Usage, Retention, and Abandonment of Agile Practices: A Survey and Interviews Results

Indira Nurdiani Jabangwe, Jürgen Börstler, Samuel Fricker, Kai Petersen

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Background: A number of Agile maturity models (AMMs) have been proposed to guide software organizations in their adoption of Agile practices. Typically the AMMs suggest that higher maturity levels are reached by gradually adding more practices. However, recent research indicates that certain Agile practices, like test-driven development and continuous integration, are being abandoned. Little is known on the rationales for abandoning Agile practices. Aim: We aim to identify which Agile practices are abandoned in industry, as well as the reasons for abandoning them. Method: We conducted a web survey with 51 respondents and interviews with 11 industry practitioners with experience in Agile adoption to investigate why Agile practices are abandoned. Results: Of the 17 Agile practices that were included in the survey, all have been abandoned at some point. Nevertheless, respondents who retained all practices as well as those who abandoned one or more practices, perceived their overall adoption of Agile practices as successful. Conclusion: Going against the suggestions of the AMMs, i.e. abandoning Agile one or more practices, could still lead to successful outcomes. This finding indicates that introducing Agile practicesgraduallyinacertainorder,astheAMMssuggest,maynotalwaysbesuitableindifferent contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)7-35
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Agile practices
  • Agile maturity models
  • Survey


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