Sep 13, 2006 |

Agile, Five Years Later

To start with a short history: Five years ago, in the spring of 2001, seventeen free-thinking software engineers got together to uncover commonalities in their thinking about software development methods. Individually, through the 1980’s and 1990’s, they had developed a variety of low ceremony approaches to writing software that had become grouped under the designation, “Lightweight Methods.” During this pivotal meeting they re-named their suite of approaches, “Agile.” They wrote the Agile Manifesto*, signed it, published it online and invited others to sign on to it too. Soon, they and other enthusiasts formed a non-profit organization—The Agile Alliance, conferences bloomed, some of the signers wrote more books, and Agile was launched.

Looking back over the last five years and forward to the next five, where is Agile headed now? I thought about this question myself and circulated a survey to the other Agile Alliance board members for their input. Together we formed a picture of the trends we’re seeing in the Agile world. The trends include:

  • Awareness & Propagation
  • Leadership & Scaling
  • Commodification & Dilution
  • Emerging Challenges

Awareness & Propagation: The spread of “Agile”. 

By now, most people in the software industry have heard about Agile software development, whether or not they are clear about what it means. Ron Jeffries wrote, “Agile approaches are being applied effectively in essentially every kind of enterprise, and with good results. It is certainly possible to fail using Agile, but the situations where this happens seem to begin by not doing anything that would be recognized as truly applying the principles and practices. “

Agile, and the recognition of the need for methods that respond to market changes and deliver faster, is showing up in places where no one expected it, like on mission critical projects (NASA and military applications) and other government-regulated processes (e.g., the V-Model XT in Germany). 

We're no longer debating whether agile works to develop software, we're debating how to do it in a specific company/context. Agile methods are no longer considered the approach of last resort in a crisis, but more often turned to as the first choice for rapid, responsive, accurate development.  

In places where Scrum is adopted as a management practice, XP is often not far behind as the development practice. Yet when people think of Scrum, XP, Crystal or DSDM, they still don’t automatically think, “Agile.” They think of the methods as techniques, or about the related tools, rather than about the values Agile represents.  

Agile has become a “buzzword” in the software development world, often without a clear understanding of what it means. Agile practices may be used but not recognized as such. Rachel Davies wrote, “I have just been working with a team who adopted Lean Software Development from Mary & Tom Poppendieck's book. They don't know XP or Scrum but are working in one-week iterations within 6-week stages with small cross-functional teams of business, developers and testers. I have introduced them to estimating in points rather than guessing.”  

What are some of the ways we find evidence for the spread of Agile?

1) Evidence in Publications

Five years ago, Ole Jepsen noted, there were no books about Agile; only books describing the separate methods. Three years ago, you’d find only a few Agile books on the bookstore shelf, and still very little with the specifics of how to go Agile. In the last 12-18 months, books with detailed advice are starting to appear:

2) Evidence from Conferences

When the two U.S.-based conferences on Agile merged last year, the organizers expected that much the same crowd of 150-250 people had been attending both. Allowing for that overlap and some growth, they planned for about 300-400 attendees at the Agile 2005 conference. More than 700 people came. Many people came, not because they were part of Agile projects, but to satisfy their curiosity and discover whether Agile might be a fit for them. Conference Director Todd Little reports that the 2006 organizing committee expects another 30%+ growth in attendance. They plan a conference that will accommodate 800-1200 people.   

And not only that—Agile topics appear more and more often in the programs of more and more non-Agile software conferences. A planning committee for a software testing and quality conference recently discussed how to preserve a balance between Agile and non-Agile topics. The increasing numbers of solid proposals for Agile-related sessions threatened to overshadow more traditional topics at the event.  

3) Evidence of Vendors and Tools

More and more vendors are entering the Agile space. In 2001, there were no tools on the market and only a handful of consultants to help start an Agile project or provide skills training in Agile practices. 

In 2006, Rally, Version 1, Microsoft, IBM and others, have developed and promoted tools to assist Agile projects. Open Source tools, custom-designed for application in particular projects, have also entered the marketplace. 

Dozens of consultants stand ready to assist with practices and support.  

4) Evidence from Marketplace Analysts

Gartner, Forrester, IDC and other respected industry analysts have recognized Agile as a phenomenon and mention the influence of Agile in their reports.   

Examples from Forrester:

On March 2004, Forrester published a report, "Adopting Agile Development Processes: Improve Time-To-Benefits For Software Projects”

On November 30, 2005 a report “Corporate IT Leads The Second Wave Of Agile Adoption”

On February 7, 2006, a report “Agile Processes Enable SOA Success” 

Example from Gartner:

On April 18, 2005, Agile Requirements Definition and Management Will Benefit Application Development 

5) Evidence from workplace anecdotes

Agile has shifted its early developer-centric start to focus on products owners, customers, testers, usability experts and others, as needed by the project.  

Testers and usability experts have become an expected part of the Agile development team. Discussion lists contain postings about Agile testing & QA, as well as requests from teams looking to hire Agile testers, something unheard of as little as two years ago. The debates about whether Agile testing and usability are possible are subsumed by the number of teams that include both.  

Research, journal articles and conference sessions give more attention to the important roles of customer and product owner on Agile projects.  

6) Evidence from Signs of Interest

Seventy-eight local user groups have requested a listing on the Agile Alliance website. http://www.agilealliance.org/resources/usergroups/ 

Discussion group members access each other through over 70 yahoo groups alone. New organizations devoted to extending Agile values spring up, including the Agile Project Leadership Network, which has acquired over 150 members in less than a year of existence. http://www.apln.org

Enterprise Leadership & Scaling

Folks like Jim Highsmith, Jutta Eckstein, Sanjiv Augustine, Pollyanna Pixton, Bob Schatz and others have shifted the conversation from the individual project level to Agile at the level of the enterprise.  

Early discussion on the ideal Agile team size (small), and whether Agile methods could scale up, in scope or complexity, have been overtaken by the number of organizations and large projects that do it. The APLN with its Declaration of Interdependence has chosen to focus on moving Agile into new areas of the business; including leadership, organizational systems and cross-departmental relationships.  

In my brief survey of trends, Agile leaders offered the following comments: 

Mike Cohn, “Companies are not doing small pilots, they're diving in,” and “We're seeing Agile coming top-down now whereas it used to all be bottom up.” 

Todd Little, “It’s a movement toward Leadership over Management, Effectiveness over Efficiency, and Reliability over Repeatability” and “Through Agile, I see companies adapting and scaling the development approach to both meet the needs of the project and stay aligned with the business.” 

Pollyanna Pixton, “There’s an increased focus on, and a wrestling with the meaning of, what it means to lead in an Agile organization, i.e., collaborative leadership.”  

In reference to the values statement of the Agile Manifesto, Todd Little commented,

“I’ve noticed something that I broadly call dealing with the right. Project leaders and teams are developing processes and tools (e.g. wikis, collaboration environments, etc.) that support Agile interactions and individuals. Through a focus on documentation as a consumable rather than a deliverable, we create documentation that leads to working software. We create contracts consistent with collaboration and Agile delivery, and, in our planning, we anticipate and expect change.”

Scaling Agile.

Agile is scaling along a number of dimensions: geographic distribution and global development, number of collaborations with suppliers, combined hardware/software projects including and beyond embedded software, team size, project size, mission criticality, and involvement with legacy systems.  

Applying Agile with teams that are distributed, whether across town or across time zones, has become a daily challenge for many project leaders and team members. The advantages of co-location are meeting the reality of the global marketplace. Teams are seeking and developing new techniques to ensure the healthy communication flow that is central to successful use of Agile methods.  

In organizations, Agile is being discussed at the program or product management level, as well as the project level. Jennitta Andrea wrote, “A trend that my company is experiencing is an increase in interest in applying agile techniques on legacy application projects (re-platforming/porting, enhancing, stabalizing, etc). We apply agile planning and management techniques ( e.g. story-based, test-first porting) as well as an XP development approach. The 'interesting' part is retrofitting tests onto these complex legacy beasts.”  

Agile as a Commodity and the Dilution of Agile

As Agile becomes better known, as more tools are developed to support Agile and more firms provide their own distinctive flavor of Agile to the market, more ideas about Agile become mainstream. Courses and organizations spring up to compete as “Agile” because it's an attractive, emerging business. Many of them are really good; inevitably, some are not. Promoters may pay lip service and give attention to the appearance rather than the substance of Agile.  

Many Agile-related ideas are becoming mainstream among programmers because they're carried along with the tools. Microsoft's new MSF specifically supports Agile development. Microsoft’s move into the Agile world is a substantial indicator of Agile’s acceptance by the market.  

The debate continues about how “strictly” to follow the practices of each method. Some say the practices are not important, as long as a project’s approach adheres to the Agile values. Mike Cohn commented, “The practices vs. values debate has been won by values.” Other leaders in the Agile camp express concern about the move away from applying the practices. Ron Jeffries says, “As we learn more and more about how to apply Agile in various situations, part of that learning is more about how to water down the original concepts about Agile methods and practices. These watered down versions provide a little benefit, but may also delay the real transforming effects, perhaps forever.”  

Rebecca Wirfs-Brock wrote:

“I know about one local contracting company who tried to interject agile management practices into a state agency, with mixed results. The development team picked up on the ‘easier’ XP software engineering technical practices (e.g. continuous integration) much more readily than anyone picked up the ‘harder’ communication, project and team management practices (e.g. pairing, daily meetings) to support Agile. It was not a smashing success.

“On the other hand, I increasingly find developers embracing cool tools (like really nice development environments, build tools, etc.). This enables them to create and test software as they go...and people are doing that. In fact, one trend I've observed over the past year is that people who develop software for the state of Oregon, for example, are re-treading their development practices (and moving to better software dev platforms) out of necessity. Old timers are retiring. So are 40-year-old COBOL programs and 20-year-old legacy systems. Because of constant pressure to do more with less and respond to numerous annual legislative changes, they are making software that is flexible (and not doing lots and lots of big up front designs). They are developing software in a way that allows them to be much more responsive to their customers. This largely means smart developers with great tools, good discipline, and design smarts. To those folks, probably the open source phenomena (including eclipse as well as many Java open source components) has had more impact on their ability to be adaptable and responsive than anything.”

New Challenges/Debates in Agile

Is it the quality of the code or the quality of the coders?

Agile methods thrive on communication and sharing of ideas and practices. They thrive in environments where team members self-organize to accomplish delivery. This begins to highlight the need for people who have both collaborative team skills and excellent technical skills. Ole Jepsen wrote, “It’s difficult to get

An argument during the emergence of Agile methods was that they required highly skilled, “star” performers to accomplish their iterative outcomes in short bursts. This argument was countered by the idea that all team members increased in skill through the intense communication and transparency that occurs on a team using Agile practices. One team added the practice of giving responsibility for each task to the least qualified individual on the team to accelerate their learning. The rest of the team formed the safety net to ensure the quality of the delivered code.  

As methods are adopted in organizations piecemeal, the dilution in practices is causing some folks to take a second look at who is on their teams and what skills they bring to the project.  

Do we value individuals or interactions more?

The first value statement of the Manifesto poses a paradox. The idea that individual and interactions are valued more highly than processes and tools is fine, until a conflict arises between the ideas of valuing individuals or team interactions.  

Teams adopt an Agile approach for their work and individuals become more productive. Projects exceed expectations, then plateau. They reach higher than before, but may not reach the potential others see is possible. They never achieve the energizing synergy experienced by many of the early adopting agile teams. Team members gain comfort and competence with the practices, but they still face the difficult shift from individual contributor to team member. They need a shift to valuing their interactions and developing greater collaboration skills.

Simple vs. Complex Tools

In a January 2006 blog post, Brian Marick wrote,

“Tools are important. Many of the Agile Manifesto authors had past experience with Smalltalk and other OO languages. That kind of background makes it easier to think of software as something you could readily change. I don't think Agile would have taken off without semi-flexible languages like Java and the fast machines to run them. Moreover, each new tool—JUnit, Cruise Control, refactoring IDEs, FIT—makes it easier for more people to go the Agile route. Without them, Agile would be a niche approach available only to the ridiculously determined.”

Rachel Davies reminded us that there is value in keeping tracking low-tech but visible. For Agile2006 conference, we had several experience reports on how moving back to index cards for tracking had increased team productivity.

Summary

World markets and software development will persist in moving as quickly in the next five years as in the past five. (There’s no reason to think they won’t.) The earliest adopters will accelerate their use of Agile methods to develop software. Agile methods will also continue to spread into new arenas. Leaders in our community contend that Agile methods have “crossed the chasm” to become a respectable alternative for managing and working in software projects.  

As proponents and stewards of Agile, we have an interesting vantage point to watch how awareness of Agile continues to diffuse; how the growing community addresses issues of size, distribution, and leadership; how proponents monitor the “purity” or adaptation of the methods; and how we ourselves respond to change as new challenges emerge.   
 


* The Agile Manifesto

We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others doing it. 

Through this we have come to value:

  • Individuals and interactions  over  processes and tools
  • Working software  over  comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration  over  contract negotiation
  • Responding to change  over  following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value items on the left more.

http://www.agilemanifesto.org


About the Author

Diana Larsen partners with leaders of software development projects, IT/IS departments and other technical groups to strengthen their ability to improve project performance, support and sustain change, and build collaborative workplaces.  Together she and her clients build workplaces that realize business results while developing and dignifying people.  As a specialist in the human side of software development, Larsen serves as a advisor, consultant and facilitator to directors, program and project managers, development teams and others.  She has special expertise in using Appreciative Inquiry approaches, Open Space Technology and other large group processes, as well as in leading teams through Project Chartering and Retrospectives.

Larsen serves on the board of the Agile Alliance and of the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference, participates in planning for the XP 200x and Agile 200x conferences, and speaks at several software conferences every year.  She's written articles for Software Development, At Work, Cutter IT Journal, and Cutter's Executive Update and e-Advisor series. Larsen is a founder of the Annual International Retrospective Facilitators Gathering.


The other contributors to this article are all members of the Agile Alliance and APLN Boards: Jennitta Andrea, Mike Cohn, Rachel Davies, Jutta Eckstein, Ron Jeffries, Ole Jepson, Todd Little , Rebecca Wirfs-Brock and Brian Marick; and Pollyanna Pixton.


Photo credit: thanks to Victor Zhang http://photos.viczhang.com

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Good pat on the back by Hani Suleiman

I'm sure this will tremendously help adoption, now that the leaders of movement X have proclaimed that movement X is a success story and has become a respectable choice.

Certainly helps differentiate it from those other approaches/solutions/products/methodologies/frameworks, whose leaders often express doubt and concern over their viability, and proclaim that they are not adopted or used in any practical or meaningful sense.

Re: Good pat on the back by Deborah Hartmann

Hani, you seem to assume the author's intent is to encourage adoption. Not so: in fact it's getting out there just fine by itself, it seems:

> Agile, and the recognition of the need for
> methods that respond to market changes and
> deliver faster, is showing up in places where
> no one expected it, like on mission critical
> projects (NASA and military applications) and
> other government-regulated processes
> (e.g., the V-Model XT in Germany).

The objective was to take the pulse of the leaders of the movement. In a community where retrospectives are a way of life, the leaders have made transparent their own retrospective.

Re: Good pat on the back by Hani Suleiman

Yes, I understand the objective, my sarcasm was more directed at the need to take the pulse of any leaders of any movement. The agile community in particular has made it abundantly clear how they feel about their chosen way of life. I guess I must be the wrong target audience, as seeing a bunch of people applaud themselves is not inheritly interesting or of value to me. I'm interested in agile, which is why I haven't unchecked as yet, but even when there is a worthwhile article, it's buried under all the noise of agile participants proclaiming what a jolly good idea it is, and deriding any failed agile projects as not really agile. A tautology at its best.

It's perplexing why so much content in fact is focussed on defensive/self aggrandising nonsense. If agile really were as successful as it proclaims itself to be, why isn't more of the content practical, interesting, or new to NON believers who are interested in the subject matter?

The content of the other tracks for example is generally less faith based (even SOA, which also has the potential of being furious arm waving and wild inexplicable proclamations), so I'm at a loss as to why the agile content is so....well...pointless, to the average reader.

Re: Good pat on the back by Deborah Hartmann

Thanks for the feedback, Hani. I'll take it into consideration.
Deb

Re: Good pat on the back by Jason Carreira

Wow, that was harsh and yet.... true. Not only largely pointless, but abundant.

Re: Good pat on the back by Paul Oldfield

Whether or not Agile articles are of interest will depend on where the reader is, and where he wants to be, on the adoption curve. I find it of interest that the Agile leaders now think agility has crossed the chasm, because it tells me something of what the next few years will be like for me. Of course, I don't consider myself to be an average reader.

I'm sure Deb would at least listen to requests for articles on agility more tailored to your interests, if you give her an idea of what you'd like to be reading.

Re: Good pat on the back by Floyd Marinescu

Guys, IMO Agile is about process, and as I know both of you to be avid technologists - you're simply probably not the target audience. The agile community on InfoQ is for just that - for people in the agile community, actively practicing Agile and dealing with the challenges of software project management in medium-large enterprise.

This article is quite an important one for them, much like all the news we used to publish in the Java space years ago that was helping to spread awareness of Java's growing adoption.

If you're not interested in hearing about the various changing nuances of the Agile community, then just check off the box on the left side bar. Else, I respectfully, let's leave these threads for constructive discussion between those who are 'of' the Agile community.

Re: Good pat on the back by Hani Suleiman

Alright, I'll unsub then. I just think it's a shame that such a large swathe of the people who know about this site are essentially being told to ignore so much of the content.

Re: Good pat on the back by Cedric Beust

Floyd, I think you missed Hani's point.

In short, he's just saying that "When technology X is marginal, nobody is helped by hearing an X thought leader claim that 'X has crossed the chasm'".

Replace X with Agile, Eiffel, Smalltalk, Lisp or Linux.

I found Hani's criticism constructive and something that the InfoQ creators should pay attention to, but your message to him is basically to stop providing it. I'm sure he'll be happy to oblige.

--
Cedric

Re: Good pat on the back by Vincent Frisina

Floyd,

While I can certainly appreciate the desire to avoid an agile vs. anti-agile flamewar and directing people who are not interested in agile practices to simply unsubscribe, that is not what I see here.

Hani's comments are more along the lines of peer review. He is, as you say, a technologist, and that includes being a practitioner of development methods. He is very much an interested and informed party offering his perspective. That outside critique is vital for the continued growth of the agile methods community. You are right that this is much like the early days of Java adoption, when comments and criticisms flowed in from academics and practitioners, the C++, Smalltalk, and Eiffel language communities, embedded systems and desktop app developers, and many others with a stake in the evolution of software systems. Think of how much weaker the Java platform and Java community would be if they had been shut out in those formative days.

If the agile methods channel becomes a club for agile adepts to talk only to each other and exclude the uninitiated, it will leave the domain of science and engineering and instead becomes techno-mystical occultism. The growth and adoption of agile development methods, currently a promising and worthwhile field, would suffer for it.

Vince Frisina

Has Agile Gone Mainstream? by Deborah Hartmann

This conversation is touching on a number of complex issues, to which I'll need to respond later today. However, this one is immediately interesting:

Cedric paraphrases Hani, saying
> "When technology X is marginal, nobody is helped
> by hearing an X thought leader claim that
> 'X has crossed the chasm'".

So, the article strongly states that it has "crossed the chasm" but one or both of you disagree, and seem to say it's still only marginal? That's interesting. What experience do you have that indicates to you that Agile has not become a major methodology player, adopted by the mainstream?

So, are you disagreeing with these surveys? Or interpreting them differently? Or questioning their claims?
www.infoq.com/news/Digital-Focus-Unveil-Survey-...
www.infoq.com/news/Survey-State-of-Agile-Practice
versionone.com/surveyresults.asp

Re: Has Agile Gone Mainstream? by Cedric Beust

Hi Deborah,

I'll quote the origins of the three surveys you mention:

1) A survey conducted by Agile software development industry leader, Digital Focus
2) Scott Ambler
3) The "State of Agile Development" Survey Results. Conducted by VersionOne - Sponsored by The Agile Alliance

See what I mean?

If a techology is mainstream, first of all, it doesn't even need this kind of survey, and second, when such surveys are carried out, there are hundreds to choose from and from a variety of sources.

The fact that this is not happening is exactly why I believe that at the moment, Agile is still quite marginal.

And to answer your questions: No. As a rule of thumb, I don't believe self-serving surveys.

--
Cedric

Re: Has Agile Gone Mainstream? by Hani Suleiman

Hi Deborah,

As Cedric said, the answer to your question is neither of your options. You seem to (honestly, I really am trying to provide constructive feedback) basically miss the whole point of what we're complaining about. The issue isn't about the survey, or who interpreted it, or its results. The issue is more fundamental than that; it's the fact that at the core of it (and this is something that applies to other posts, not just this one) that saying that vested interest X in technology Y now says that Y is great. If you want agile to grow, then you need to have a message for neutral third parties, not just the ones who have already bought what you're trying to sell.

Floyd though seems to imply that that's exactly the point of the agile community, fluff aimed at fluffy people, rather than technology. So Floyd has politely informed Cedric and I that we don't belong here, something which I find rather surprising, not to mention sad.

Re: Has Agile Gone Mainstream? by Jason Carreira


So, the article strongly states that it has "crossed the chasm" but one or both of you disagree, and seem to say it's still only marginal? That's interesting. What experience do you have that indicates to you that Agile has not become a major methodology player, adopted by the mainstream?

So, are you disagreeing with these surveys? Or interpreting them differently? Or questioning their claims?
www.infoq.com/news/Digital-Focus-Unveil-Survey-...
www.infoq.com/news/Survey-State-of-Agile-Practice
versionone.com/surveyresults.asp


The point wasn't agreeing or disagreeing with the proposition that agile has "crossed the chasm" (a vague and ill-defined concept). The point was that agile experts whose livelihood is based on preaching agile saying that agile has "crossed the chasm" isn't really news nor is it terribly objective.

My personal opinion is that Agile is pretty prevalent, in one form or another. It's also not the terribly complex thing that they make it out to be that requires a whole community of agile advocates and "certified" evangelists.

My constructive criticism is that if you want some good Agile-track content with useful information, you should talk to Vincent Frisina (who posted on this thread). He and I both work for ePlus, so I know he's been implementing Agile methods in a huge company on a project as big as any I've heard of filled with many different stakeholders and political motivations. He's got good advice for people in implementing Agile processes in challenging environments where they're not often attempted.

Re: Has Agile Gone Mainstream? by Deborah Hartmann

...when such surveys are carried out, there are hundreds to choose from and from a variety of sources.

Cedric, I'd be interested to hear about more method-neutral surveys that show information about Agile adoption, when you come across them. Please do drop me a line using the "contribute news" button at the top of every page.
Meanwhile, I'll keep my eye out, too.

Re: Has Agile Gone Mainstream? by Deborah Hartmann

honestly, I really am trying to provide constructive feedback


Yes Hani, I can tell and I appreciate it. It's a sticky subject, and one I've been thinking about for weeks already. I'm definitely paying attention and thinking about the things you're saying here. Thanks.

Re: Has Agile Gone Mainstream? by Cedric Beust


Cedric, I'd be interested to hear about more method-neutral surveys that show information about Agile adoption, when you come across them. Please do drop me a line using the "contribute news" button at the top of every page.
Meanwhile, I'll keep my eye out, too.

A good start is to look for surveys that don't have *any* vested interest in the matter.

In my experience, it is quite challenging to find this kind of survey about Agile practices, and I was only half surprised to find out that the three surveys that you mentioned are all originating from Agile organizations.

That's not a good sign.

--
Cedric

About News by Deborah Hartmann

Here's the thing about news: it captures what people are thinking about, writing about. So it's subject to what's going on now, not what ought to be going on.

If you think I'm missing something, I'd be happy to have your suggestions using the Contribute News button at the top of every page. Particularly because an editor is a finiter resource, and it's impossible to see everything every day... if you spot it first, feel free to drop me a note.

In the meantime, constructive conversation like this is much more likely to yield results than heckling :-)

Re: About News by Deborah Hartmann

Of course, that's intended to be "finite", though some days I'm finiter than others :-)

Re: Has Agile Gone Mainstream? by Paul Oldfield


A good start is to look for surveys that don't have *any* vested interest in the matter.

In my experience, it is quite challenging to find this kind of survey about Agile practices, and I was only half surprised to find out that the three surveys that you mentioned are all originating from Agile organizations.

Well, we could take it as contributing evidence that agile has gone mainstream if we do find any such survey from a non-agile, non-vested-interest organisation.

Re: Has Agile Gone Mainstream? by Deborah Hartmann

Yeah, I spent a while looking for one last night... problem is, if they're not particularly oriented toward Agile, they may not be using the buzzwords. So if it's out there, it's darn hard to find with Google, and I just can't read EVERY darned page on the internet nightly :-) That's why we'll get better coverage if we can rely on readers to contribute things they come across while reading the web, which might not otherwise be easily spotted.

Ex: I had a heck of a time researching the "Eclipse Callisto Agile Success" story because most of the bloggers didn't use the buzzwords (which is fine) - but I spent days just following links and scanning blogs, because you can't find an Agile story with Google by searching for common words like "testing" or "iteration" or "frequent".

Imagine: "Results 1 - 10 of about 126,000,000 for frequent"

Re: Good pat on the back by Deborah Hartmann

I'm sure Deb would at least listen to requests for articles on agility more tailored to your interests, if you give her an idea of what you'd like to be reading.

Quite so. Still waiting :-)

If the question "what would you like to see" is too open ended: tell me which items in the queue you did like, and what you liked about it. (More flies with honey, etc.)

Re: Has Agile Gone Mainstream? by Floyd Marinescu

Floyd though seems to imply that that's exactly the point of the agile community, fluff aimed at fluffy people, rather than technology. So Floyd has politely informed Cedric and I that we don't belong here, something which I find rather surprising, not to mention sad.
I'm sorry if I saddened you, I interpretted your comments to mean that you are not interested in stuff about process and methodology. It is hard to talk about Agile in a concrete fashion in the same way we talk about Java. Many agilists say that 'agile is a state of mind'. How do you cover news about Agile by that definition? It is something we are dealing with often.

In my point I wasn't implying that this community is about fluff and for fluffy people, but I was implying that each community on InfoQ primarily seeks to be an experts community for those in that community. Like in Java we target architects and team leads and try to avoid really introductory stuff. So in Agile Deborah is trying to ensure that the content is of interest to Agile experts but that CAN be in conflict with Cedric's suggestion about making the content also interesting to everyone else, because stuff that may be interesting to everyone else may be boring to the experts, so what do we do?

Re: Good pat on the back by Floyd Marinescu

After seeing the thoughts in this thread unfold, then indeed I get the point. I misinterpretted at first.

Re: Has Agile Gone Mainstream? by Cedric Beust

So in Agile Deborah is trying to ensure that the content is of interest to Agile experts but that CAN be in conflict with Cedric's suggestion about making the content also interesting to everyone else

While that's a laudable goal, that was not my point.

I was just saying I have never found myself educated by articles of the type "Microsoft says that .Net has crossed the chasm".

--
Cedric

Re: Has Agile Gone Mainstream? by Chris Matts

First off, let me state that I'm a member of the Agile Community.

Your comments are much more interesting and telling than the original article.

As for independent surveys. I don't think they exist. Even companies renowned for their impartiality are funded by vested interests who make sure the researchers find the right 'experts'.

Agile is not like technology. It is more an approach or attitude. The Agile Community has adopted, refined or created certain practices that it promotes such as Test Driven Development (Something I was taught at Price Waterhouse in 1991), Continuous Integration and Retrospectives. Whereas a company adopts a technology, Agile is adopted by individuals. This makes it very difficult to assess whether it has "crossed the chasm". A number of the practices are crossing the chasm but I don't see Agile crossing the chasm at the moment. I work with a number of people who use TDD and CI but are not interested in Agile.

On reflection I agree with Diana, certain practices are crossing the chasm but others not.

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