Feature Driven Development Popularity

Jeff De Luca's picture

Research by the Cutter Consortium shows Feature Driven Development as the number 2 most popular agile methodology. The research also looks at the bigger issue of Agile vs Heavy methodologies and what percentage of projects are Agile. Read the research article here.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

I'd like to know more...

Naturally, I'm happy about this. It's a great result for FDD.

However, I am skeptical and would like to know more. The figure of 34% of projects are agile, growing to 50% next year is dubiuos to me.

Other figures I have seen suggest that the active agile community is around 200,000 software developers world-wide. Both book sales and mailing list memberships seem to correlate this number.

If 34% of projects were agile then the agile community would be massive - in the order of 10 million developers world-wide. Hence my skepticism.

Does anyone have any insight into how Bob collected his data?


David J. Anderson
The Webzine for Interaction Designers

Jeff De Luca's picture

It can be put in context

The value of people or organisations like Cutter is that they are constantly moving around: different companies, different sizes, different geographies. Thus, they can comment on (anecdotally) what they see from their experience or their sample set. I know I've done this myself and it's one of the values I can offer to clients. I can say something like "Ok, I understand you want to do this that way but we don't see people doing it that way - here's how most people are doing that" (whatever "that" may be).

In this case, it is more than anecdotal or experiential cases. This is actual data from an actual survey. I've no insights into how it was done, but the paper does say over 200 respondents were surveyed across different geographies.

Of course, these things can self-select and bias the data. But that's understood. It's implied. If we put it in context, there is much we can learn. There is definitely a trend, and there is a breakdown of use of the different Agile methods.

I can't say if 34% going to 50% is right or not. I don't know.

Perhaps it is the thinking or classification in the first place that can also affect how we interpret this. For example, I don't see 1 in 3 corporates doing Agile but I do see more than 1 in 3 open to it. Much more. Let me explain.

When Kate Behan was interviewing me for IDG, she asked several questions along the lines of "why do people ring you up for Agile" or "what makes them want to go Agile". My answer was (and this is only my sample set) that at Nebulon, we don't get the phone ringing off the hook withing people saying "I have to be Agile". We do get the phone ringing off the hook with "cries for help." When I get called in to fix a project (which is a large percentage of my engagement types) it is a cry for help - what they've got isn't working and they want a result. Agile, FDD in my cases, comes out of that. Not the other way around. That is, by getting in there and showing organisations the mix of people, process and technology that increases their chances of success, they will then follow that approach. In summary, I don't see "we have to be Agile requests", I see lots of "what we're doing isn't working as well as we would like, can you show us a better approach".

My experience

I see many companies speaking/writing about their use of an Agile Approach (any) while they are just cutting out some documents from their previous process framework thinking this is the only difference (burocracy).

They think to be more light this way!

I speak, obviously, about the reality I worked in (Italy).

P.S.: I'm new here, good work :)

Marco Abis
Italian Agile Movement