Product Development Methods: Is Agile The Most Widely Used?
We began tracking product development methodology adoption rates back in 2012, the first year we launched our global Study of Product Team Performance. Much has changed since 2012. Over the last three years Agile product development methods have strengthened their market presence but blended approaches are still the most frequently used. Here is a closer look at this year’s survey results.
Which of the following methodologies best describe the way your organization develops products?
Survey responders indicate that the most popular methodology used in product development is a blended approach combining some aspects of Waterfall and some of Agile. The blended approach accounted for nearly half of all survey responses (45.41%). The second most popular methodology is Agile/Scrum, which is used in companies employing 33.16% of our respondents. Nearly 11% of responders indicated their companies utilize Kanban (2.55%) or another methodology (8.68%). Only a tenth (10.20%) are utilizing Waterfall.
Agile methods, particularly Scrum, continue their ascent with significant year-over-year gains. Conversely, waterfall continues its steady decline – although at a slower rate than a year ago. Blended product development methods remain dominant, as has been the case since we began tracking this data in 2012.
Looking Into Our Crystal Ball
While it is difficult to predict the future with any degree of certainty we believe it is very likely that blended methods will continue to be the front-runner for the foreseeable future. However, we do expect Agile product development methods to close the gap with blended methods over the next several years. Based upon the currently available data we do not anticipate that Agile/Scrum will pass blended methods as the most widely used method during this time period.
If you are interested in taking a more detailed look at the three year trend lines for these product development methods you can download a free copy of our annual study here. The last three years of product development methodology data is trended for easy consumption.