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RE: [scrumdevelopment] Current studies which show that Agile projects are more successful

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  • Roy Morien
    I can t pinpint specific references about success rates statistics, but there ae many case studies aroun that illustrate the effectiveness of this approach
    Message 1 of 19 , Jul 1, 2010
      I can't pinpint specific references about 'success' rates statistics, but there ae many case studies aroun that illustrate the effectiveness of this approach to product development, that can be inferred into software development.
       
      The problem that the IT indutry has faced for more than 40 years is that the civil engineering / construction industry paradigm for project management has been adopted as THE way to develop projects. Reference to project management as far back to the building of the pyramids are standard fare for 'project management' courses. This is unfortunately a very sparse and bleak view of software project management.
       
      So, I teach, and lecture, and present conference papers that try to go back to basics of 'product development' rather than 'project management'. This is of course not especially original of me Others have done it jst as well and as busilly as I have. Matters such as Leadership and Organisational Learning are discussed. I use some case studies (one very recently pointed out to us in this forum) such as the Toyota Company (both in its upward growth path and now its fall from grace), the New Zealand victory in the America's Cup yacht race, Boeing's development ofthe 777 airliner, and now Pixar. The book 'Lean Thinking' is a great source of inspiration in this regard.
       
      My point is, that there have been some very successful enterprises built on 'lean' and 'agile' thinking and precepts. I have no idea if the original developers of the 'Agile Manifesto had any of these case studies or examples in mind, but they certainly paralleled that thinking.

      Another great book is called 'The Minding Organisation' in which what the authors call The Model of Concurrent Perception is described.
       
      If you want my recent conference paper on this I am happy to send it to you.
       
      This may sound all a bit academic and high minded, and may be unconvincing to your average executive(and my experience is most xecutives are pretty average) but  think they are very telling examples that can be emulated in software development projects.
       
      Regards,
      Roy Morien
       

      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      From: rjocham72@...
      Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2010 03:13:30 -0700
      Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Current studies which show that Agile projects are more successful

       
      Hi All,
      I am searching for some references that show that Agile projects have a higher chance of success then other approaches.
      The references should be quotable in a government document ie. come from a trustworthy source.

      Thanks in Advance,
      Ralph




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    • Ralph Jocham
      Hi Johanna, thanks for the tips. I found the white paper of Michael Mah (http://www.cutter.com/promotions/apmr0809/apmr0809.pdf) Also, I would like to thank
      Message 2 of 19 , Jul 2, 2010
        Hi Johanna,
        thanks for the tips. I found the white paper of Michael Mah (http://www.cutter.com/promotions/apmr0809/apmr0809.pdf)

        Also, I would like to thank you for your latest book 'Manage your Project Portfolio'. It is a great help at my current client. BTW all your books are next to my desk ;)

        Thanks,
        Ralph


        From: Johanna Rothman <jr@...>
        To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thu, July 1, 2010 4:17:50 PM
        Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Current studies which show that Agile projects are more successful

         

        Michael Mah has data. I believe he has published it.


        I only have anecdotes.

        Johanna

        On Jul 1, 2010, at 6:13 AM, Ralph Jocham wrote:

         

        Hi All,
        I am searching for some references that show that Agile projects have a higher chance of success then other approaches.
        The references should be quotable in a government document ie. come from a trustworthy source.

        Thanks in Advance,
        Ralph


        --

        Rothman Consulting Group, Inc.     781-641-4046

        Speaker, Author, Consultant - Managing Product Development

        ============ ========= ========= ========= ===

        http://www.ayeconference.com, Nov 7-11, 2010

        New: Manage Your Project Portfolio: Increase Your Capacity and Finish More Projects





      • Ralph Jocham
        Hi George, thanks for the link. I will update once I gathered more references. Cheers, Ralph ________________________________ From: George Dinwiddie
        Message 3 of 19 , Jul 2, 2010
          Hi George,
          thanks for the link. I will update once I gathered more references.

          Cheers,
          Ralph


          From: George Dinwiddie <lists@...>
          To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thu, July 1, 2010 7:12:28 PM
          Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Current studies which show that Agile projects are more successful

           

          Hi, Ralph,

          On 7/1/10 6:13 AM, Ralph Jocham wrote:
          > Hi All,
          > I am searching for some references that show that Agile projects have
          > a higher chance of success then other approaches. The references
          > should be quotable in a government document ie. come from a
          > trustworthy source.

          I have some links on
          http://biblio.gdinwiddie.com/biblio/StudiesOfAgileEffectiveness that
          might be of interest. If you find other studies, please add them to
          that page.

          - George

          --
          ----------------------------------------------------------
          * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
          Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
          Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
          ----------------------------------------------------------


        • Ralph Jocham
          Hi George, thanks for the link. It is a good resource. I should have know about the TW article since I worked for them for a couple of years. Actually, your
          Message 4 of 19 , Jul 2, 2010
            Hi George,
            thanks for the link. It is a good resource. I should have know about the TW article since I worked for them for a couple of years.
            Actually, your link is dead it is now: http://www.thoughtworks.com/sites/www.thoughtworks.com/files/files/TEI-media.pdf. I added this link to the exisiting one in case they point to different sources.

            Johanna Rothman pointed me to Mah Michaels work. There is a good article from the Cutter Consortium. I added this link with a short description. (http://www.cutter.com/promotions/apmr0809/apmr0809.pdf)

            Thanks,
            Ralph


            From: George Dinwiddie <lists@...>
            To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thu, July 1, 2010 7:12:28 PM
            Subject: Re: [scrumdevelopment] Current studies which show that Agile projects are more successful

             

            Hi, Ralph,

            On 7/1/10 6:13 AM, Ralph Jocham wrote:
            > Hi All,
            > I am searching for some references that show that Agile projects have
            > a higher chance of success then other approaches. The references
            > should be quotable in a government document ie. come from a
            > trustworthy source.

            I have some links on
            http://biblio.gdinwiddie.com/biblio/StudiesOfAgileEffectiveness that
            might be of interest. If you find other studies, please add them to
            that page.

            - George

            --
            ----------------------------------------------------------
            * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
            Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
            Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
            ----------------------------------------------------------


          • George Dinwiddie
            Ralph ... Thanks so much for updating the page. - George -- ... * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com Software Development
            Message 5 of 19 , Jul 2, 2010
              Ralph

              On 7/2/10 6:10 AM, Ralph Jocham wrote:
              > Hi George,
              > thanks for the link. It is a good resource. I should have know about
              > the TW article since I worked for them for a couple of years.
              > Actually, your link is dead it is now:
              > http://www.thoughtworks.com/sites/www.thoughtworks.com/files/files/TEI-media.pdf.
              > I added this link to the exisiting one in case they point to
              > different sources.
              >
              > Johanna Rothman pointed me to Mah Michaels work. There is a good
              > article from the Cutter Consortium. I added this link with a short
              > description.
              > (http://www.cutter.com/promotions/apmr0809/apmr0809.pdf)

              Thanks so much for updating the page.

              - George

              --
              ----------------------------------------------------------------------
              * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
              Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
              Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
              ----------------------------------------------------------------------
            • sep
              I think all of George s links fail the disinterested criterion - they re all from people or organizations with a vested interest in agile, which makes them
              Message 6 of 19 , Jul 2, 2010
                I think all of George's links fail the "disinterested" criterion - they're all from people or organizations with a vested interest in agile, which makes them suspect from a funder's perspective.

                However, there are a number of papers in ACM and IEEE publications, which you should be able to find in their respective digital libraries. Since they're peer-reviewed, they're likely to be treated as more trustworthy.

                scott

                --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, George Dinwiddie <lists@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi, Ralph,
                >
                > On 7/1/10 6:13 AM, Ralph Jocham wrote:
                > > Hi All,
                > > I am searching for some references that show that Agile projects have
                > > a higher chance of success then other approaches. The references
                > > should be quotable in a government document ie. come from a
                > > trustworthy source.
                >
                > I have some links on
                > http://biblio.gdinwiddie.com/biblio/StudiesOfAgileEffectiveness that
                > might be of interest. If you find other studies, please add them to
                > that page.
                >
                > - George
                >
                > --
                > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                > * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                > Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                > Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                >
              • woynam
                Interesting. Does anyone have a link to peer reviewed studies that prove that Waterfall projects are more successful than process X, or that RUP projects are
                Message 7 of 19 , Jul 2, 2010
                  Interesting.

                  Does anyone have a link to peer reviewed studies that prove that Waterfall projects are more successful than process X, or that RUP projects are more successful than Waterfall projects?

                  Anyone needing that level of "proof" is simply looking for an excuse not to try agile.

                  Mark


                  --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "sep" <sepreece@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I think all of George's links fail the "disinterested" criterion - they're all from people or organizations with a vested interest in agile, which makes them suspect from a funder's perspective.
                  >
                  > However, there are a number of papers in ACM and IEEE publications, which you should be able to find in their respective digital libraries. Since they're peer-reviewed, they're likely to be treated as more trustworthy.
                  >
                  > scott
                  >
                  > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, George Dinwiddie <lists@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Hi, Ralph,
                  > >
                  > > On 7/1/10 6:13 AM, Ralph Jocham wrote:
                  > > > Hi All,
                  > > > I am searching for some references that show that Agile projects have
                  > > > a higher chance of success then other approaches. The references
                  > > > should be quotable in a government document ie. come from a
                  > > > trustworthy source.
                  > >
                  > > I have some links on
                  > > http://biblio.gdinwiddie.com/biblio/StudiesOfAgileEffectiveness that
                  > > might be of interest. If you find other studies, please add them to
                  > > that page.
                  > >
                  > > - George
                  > >
                  > > --
                  > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                  > > * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                  > > Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                  > > Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                  > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                  > >
                  >
                • Marcelo Costa
                  ... Hi, There is an article in the Journal of Research and Development from IBM with a study conducted by IBM Quality Software Engineering (QSE) team that
                  Message 8 of 19 , Jul 2, 2010
                    On Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 7:13 AM, Ralph Jocham <rjocham72@...> wrote:
                     

                    Hi All,
                    I am searching for some references that show that Agile projects have a higher chance of success then other approaches.
                    The references should be quotable in a government document ie. come from a trustworthy source.

                    Thanks in Advance,
                    Ralph


                    Hi,

                    There is an article in the Journal of Research and Development from IBM  with a study conducted by IBM Quality Software Engineering (QSE)  team that demonstrates the use of agile methods. Pretty interesting.

                    Search for :

                    Agile methods for software practice transformation

                    The authors are E. V. Woodward, R. Bowers, V. S. Thio, K. Johnson, M. Srihari and C. J. Bracht.


                    Link: http://www.research.ibm.com/journal/abstracts/rd/542/woodward.html


                    --
                    Marcelo Costa
                    www.marcelocosta.net
                    -------------------------------------------------
                    “You can't always get what you want”,

                    Doctor House in apology to Mike Jagger
                  • George Dinwiddie
                    ... Perhaps, but they are the studies that I know about. It s rare that people study a topic about which they are truly disinterested. ... It would be greatly
                    Message 9 of 19 , Jul 3, 2010
                      On 7/2/10 3:33 PM, sep wrote:
                      > I think all of George's links fail the "disinterested" criterion -
                      > they're all from people or organizations with a vested interest in
                      > agile, which makes them suspect from a funder's perspective.

                      Perhaps, but they are the studies that I know about. It's rare that
                      people study a topic about which they are truly disinterested.

                      > However, there are a number of papers in ACM and IEEE publications,
                      > which you should be able to find in their respective digital
                      > libraries. Since they're peer-reviewed, they're likely to be treated
                      > as more trustworthy.

                      It would be greatly appreciated if you would add links to such papers to
                      the bibliography. Please also add a short description, as it's intended
                      to be an annotated bibliography, not merely a link-list.

                      The intent of that site is not to provide one-sided information, but to
                      collect the studies that have been performed for easier access. It's
                      not /my/ collection of links, but that of the community. The fact that
                      most of the links have been added by me is merely a consequence of the
                      fact that people will often report papers on the mailing lists but fail
                      to add them to http://biblio.gdinwiddie.com/ .

                      - George

                      --
                      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                      * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                      Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                      Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                    • Peter Stevens (cal)
                      On 03.07.10 10:41, George Dinwiddie wrote: Perhaps, but they are the studies that I know about. It s rare that people study a topic about which they are truly
                      Message 10 of 19 , Jul 3, 2010
                        On 03.07.10 10:41, George Dinwiddie wrote:
                         


                        Perhaps, but they are the studies that I know about. It's rare that
                        people study a topic about which they are truly disinterested.

                        _._,___

                        Hi George,

                        Matthias Stürmer (initiator of the Swiss Parlimentary Working Group in Digital Sustainabilty) recently gave a talk comparing two Evangelists: Jesus Christ and Richard Stallman (in german, don't if google can translate). One of his conclusions: Technology issues are usually matters of faith, simply because issues of so complex, that bringing a rational, quantitative proof is more or less impossible.

                        Cheers,

                        Peter


                        -- 
                        Peter Stevens, CSM, CSPO, CSP
                        Independent Scrum Trainer and Coach
                        Sierra-Charlie Consulting | Zurich | Switzerland
                        
                        Member of DasScrumTeam.de
                        
                        blog:  http://scrum-breakfast.com
                        tel:   +41 44 586 6450 
                        cell:  +41 79 422 6722
                        skype: peterstev
                      • Ron Jeffries
                        Hello, George. On Saturday, July 3, 2010, at 4:41:14 AM, you ... Be odd, wouldn t it? Someone should study that ... Ron Jeffries www.XProgramming.com
                        Message 11 of 19 , Jul 3, 2010
                          Hello, George. On Saturday, July 3, 2010, at 4:41:14 AM, you
                          wrote:

                          >> I think all of George's links fail the "disinterested" criterion -
                          >> they're all from people or organizations with a vested interest in
                          >> agile, which makes them suspect from a funder's perspective.

                          > Perhaps, but they are the studies that I know about. It's rare that
                          > people study a topic about which they are truly disinterested.

                          Be odd, wouldn't it? Someone should study that ...

                          Ron Jeffries
                          www.XProgramming.com
                          www.xprogramming.com/blog
                          I have tried in my way to be free. -- Leonard Cohen
                        • Michael James
                          ... Maybe I will. Come to think of it, naw ... no interest. --mj
                          Message 12 of 19 , Jul 3, 2010
                            On Jul 3, 2010, at 3:42 AM, Ron Jeffries wrote:

                            > Perhaps, but they are the studies that I know about. It's rare that
                            > people study a topic about which they are truly disinterested.

                            Be odd, wouldn't it? Someone should study that ...

                            Maybe I will.

                            Come to think of it, naw ... no interest.

                            --mj
                          • sep
                            ... Disinterested =/= uninterested. I didn t in any way mean to disparage the links that George pointed at. However, the request was specific about wanting
                            Message 13 of 19 , Jul 4, 2010
                              --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Hello, George. On Saturday, July 3, 2010, at 4:41:14 AM, you
                              > wrote:
                              >
                              > >> I think all of George's links fail the "disinterested" criterion -
                              > >> they're all from people or organizations with a vested interest in
                              > >> agile, which makes them suspect from a funder's perspective.
                              >
                              > > Perhaps, but they are the studies that I know about. It's rare that
                              > > people study a topic about which they are truly disinterested.
                              >
                              > Be odd, wouldn't it? Someone should study that ...
                              ---

                              Disinterested =/= uninterested.

                              I didn't in any way mean to disparage the links that George pointed at. However, the request was specific about wanting references that could be cited as evidence to a government, which typically is going to assign greater trust to peer-reviewed work.

                              regards,
                              scott
                            • George Dinwiddie
                              Hi, Scott, ... Yes, I know. ... Do you have a study that shows that? My experience is that government decisions are made by people, and that they generally
                              Message 14 of 19 , Jul 4, 2010
                                Hi, Scott,

                                On 7/4/10 12:17 PM, sep wrote:
                                > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Ron Jeffries<ronjeffries@...> wrote:
                                >>
                                >> Hello, George. On Saturday, July 3, 2010, at 4:41:14 AM, you
                                >> wrote:
                                >>
                                >>>> I think all of George's links fail the "disinterested" criterion -
                                >>>> they're all from people or organizations with a vested interest in
                                >>>> agile, which makes them suspect from a funder's perspective.
                                >>
                                >>> Perhaps, but they are the studies that I know about. It's rare that
                                >>> people study a topic about which they are truly disinterested.
                                >>
                                >> Be odd, wouldn't it? Someone should study that ...
                                > ---
                                >
                                > Disinterested =/= uninterested.

                                Yes, I know.

                                > I didn't in any way mean to disparage the links that George pointed
                                > at. However, the request was specific about wanting references that
                                > could be cited as evidence to a government, which typically is going
                                > to assign greater trust to peer-reviewed work.

                                Do you have a study that shows that? My experience is that government
                                decisions are made by people, and that they generally make those
                                decisions on criteria other than the nature of a study.

                                - George

                                --
                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                                Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                                Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                                ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                              • sep
                                ... I suspect Ron does, too, though his quip only makes sense if you pretend he doesn t. ... No studies I m aware of. I have seen RFPs that cited such a
                                Message 15 of 19 , Jul 5, 2010
                                  --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, George Dinwiddie <lists@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Hi, Scott,
                                  >
                                  > On 7/4/10 12:17 PM, sep wrote:
                                  > > --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, Ron Jeffries<ronjeffries@> wrote:
                                  > >>
                                  > >> Hello, George. On Saturday, July 3, 2010, at 4:41:14 AM, you
                                  > >> wrote:
                                  > >>
                                  > >>>> I think all of George's links fail the "disinterested" criterion -
                                  > >>>> they're all from people or organizations with a vested interest in
                                  > >>>> agile, which makes them suspect from a funder's perspective.
                                  > >>
                                  > >>> Perhaps, but they are the studies that I know about. It's rare that
                                  > >>> people study a topic about which they are truly disinterested.
                                  > >>
                                  > >> Be odd, wouldn't it? Someone should study that ...
                                  > > ---
                                  > >
                                  > > Disinterested =/= uninterested.
                                  >
                                  > Yes, I know.

                                  I suspect Ron does, too, though his quip only makes sense if you pretend he doesn't.

                                  >
                                  > > I didn't in any way mean to disparage the links that George pointed
                                  > > at. However, the request was specific about wanting references that
                                  > > could be cited as evidence to a government, which typically is going
                                  > > to assign greater trust to peer-reviewed work.
                                  >
                                  > Do you have a study that shows that? My experience is that government
                                  > decisions are made by people, and that they generally make those
                                  > decisions on criteria other than the nature of a study.
                                  ---

                                  No studies I'm aware of. I have seen RFPs that cited such a requirement for supporting documentation. I am aware of contract monitors rejecting citations on this basis. And it has come up, occasionally, in discussions among program committees I've been part of. The issue is just credibility - if you don't personally know enough to validate the results in a paper, and don't have time to repeat the work, it's nice to know that the author at least managed to convince some neutral, peer professionals that the methods and data were sound.

                                  scott
                                • George Dinwiddie
                                  Scott, ... RFPs for research work or for production systems? In my experience, it s the researchers that care about peer review. And they should; it s their
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Jul 6, 2010
                                    Scott,

                                    On 7/5/10 11:03 AM, sep wrote:
                                    >> Do you have a study that shows that? My experience is that government
                                    >> decisions are made by people, and that they generally make those
                                    >> decisions on criteria other than the nature of a study.
                                    > ---
                                    >
                                    > No studies I'm aware of. I have seen RFPs that cited such a
                                    > requirement for supporting documentation. I am aware of contract
                                    > monitors rejecting citations on this basis. And it has come up,
                                    > occasionally, in discussions among program committees I've been part
                                    > of. The issue is just credibility - if you don't personally know
                                    > enough to validate the results in a paper, and don't have time to
                                    > repeat the work, it's nice to know that the author at least managed
                                    > to convince some neutral, peer professionals that the methods and
                                    > data were sound.

                                    RFPs for research work or for production systems? In my experience,
                                    it's the researchers that care about peer review. And they should; it's
                                    their system.

                                    I haven't found people who want working software to care much about the
                                    research, one way or the other. Your experience might be different from
                                    mine.

                                    - George

                                    --
                                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    * George Dinwiddie * http://blog.gdinwiddie.com
                                    Software Development http://www.idiacomputing.com
                                    Consultant and Coach http://www.agilemaryland.org
                                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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