Agile Succeeds Three Times More Often Than Waterfall

Agile projects are successful three times more often than non-agile projects, according to the 2011 CHAOS report from the Standish Group. The report goes so far as to say, "The agile process is the universal remedy for software development project failure. Software applications developed through the agile process have three times the success rate of the traditional waterfall method and a much lower percentage of time and cost overruns." (page 25) The Standish Group defines project success as on time, on budget, and with all planned features. They do not report how many projects are in their database but say that the results are from projects conducted from 2002 through 2010. The following graph shows the specific results reported. 2011 CHAOS Report Data


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About the Author

Mike Cohn specializes in helping companies adopt and improve their use of agile processes and techniques to build extremely high-performance teams. He is the author of User Stories Applied for Agile Software Development, Agile Estimating and Planning, and Succeeding with Agile as well as the Better User Stories video course. Mike is a founding member of the Agile Alliance and Scrum Alliance and can be reached at [email protected]. If you want to succeed with agile, you can also have Mike email you a short tip each week.