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Has there been a formal study about the prevalence of agile vs traditional (e.g. waterfall) software development methodology in the IT industry? And how fast the agile share is growing (assuming it is)?

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How would such a study define Agile? What if they use Scrum and not XP? What if they claim to use Scrum but actually do it in a half-arsed way? –  pdr Apr 17 '13 at 15:45
Agile is management tool that can be applied to writing a book or developing a bicycle as easily as developing software. What most things that call themselves "Agile" are actually doing is a large set of waterfall implementations on very short time scales. –  Blrfl Apr 17 '13 at 16:19
@pdr I agree, the definition is kind of tricky. That's why I asked for formal studies. Normally those studies came up with some useful definition, or maybe use some objective scoring system like 0 - 100 continuum –  Louis Rhys Apr 18 '13 at 3:23
In case anyone didn't get pdr's reference. Half-arsed agile. A hilarious read. –  Philip Apr 18 '13 at 14:10
You can likely find studies in IEEE articles. –  Gordon May 26 '13 at 15:53

2 Answers 2

Gartner might have a current report on this topic (they did one in 2008), but you have to register to do searches, and I think they charge for their reports. Here's a blog posting from 2010, mentioning their 2008 report.

I found another blog posting about agile adoption, though it is a bit old now (2008).

Here are some search results from Google Scholar on agile adoption rates.

For more discussion about agile, take a look at the Agile Alliance and InfoQ.

Sorry for all the web links, but the OP wants studies, so I am pointing him at some.

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The CHAOS report from Standish group is one. It is not free but if you google you can find various information about it. The surveys on this website by Scott Ambler are also very useful, e.g. 2011 IT Project Success survey

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