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Re: Anyone have stats on attrition rates after agile adoption?

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  • michele_sliger
    Thanks everyone, I appreciate your responses! I ll try to answer some of your questions, below. ... I m trying to write an article on how using Scrum mitigates
    Message 1 of 31 , Jan 4, 2007
      Thanks everyone, I appreciate your responses! I'll try to answer some
      of your questions, below.

      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "dnicolet99" <dnicolet@...>
      > I have to join Mike in saying that I don't have a direct answer to
      > your question, but I do find the question itself intriguing. More to
      > the point, I'm curious about the reason why you're asking.

      I'm trying to write an article on how using Scrum mitigates personnel
      loss (one of the five core risks defined by Lister and DeMarco in
      their book Waltzing with Bears).

      > But why look for a study to confirm or deny a cause-and-effect
      > relationship between a methodology and some secondary factor the
      > methodology was not designed to address?

      I believe that it's a direct cause-and-effect relationship, but I'm
      no scientist. I think it would be cool to read about and learn from.
      Indeed, maybe the real reason for the reduction in turnover that I've
      observed is due to the relationship with the ScrumMaster and not
      Scrum at all! (or did Scrum force better leadership?) There's a
      study by Florida State University that shows how bad bosses affect
      turnover: "They say that employees don't leave their job or company;
      they leave their boss." Read more here:

      How likely is it that anyone
      > would undertake such a study?

      I don't know. But I'm pleased to see that the Agile Alliance has an
      Academic Research Program that is funding studies - it will be great
      to see what things turn up as a result.

      > Your "quest for a study" is interesting because it seems as if many
      > people believe in statistical information resulting from controlled
      > studies, which may have been filtered and massaged in any number of
      > ways for any number of reasons, while they disbelieve what they
      > derisively call "anecdotal evidence and hearsay." Yet, anecdotal
      > evidence and hearsay are nothing less than direct reports of reality
      > coming straight from the horse's mouth. Why do you distrust your own
      > observations? Do you think you might have been hallucinating?

      No, I don't do drugs, and I just had my annual physical, so I'm sure
      I wasn't hallucinating! I certainly trust my observations, and it's
      always nice to have confirmation by others, particularly when you're
      in Scrum up to your eyeballs every day. :)

      And I agree that statistics can be manipulated and can be misleading.
      I'm really just interested in reading the study - how the problem was
      approached, how they measured, their findings. It's a geeky interest.

      It also helps those who aren't currently using agile approaches to
      remove some skepticism. If I as a "known agilist" write that 'this is
      true because I've observed it' it is likely to have less credibility
      with the non-agile skeptical reader than 'this is true because I've
      observed it and here are studies that back up my opinion.' I want to
      be objective, and I feel outside corroboration (case studies, other's
      observations, statistical studies, etc.) is helpful in achieving this

      And for those who were trying to remember Ken's quoted numbers -
      I did find a quote on a blog here: http://www.gunjandoshi.com/?p=88
      that said Ken's quote on turnover was:
      "Ken mentioned another interesting metric. He mentioned that there is
      usually 20% turnover in development and 40% turnover in management
      due to adoption of agile processes."

    • bazil_arden
      They aren t definitive numbers, but Pete Deemer and Gabrielle Benefield s great summary of Scrum at Yahoo! Concludes with a couple of stats that indicate
      Message 31 of 31 , Jan 10, 2007
        They aren't definitive numbers, but Pete Deemer and Gabrielle
        Benefield's great summary of Scrum at Yahoo! Concludes with a couple
        of stats that indicate happier and therefore lower attrition amongst
        Scrum teams.

        In particular
        "85% of team-members stated that they would continue using Scrum if
        the decision were solely up to them."

        "Team Morale: 52% of respondents reported Scrum is better or much
        better; 9% reported Scrum is worse or much worse; 39% reported Scrum
        is about the same."

        I hope that helps a little.

        --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "michele_sliger"
        <michele_sliger@...> wrote:
        > Hi all,
        > I've looked high and low and can not find any statistical studies done
        > on attrition rates of established agile teams. I've found plenty of
        > anecdotal evidence, but nothing from a study. Has anyone seen any
        > definitive numbers anywhere?
        > Thanks!
        > Michele
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