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Agile, Doing Well, Could Do Better

Somewhere around half of software application programmers using Agile development methodologies believe that their work is not being put through an adequate level of testing. To compound this state of affairs, as few as a quarter of project leads and/or development managers view this as a problem.

These are the findings of a new survey by Serena Software that focused on the current state of Agile and the extent of its adoption in enterprise IT organizations today. The key findings revealed that development teams may have united on Agile practices, but lack not only testing but also communication with customers, operations, and other development teams, which slow project success.

The Serena survey was conducted at the recent Agile 2012 Conference. The company's findings suggest that Agile is doing well enough, but could be better.

The survey shows that Agile development practices are "still not widely embraced"; and a mere 49 percent say their company is doing "some" Agile deployment work. However, of those that have deployed, 52 percent reported they are happy with their current Agile projects. The survey also shows that 55 percent of respondents are investigating or already doing some form of "continuous delivery work", a topic that Serena says is a "hot Agile issue" today.

Both managers and developers agreed that four of the top five Agile roadblocks involved working with other teams and customers. Stakeholders need to be more involved with new release projects: While development teams are having success, survey respondents feel that upstream and downstream stakeholders are left out the communication loop with sprints.

NOTE: Even though they are the first in line to respond, IT operations and support are involved with less than 40 percent of release plans.

"Our Agile development survey offers fascinating insight into the areas that are doing well, while revealing where work is needed," said Miguel Tam, senior product marketing manager for Serena Software. "In addition to learning about issues pertaining to Agile development, such as lack of good communication, for example, we also learned that agile IT is on the rise and those who have deployed Agile projects are quite satisfied. It's clear that Agile IT should focus on understanding and prioritizing customer demand."

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