Chapter 12. Agile (Adaptive) Project Management

12.4 Recent Trends in Agile Project Management

Organizations, whether they are multinational corporations, non-profits, government agencies, or international organizations, often make use of agile project methods and frameworks. Although agile started with the software development projects (see Section 12.1), its utilization has become common in other IT projects, and eventually non-IT projects such as new product development projects have practiced agile methods increasingly. A survey conducted by PMI (Project Management Institute) found that 23% of the organizations worldwide utilized agile techniques whereas 47% used predictive approach. However, another 23% also used hybrid approaches (e.g., using waterfall’s sequential and linear project life cycle stages while establishing a more frequent communication and feedback system with the client and stakeholders).

A recent study is the 15th State of Agile Report conducted in 2021 by[1]. Their data is up-to-date and reflect the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. Their sample is dominantly composed of people who work in agile teams or in organizations which implement agile approach. This report highlights salient insights from the practice as detailed below:

  • The most popular agile approach is Scrum. 66% of the respondents identified Scrum as the methodology they follow most closely. Besides, 9% indicated that they use ScrumBan and 6% blends the Scrum with XP. Therefore, Scrum’s share is 81% in total.
  • The most popular scaling approach is SAFe with 37%. SAFe was followed by Scrum@Scale / Scrum of Scrums (9%) and Enterprise Scrum (6%).
  • The top five agile techniques and practices used by the organizations are daily standups (87%), retrospectives (83%), sprint/iteration planning (83%), sprint/iteration reviews (81%), and short iterations (63%).
  • The top five agile planning and delivery tools are Kanban boards (77%), taskboards (67%) spreadsheets (66%), agile project management tools (64%), and bug trackers (62%).
  • The top five reasons to adopt agile are “enhance ability to manage changing priorities”, “accelerate software delivery”, “increase team productivity”, “improve business and IT alignment”, and “enhance software quality”.
  • The top five challenges in organizations regarding agile practices are “inconsistent processes and practices across teams”, “organizational culture at odds with agile values”, “general organization resistance to change”, “lack of skills/experience with agile methods”, and “not enough leadership participation”.
  • Eighty-one percent of the respondents recommended Jira as a software tool in agile planning and management. Jira was followed by agility (formerly VersionOne) and Azure DevOps. Thirty-five percent recommended Microsoft Project.


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Project Management by Abdullah Oguz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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