• Driven by the global pandemic, Agile adoption rates double in non-IT lines of business with continued, strong adoption in software development
  • More than 90 percent of respondents say their company practices Agile, with most saying either the majority of or even all company teams have adopted agile practices
  • Rapid Agile adoption fuels an increase in adoption of other trends, including DevOps transformation and value stream management (VSM) initiatives for more than two-thirds of organizations
  • Post-pandemic, a vast majority of IT respondents expect to permanently work remotely, making Agile adoption critical to driving collaboration and success across a globally distributed workforce

Plano, TX – July 13, 2021Digital.ai, the leading AI-driven DevOps value stream delivery and management platform, today released the 15th State of Agile Report, detailing notable trends and issues in Agile adoption and practice as identified by more than 1,380 global respondents. This year’s findings highlight a strong increase in Agile adoption within both IT and non-IT teams as well as a desire of most development and IT practitioners to work as part of a distributed workforce for the foreseeable future as the world continues to grapple with COVID-19.

“Since the report’s inception, the tendency was to frame trends as evidence of how IT must align with the business to create value, which was reflective of broader industry conversations. COVID-19 has been a watershed moment for all of us as it has validated IT leadership in determining what the future of work will look like,” said Richard Knaster, vice president and chief scientist for Digital.ai. “The accelerated Agile adoption trends in this year’s report show the path forward isn’t about IT aligning to the business, but IT being integral to the business and leading the way to business agility. Agile adoption and broader adoption of other strategies, including value stream management are no longer solely in the realm of IT. Business leaders realize these strategies, long responsible for success within IT departments create and optimize business value and can be measured using business-related outcomes, not just outputs.”

The State of Agile Report provides key insights from the longest continuous annual survey of Agile techniques and practices. This year’s report highlights important milestones along Agile’s journey from its origins in software development teams to its current widescale enterprise adoption, which aims to drive business value by increasing performance and quality in software development.

Key Findings

  • Agile is no longer confined to development teams: In response to the pandemic’s impact on work, Agile methodologies, tools and processes saw a significant increase in adoption across the entire organization, with adoption by non-IT lines of business doubling since last year’s report, and adoption in software development teams increasing from 37% to 86%.
  • Scrum and SAFe® remain popular: Scrum remains the most popular agile approach, with 66% of respondents identifying it as the methodology most closely followed with a further 15% following Scrum derivations, including ScrumBan (9%) and Scrum/XP (6%). Similarly, the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) continues to be the most popular scalable framework, with almost 40% of respondents identifying it as the one they most closely follow.
  • DevOps investments are a priority: A full 74% of respondents state they either have a current DevOps initiative or are planning one, continuing the trend of steady growth in organizational recognition and adoption of DevOps solutions.
  • Value stream management (VSM) gains momentum: VSM continues to be an important focus, with more than half of respondents stating they have implemented or plan to implement VSM across their organization.
  • Distributed and hybrid workforces are here to stay: More than half of respondents (56%) indicated they prefer a hybrid working arrangement that includes a mix of both office-based and remote work. In comparison, a full 25% say they will work remotely full time and permanently.

For the first time, the State of Agile Report was conducted entirely online, with responses collected between February and April 2021. Survey respondents span a broad range of industries in the global software development community, with a total of 1,382 complete survey responses collected, analyzed, and prepared into a summary report by Regina Corso Consulting, an independent survey consultancy, and Alan Brown, strategy advisor, and professor in the digital economy at the University of Exeter.

Sponsored by Digital.ai, the full report is now available here.

Additional Information and Resources

15th State of Agile Report

Virtual event to review findings with Digital.ai VP/Chief Scientist Richard Knaster

Webinar with Digital.ai’s Rich Knaster and University of Exeter’s Alan Brown

Blog post by Rich Knaster of Digital.ai


About Digital.ai

Digital.ai provides the industry’s leading software delivery platform, purpose-built to manage and create value in enterprise-scale digital transformations. Digital.ai brings together best-in-class agile, DevOps, security, testing, and analytics technologies in an AI-powered platform, providing Global 2000 enterprises with the end-to-end visibility required to intelligently orchestrate and continuously improve their software lifecycle. Complex, global enterprises rely on the Digital.ai delivery and management platform to make better, data-driven decisions and achieve critical business outcomes. Learn more at www.digital.ai and follow them on Twitter at @digitaldotai.


Media Contact

Kelly O’Dwyer-Manuel
Director of Communications, Digital.ai