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13th State of Agile ReportThe latest report into the current state of Agile has recently been compiled and released. This year’s summary, which is the 15th of its kind, once again provides an in-depth summary of all things Agile, including the latest trends, and valuable insights, on the use and implementation of Agile practices.

Many of the familiar items from previous years remain a constant theme, such as the continual increase in the number of agile transformations being undertaken in industries outside of IT/Tech.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the biggest change highlighted in the 2021 report has been the drastic shift to a far more remote way of working, and the subsequent increase in distributed teams. A number of the key findings from the report have been highlighted below.


Industries and sectors that are adopting Agile

As would be expected, Software Development and IT remain way out in front as leading industries for Agile adoption. However, more and more of the less-traditional areas including Marketing, HR and even Finance also continue to grow. (*Respondents were able to make multiple selections).

Which areas of your organisation have adopted Agile principles and practices?
1. Software Development 86% 6. Human Resources 16%
2. IT 63% 7. Sales / Sales Ops 11%
3. Operations 29% 8. Finance 10%
4. Marketing 17% 9. Hardware Development 10%
5. Security 17% 10. Other 6%

Agile methods and frameworks

There were no real surprises when considering which Agile methodologies were most frequently used, with Scrum and SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) still highlighted as the top frameworks.

Scrum remains the most utilised Agile method, with a huge 81% of respondents stating that they use Scrum, or a hybrid which includes Scrum (ie Scrum, ScrumBan, Scrum / XP hybrid).

In terms of Large Scale Agile adoption, SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) undoubtedly remains king of scaling methods. With 37% of this year’s respondents stating that SAFe is their framework of choice when scaling their Agile practices. The next closest methodology was Scrum@Scale/Scrum of Scrums with 9%, with all of the remaining respondents dispersed among a wide range of other methods.

The reasons for adopting Agile vs The challenges of implementation

There has been very little change in the reasons and motivations for adopting Agile, with managing changing priorities, and accelerating software delivery remaining as the top two motivations. The only difference being, that whereas in previous years, accelerating software delivery had been the clear no.1 reason for adopting Agile, it is now considered equal alongside managing changing priorities.

Likewise, although the challenges and impediments to agile adoption remain largely the same – it is the order that they are placed which has evolved in recent years. With last year’s top choice general organisational resistance to change now dropping to 3rd, and being replaced as the biggest challenge by inconsistent process and practices across teams.

Reasons for adopting Agile
1. Enhance ability to manage changing priorities 64%
2. Accelerate software delivery 64%
3. Increase team productivity 47%
4. Improve business & IT alignment 47%
5. Enhance software quality 42%

*Respondents were able to make multiple selections

The challenges and impediments to adopting Agile
1. Inconsistent processes and practices across teams 46%
2. Organisational culture at odds with agile values 43%
3. General organisational resistance to change 42%
4. Lack of skills/experience with Agile methods 42%
5. Not enough leadership participation 41%

Distributed agile teams

Undoubtedly, the biggest shift over the last 12 months has been the move to a far more remote way of working. Although we may have begun to see some of this impact in the previous report as the pandemic was taking effect across the globe, it’s clear now that remote ways of working aren’t just a temporality solution – with only 3% of respondents saying that they will be returning to the office full-time in a post-COVID world.

How do you see the distribution of your Agile team changing post-COVID-19:
• Only 3% indicated they plan to return to the office full time.
• 16% have always been remote, and expect to remain remote.
• 25% of respondents say they will remain fully remote in a post-COVID world
• 56% favour a hybrid approach, returning to the office regularly but not every day


With plenty more insights available – you can download and read the full 15th State of Agile report by simply clicking here.