Agile Trend Analysis -2021

Muhammed Şimşek
4 min readJul 15, 2021

Agile literally means to act quickly, in a coordinated way. We often associate this word with the word adaptation, and when we say Agility, we also refer to our ability to adapt to all kinds of conditions.

In 2020, our lives have been completely changed by an invisible being. The common name of this creature, as you know, is Covid-19. With the introduction of Covid into our lives, we had to restructure ourselves and our organizations in order to continue producing as white-collar workers. We have all become masters of remote working in a very short time. Personally, I never dreamed that I could work from home before, but at the end of this process, I realized that I could work from home much more efficiently.

That’s why 2020 and 2021 have been exceptionally agile years for all of us.

Every year, company conducts Agile surveys with thousands of participants from different organizations globally and publishes it as a report. This year, the 15th State of Agile report was published. As a contribution to this study, I make a trend analysis by comparing the latest report and the previous report.

If you want to examine the trend analysis I made last year;

Let’s take a look at the outstanding metrics of this year before going into trend analysis;

A very interesting metric has been published regarding the working order of teams after Covid-19. According to this metric, only 3% of respondents will return to the office after Covid. The rest are switching to models such as remote or hybrid.

· Agile adoption rate in software development teams seems to have gained incredible momentum, increasing from 37% to 86%.

· Although adoption of Agile has doubled outside of IT, there are some obstacles to its greater acceptance. These are;

o Inconsistencies in processes and practices 46%

o Cultural clashes 43%

o General organizational resistance to change 46%

· In addition, although in previous years, participants stated that organizational culture is one of the most important obstacles to change, this year it is no longer seen as one of the major obstacles.

· DevOps is getting more and more important. 75% of respondents say DevOps is important or very important to their organization.

·Value Stream Mapping is gaining more and more importance. 66% of respondents state that they have already implemented or are planning to implement VSM

Let’s come to our trend analysis;

Company Experience with Agile

The number of organizations that have adopted Agile approaches for more than 5 years seems to be increasing.
As you can see, Agile adoption rates in different units in organizations have increased by more than 200% compared to last year. There has been an explosion especially in NonIT units.

Agile Adoption

Among the reasons for Agile implementation, reducing project risks, managing distributed teams and better responding to changing market conditions seem to have gained more importance compared to last year, while factors such as fast delivery, increased productivity, and reduced project costs seem to lose their importance.
In the benefits of Agile implementation; Benefits such as increasing project visibility, increasing speed to market, better managing distributed teams seem to increase their importance.
Business Value, Quality and Predictability are becoming increasingly important in measuring the success of agile transformations in organizations.

Agile Challenges

While there is a regression in each of the challenges experienced during Agile transformations, it is revealed that there is a visible regression in challenges such as organizational resistance, training and management support. In other words, while the resistance in our organisations is decreasing, our managers are giving more support to the transformation.

Agile Methods, Techniques and Tools

As can be seen, Scrum has achieved a noticeable increase among the methods and approaches used.
As for the techniques used, Planning, Roadmapping and Story Mapping techniques are becoming more and more important in organizations.
As you can see, Kanban Boards, Product Roadmapping, Story Mapping tools are gaining more and more space in our lives.
In Agile Project and Process management tools, organizations started to try quite different tools compared to last year. Among them, while JIRA is becoming more and more common, MS Azure Devops, Version one, CA Agile and Trello tools are increasingly used. As you noticed, the only reducing value in the list is MS Excel 😊

Scaling Agile

While SAFe and Spotify models are becoming widespread in terms of scaling, which is one of the sine qua non of Agile transformation, the use of Scrum of Scrums, LeSS and Disciplined Agile methods is decreasing.


DevOps initiatives in organizations are already slowly starting to rise.
91% of respondents consider DevOps important for their organization.

Value Stream Mapping

Organizations are starting to warm up to the topic of VSM. According to Gartner’s research, 70% of organizations will start using VSM by 2023.

As you can see, whether you are an IT employee or a NonIT employee, our world is getting more and more agile. The way to quickly adapt to the changing world is to adopt Agile and Lean approaches. Organisations that adopt this early will progress, while organisations that show resistance will unfortunately extinct over time.