Agile methods speed up software development by 30%

An american ongoing study analyzing the Agile practices of one programming community is showing improvements in productivity and quality that far exceed the expectations of both analysts and participants. The early results, which move Agile benefits from the realm of anecdote to fact, bode well for adopters of Agile techniques.

The study, being conducted by QSM Associates in tandem with the Central Ohio Agile Association (COHAA) and the Columbus Executive Agile SIG, bodes well for adopters of Agile software development. A first-of-its-kind study analyzing the Agile development practices of one programming community — in this case, Columbus — reveals a level of achievement that far exceeded expectations of both the analysts and the participants.

Despite some initial hesitation from a small number of participants who were concerned about favorable vs. unfavorable industry comparisons, the defect data in Columbus was significantly better than industry averages. Most installations can expect an improvement in schedule when adopting new technologies like Agile, but the improvement in quality was striking. Why Columbus? There is a strong and cohesive Agile community there.

Early results from the Columbus-area participants show that a typical business system comprising 50,000 lines of code is completed 31% faster than the industry average in the QSM industry database of completed projects (4.4 months vs. 6.4 industry average). Even more remarkable is the defect rate, which is 75% lower than the industry norm.


The study — which is ongoing and still attracting participants — is providing the Columbus Agile community with valuable information on factual patterns on productivity and quality, instead of just anecdotal claims. Moreover, the data helps answer questions about addressing development projects schedules and budgets.

Agile is maturing. And, as more companies increase their emphasis on Test Driven Development and perhaps Acceptance Test Driven Development, we can anticipate even greater improvements…

Extract from ProjectsAtWork

About the Author

How great is the challenge of creating economic value for a company with a libre software. I enjoy this! It encourages me to think business and communication in a disruptive way. I believe in the core value of FLOSS and agile spirit: open minded listening, transparency and co-creation. I'm Marketing Manager at Enalean.

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