Research by Pedro Serrador reveals whether agile projects are more successful

pmi_netherlands_summit_2016_liggendOne of the speakers on the 5th PMI Netherlands Summit held on 15 September 2016 is Pedro Serrador. Are Agile Projects More Successful and the Real Factors that Make Agile Work: A Quantitative Study.

serradorPedro Serrador (Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto and Humber College, Serrador Project Management) actually performed quantitative analysis on a worldwide survey of 1,386 projects. 6% of these projects were 80-100% agile in nature, many of the projects did incorporate a number of agile characteristics or were labeled hybrid compared to classic / non-agile projects.

Pedro Sarrador at PMI Netherlands Summit 2016Some findings of Does Agile Work? (2015) are intuitive, some counterintuitive. Some myths are busted, others are confirmed by the respondents.

  • Do agile projects plan upfront? Not necessarily more than other projects.
  • Are agile projects more successful? Yes, from a stakeholder perspective. No, from an efficiency (time, costs) perspective. Overall, agile projects were 15% more successful on a 5 point scale ranging from not at all to a full yes.
  • Are agile projects more successful in certain regions? Yes, success is significantly high in the Americas, India, Russia and FSU. Europe is lagging.
  • Is agile better in small teams? Yes.
  • Is agile better in complex projects? Yes.
  • Does agile need co-located teams? No.
  • Is agile only useful in high-tech projects? No.
  • Does agile need good stakeholder engagement? Yes, although ‘very engaged’ doesn’t contribute much to the project’s success compared to ‘engaged’.
  • Does agile need highly experienced teams? No, a mid-level experience is better.
  • Does agile need a clear project vision? Yes, but uncertainties are needed as well.