Agile series: General trends

Figure 1: The use of agile approaches in any way whatsoever (%) Figure 1: The use of agile approaches in any way whatsoever (%)

Agile approaches are not new; they have been around since 2001. This was the year in which the agile manifesto (which included the four values and the twelve principles), was founded by seventeen prominent software developers. However, it still took a while before agile approaches were fully embraced by IT organizations. Only during the last five years did it substantially increase as such. In 2010, the use of Agile approaches amounted to less than 20%, while in 2014 it increased to nearly 80% (see figure 1).

About 70% of the organizations, which use an agile approach work with Scrum. Less than 15% of the organizations use a different approach, such as Kanban, Feature Driven Development, Agile Unified Process, DSDM/Atern, Lean or Extreme Programming.

Another interesting trend is the reduction of agile approaches in outsourcing trajectories. Five years ago this amounted to nearly 80% while now this amounts to less than 40% (see figure 2). 

Figure 2: The use of agile approaches in outsourcing trajectories (%) Figure 2: The use of agile approaches in outsourcing trajectories (%)

If an organization is requested to provide feedback in respect to the satisfaction of the result of an agile project then more than 50% responds satisfactorily. This is quantified through an assumed productivity increase of 0 to 50% with an average of 20%, a cost reduction of 0 to 50% with an average of 30% and a quicker time-to-market of 10 to 60% with an average of 30%.

In the subsequent parts of this series, we will bring you the five agile misconceptions, five agile pitfalls, five agile benefits, and five agile success factors. All of these are based on five years of experience as an agile consultant and agile trainer for more than 300 agile projects within the Netherlands and abroad. Notwithstanding the fact that these are mostly 300 subjective opinions, it does in the end provide an objective image of the current situation in respect to agile projects. Stay tuned for more!

Leo van der Aalst


Leo has over thirty years of IT- experience in waterfall, hybrid and agile environments, especially in environments such as agile, scrum (since 2005), DevOps, SAFe and Spotify. As an agile coach, Leo has provided training and workshops to more than 350 agile teams in the Netherlands and abroad and as a change manager he has guided organizations in the transition to working agile. In addition, he is a much sought-after speaker and trainer, and co-author of five books on software quality.

More on Leo van der Aalst.

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