Survey: Agile Not Catching Waterfall Just Yet

While Agile methodology is growing in importance, a recent survey of European companies indicates that the traditional "waterfall" method will retain its position as the dominant development strategy.

The survey, titled "Balancing Agility with Governance -- A Survey of Portfolio Management for Agile IT," was sponsored by CA Technologies and was conducted at this year's Gartner PPM Summit, with 116 European and Middle Eastern delegates responding. CA Technologies is a project and portfolio management product (PPM) vendor.

When asked "Do you believe that the importance of Agile development is going to grow in the next few years?" 43 percent of respondents chose the answer "Yes, Agile development will become mainstream."

However, a larger percentage of respondents (56 percent) replied that Agile will become more important, "but waterfall will continue to dominate."

When asked about current use of Agile, 59 percent said they use a combination of Agile and waterfall, while 12 percent said they use waterfall only and 5 percent said they use Agile only.

A large majority of respondents deemed Agile as at least partially essential to their business. A question asked "Do you view Agile-based development as essential to helping drive business change and innovation?" Here, 50 percent replied "Somewhat" 32 percent replied "Absolutely;" 12 percent replied "Partially;" and 6 percent said "No, it's not essential."

When asked what primary system they used to manage Agile development, "Desktop tools such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project" was the top answer at 27 percent. The next highest answer, at 15 percent, was "Industry standard enterprise PPM solutions."

When asked about the biggest challenges faced when implementing Agile, the most common answers received were: change management, resource management, cultural change, loss of visibility and control and executive buy-in.

The survey can be downloaded from the CA Technologies site.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.