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Product Development Process Adoption: Can the Past Predict the Future?

In 2014, Agile, Business Analysis, Lean, Product Management, Product Management Consulting, Product Management Facts, Product Management Toolkit, Product Management Training, Product Marketing, Product Owner, Product Teams, Project Management, Scrum, Take Charge Product Management, The Study of Product Team Performance, Uncategorized, User Experience by [email protected]Leave a Comment

What Our Product Development Process Adoption Data Shows

We have been tracking adoption rates for a variety of product development processes since 2012. This is the first year that we have trended the information in our recently published white paper.

Survey respondents indicate that by far the most popular methodology used in product development is a blended approach combining some aspects of Waterfall and some of Agile. The blended approach accounted for nearly half of all survey responses (45.41%). The second most popular methodology is Agile/Scrum, which is used in companies employing 33.16% of our respondents. Nearly 11% of responders indicated their companies utilize Kanban (2.55%) or another methodology (8.68%). Only a tenth (10.20%) are utilizing Waterfall.

A Trend Line is Worth a Thousand Words

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Product Development Adoption Rate Trend Lines

Our illustration clearly shows product methodology trends which we began tracking in 2012. What is most striking is the rate of growth in Agile methods from 2012 to 2013: adoption rates rose from 12.83% in 2012 to 30.25% in 2014. While Agile continues to gain share, the rate of growth increased less than 3% from 2013 to 2014. It is also interesting to note that blended methodologies are showing a similar pattern of change, though in the opposite direction. From its highpoint in 2012 of 52.50% our latest data shows slightly more than 45% of organizations continue to combine Agile and Waterfall methodologies. Waterfall continues its steady decline year after year, now accounting for just 10.20% of responses (2014). Lean was dropped from this year’s survey as there was confusion between the lean methodology and “lean startup”. In its place, we added Kanban. Time will tell what Kanban’s adoption rate will be in 2015.


Overall, though, the data illustrates that Waterfall has yet to hit its floor and both Agile and blended adoption rates appear to be flattening out.

What do you think the future portends?

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