Digital.ai, a leading provider of enterprise-grade software development and delivery solutions, recently unveiled its 17th annual State of Agile report, the longest-running survey on the topic. Digital.ai surveyed 788 software development professionals to ask the questions it has asked for the last 17 years – How is it working? Can it scale? and How does it help? The findings show that a majority (71%) use Agile in their software development lifecycle (SDLC). But despite respondents touting improved collaboration and better alignment with the business as top benefits of using Agile, these benefits have yet to reach their expected potential. There is an ongoing disconnect between Agile practitioners and the business, evidenced by resistance to organizational change, a lack of understanding amongst leadership, and inadequate training and support from the business side. Just 11% of survey respondents who use Agile are “very satisfied,” and 33% are “somewhat satisfied.”
Small nimble organizations are the happiest – 52% report enterprise Agile works very or somewhat well, and state that Agile is a powerful productivity and organizational framework resulting in increased collaboration, improved software quality, and better alignment with the business, compared to 43% of larger companies who agree.
Amidst the ongoing challenges of AI transformations, developer burnout, hybrid work environments, and changing business priorities, requiring development teams to constantly pivot, scaling Agile is proving more difficult than anticipated. Agile team leaders are being asked to do a lot from demonstrating business value and enabling digital transformation to incorporating AI and managing distributed workforces, and the results show there is a long way to go before reaching these lofty goals.
The good news is – and the reason businesses continue to try – is that users who are happy with Agile point to concrete benefits from its adoption. Almost 60% said collaboration has improved, while 57% saw better alignment to business needs and a quarter saw better quality software delivered.
“What’s clear from the data is that, when Agile works, it works – there are concrete benefits for the organizations who have gotten it right,” said Derek Holt, CEO, of Digital.ai. “AI is the latest disruptive change to businesses, and like any change, it alters processes and practices that will take time to assimilate, but the enterprise goal remains the same – to satisfy the hunger to deliver business value and drive customer satisfaction. Agile still provides us with the best opportunity to manage these transitions and drive software delivery toward maximum business value.”