Thursday, October 14, 2010

Agile Mythbusters

It’s Family Fued meets Myth Busters at an Agile 2010 presentation given by Scott Ambler. Scott explores surveys from Ambysoft and Dr. Dobb’s Journal to expose some myths about agile software development.

Below is a brief summary of some of the survey results:

MythSurvey Says
Agile teams don’t provide up front estimates.More than 60% present high level estimates using expert analysis or agile estimation techniques.
Agilists don’t do upfront requirements modeling.About 80% use documented approaches.
Agile teams just start coding.On average agile teams take about 4 weeks to warm up.
Agilists don’t do upfront architecture.About 80% use documented approaches.
Agilists don’t write supporting documentation.Agilists write user manuals, training materials, system overview, and operations documents.
Traditionalist write better quality documentation.Quality agilists’ documentation is the same.
Most agile teams are collocated.42% are collocated while the rest are not and about 30% are distributed by a significant distance.
Traditional work better for distributed teams.Agile works better for both collocated and distributed teams.
Agile is just for small teams.Even though the majority of teams doing agile are small, there are large teams doing agile as well.
Traditional works better for large teams.Agile works better for small, medium, and large teams.
Most Agile teams are doing Greenfield development.Most teams are working and integrating with legacy systems.
Agile doesn’t apply to regulatory situations.About 30% reported using agile in regulatory situations like for example, SOX and HIPPA.
Agile works better than iterative (xUP) approaches.Success rates are the same, but agile may provide greater ROI.

MythSurvey says
The majority of organizations are now doing agileAbout 70% are doing agile.
Agilist test often and test earlyThe majority is doing TDD, regression testing, and code reviews.
Agile works better than traditional approachesAgile provides higher quality, quicker delivery, correct functionality, and greater ROI.

The full survey results are available at