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Planit Index 2014: The Year Agile Surpassed Waterfall

By Planit Testing

INSIGHTS // Reports

5 Dec 2014

#Agile|#Services|#Strategy

INSIGHTS // Reports

#Agile|#Services|#Strategy

By Planit Testing

5 Dec 2014

Now in its eighth year, the Planit Testing Index continues to provide industry-leading analysis based upon an unparalleled cross-section of software projects from across Australia and New Zealand. It is designed to assist organisations in making well-informed strategic decisions regarding planning, budgeting and execution of quality assurance activities in IT.

Respondents by organisation size

This report is primarily analysing the results of the 2014 Index, representing over 14,000 projects from across 291 respondents, while also drawing on a further seven years of historic data. A wide range of industries are represented, with software development and IT at 29 percent, financial services at 23 percent and government at 18 percent.

Rise of Agile

The upward trajectory of Agile continued in 2014, achieving a 7 percentage point increase in total project utilisation, surpassing Waterfall for the first time to take top spot among methodologies. With that said, it should be noted that 45 percent of these projects applied Agile in a hybrid capacity.

Software development projects by methodology

Upon closer inspection of who is practicing Agile, it was interesting to see that 89 percent of organisations are now applying Agile methods in some portion of their software projects. By comparison, Waterfall was applied in 64 percent of organisations while V-Model plummeted to 29 percent.

Market sentiment for Agile continues to be positive, with 86 percent of respondents considering Agile to be as successful as, if not more successful than, other methodologies overall. When breaking this down into key areas, Agile continued to receive excellent feedback for improving team collaboration (76 percent), at least as quickly to market (88 percent), and addressing requirements as well if not better (82 percent).

Reduced outcomes

The past year saw a slip in project outcomes, with less projects completing on-time, budget and in-line with scope, falling by 12 percentage points. These points were distributed among projects that completed with significant changes to scope (up 7 points) and the far more concerning categories of project postponement and cancellation (up 2 and 3 points respectively).

Project outcomes by methodology

When examining outcomes against primary project methodology, both Agile and V-Model reflected the aforementioned trend, while Waterfall registered fewer differences in project outcomes year-on-year. Projects following V-Model saw the most significant dip in performance, with a 15 point dip in those completed on time, budget and scope, with 11 of those points being redistributed to ‘significant changes’ and the further 4 points falling into cancellations and postponements.

Agile again registered a high level of projects completed with a significant change in scope, actually increasing by 7 points. Given that this category can arguably be excluded from consideration as a negative outcome in the context of Agile, one could make the case for Agile being the most successful project methodology.

To read the full 2014 report, please visit the Planit Testing Index page.

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