14th Annual State of Agile Report Takeaways

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The long-awaited release of the 14th Annual State of Agile report is finally here! Over 40,000 Agile executives, practitioners, and consultants participated in the survey. Here are the top 10 takeaways that we identified:

  1.     Scrum remains the most popular Agile framework.
  •       Scrum is an easy to implement framework that is structured around three roles (Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Scrum Team), five events (Sprint, Daily Scrum, Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective), and three artifacts (Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, and Product Increment).
  1.     Agile helps you manage changing priorities and increases project visibility.
  •       The role of a Product Owner is to manage the Product Backlog and prioritize new and existing Product Backlog Items to ensure they get the highest value out of the Scrum Team’s work.  A single prioritized backlog helps organizations manage changing priorities and determine the impact that a priority shift will have on existing commitments.
  •       Agile teams make their work visible and regularly demonstrate a working product to solicit feedback. This heightened visibility can be aggregated to show project progress and raise the confidence level of the customer and stakeholders.  
  1.     Agile is a journey and the more you practice Agile the better you get.
  •       Agile is a mindset. Change is hard. Long lasting change starts by slowly replacing current beliefs and principles with new ones and putting them into practice. Most organizations take years to truly reach a mature state of agility.
  1.     Smaller organizations are more likely to embrace widespread agility.
  •       Flatter organizations that are aligned around a core purpose are in many cases already exhibiting Agile principles and practices. It is easier for them to spread agility beyond just the development of new products and services.   
  1.     Value Stream Management is the newest technique in Agile approaches.
  •       Mapping out the flow of work from idea to finished product or service allows organizations to identify the inefficiencies of their process. This birds eye view makes bottlenecks and waste highly visible. It’s different from Product Roadmapping because the focus is on the flow of work through existing processes and is not necessarily limited to one product or project. 
  1.     Agile organizations are supporting collocated as well as distributed team members.
  •       Agility is not impossible when team members are distributed, it just means that the team will have to take on additional working agreements to overcome some of the obstacles that come about when the team is not collocated.
  1.     The top five Agile techniques are Daily Scrum, Retrospectives, Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, and Short Iterations.
  •       Agility is all about continuous improvement. Shorter timeboxes with focused events result in a reliable and repeatable process with more rapid feedback from the customers and stakeholders. Feedback, face to face communication, and incremental progress results in lower risk, heightened collaboration, and improved customer satisfaction.
  1.     Product Roadmapping is gaining in popularity.
  •       Taking the time to map out customer milestones and need by dates with the pieces of work that need to be accomplished, allows the Product Owner to organize the scope into releases of work, and answer the question of when will the product be developed.
  1.     Agile success is most often measured by customer satisfaction and business value delivered.
  •       Incremental progress allows the customer to see a working product and to influence the way that product evolves over the life of the project. Percent complete is not enough for a customer to be highly satisfied with project progress. The customer feels much more satisfied with the business value delivered when they have been able to shape and influence the product in a direction that best meets their needs.
  1.   Atlassian JIRA is the number one project management tool for Agile teams.  
  •       There are many popular Agile tools on the market but JIRA’s reporting capabilities and many add-ons make it the most widely used project management tool for Agile teams.


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