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Product Development Methodology Utilization in 2015

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In 2012 we began tracking product development methodology utilization by product teams and their organizations. It has been interesting to watch the exponential rise of Agile (Scrum in particular) and the precipitous fall of Waterfall over the same four year time period. From a historical perspective this year’s responses to our annual Study of Product Team Performance deviated away from an established trend and illustrated a shift in both Agile and Waterfall usage rates.

What Survey Respondents Told Us in 2015

As in prior years we asked global survey respondents the following question “Which of the following methodologies best describes the way your organization develops products?” Here’s what they told us this year.

Actuation Consulting, the World's Leading Product Management Consulting and Training Organization

43% of survey responders – by far the highest percentage – indicate that their company utilizes a Blended approach to product development that combines both Waterfall and Agile methodologies. Agile/Scrum is the second most recorded answer, representing slightly more than a fourth of responses at 25.9%. Waterfall, with 13.6% of responses, is a trailing third. Nearly as many respondents (10.6%) indicate they did not know the methodology their organization employs in the development of products. Kanban, representing just 3.2% of responses, came in last among preferred methodologies listed.

2015’s Findings Broke A Historical Trend Line

This was the very first time that we saw an ebbing of market share for Agile product development methodologies which had been on the rise since 2012. It was also the very first time we saw Waterfall gain share. Interestingly, Blended methods remained virtually unchanged and largely consistent, in terms of responses, since 2013. It will be interesting to see if this deviation from the trend is sustained in next years market research!


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