Years passed since Scrum had been widely adopted in software world. I’m wondering if there is any efficiency survey done by more or less independent people/institutes. Obviously scrums gurus who travel around the globe giving lectures and training always find numbers of excellent showcases, however I’d rather listen someone who doesn’t sell Scrum.

By efficiency I mean total productivity (delivered value/cost), but not some internal characteristics like communications inside teams and so on.

Update based on discussion in comments:

One of the ways to do such survey/analysis could be based on comparison of similar projects developed with Scrum and without Scrum. I believe even 10 years ago there were projects similar to some current. Of course, it does not make sense if applied technologies are completely different, so these projects have to be implemented on same/similar technology.

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    "widely adopted" isn't enough proof? What more do you hope to learn? We're not using scrum because it's stylish or because of a compulsion or regulation. It's widely adopted because it works. Please detail something you need to know more than "widely adopted".
    – S.Lott
    Commented Apr 15, 2011 at 10:55
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    @S.Lott "widely adopted" is not empirical proof of anything other than popularity, it is perfectly reasonable to ask for references that relate to delivered value etc. Waterfall or RUP could also be said to be "widely adopted", it would be interesting to see research comparing them all.
    – Steve
    Commented Apr 15, 2011 at 11:17
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    @S.Lott Many religions were widely adopted during humankind history. So it doesn’t really mean much. Scrum as a software development process is supposed to improve this development i.e. companies should spend less money for the same result now comparing to what was 10 years ago. Of course, it’s not easy to calculate efficiency since, everything is changing with time and projects are never exactly the same. But still I’m sure that it's possible to find some similar projects made 10 years ago and now.
    – m5ba
    Commented Apr 15, 2011 at 11:21
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    @S.Lott: Smoking is widely adopted. No one is compelled to smoke. Smokers must be happy, otherwise they'd quit smoking. So smoking is healthy. Commented Apr 15, 2011 at 11:46
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    @S.Lott, I think cowboy coding is even more widely adopted than Scrum, but I don't see anybody claiming that that works. Commented Apr 15, 2011 at 12:20

3 Answers 3


Check The State of Agile survey by Version One.

This survey highlights the results of our fourth annual industry survey regarding the state of agile development. Survey data is based on 2,570 participants from 88 countries.

This is the closest document I know that matches your requirements.

However my personal opinion is that document is biased because most respondents are Agile practitioners. Also the company that conduct the survey is an Agile project management software vendor...

Like you, I think Agile is currently doing much more damage that benefits. Not because Agile doesn't work, but because it is not properly implemented, taught, coached, or simply... understood.

When properly understood and applied, Agile is the most powerful tool a software development team could implement.

  • Taught, not teach. Couldn't edit. =( Commented Apr 15, 2011 at 15:56

Dont know if there was a specific survey about Scrum but here's one on Agile itself. Also take a look at this



Agile development Survey 2010 from Forrester


Version One Agile 2010 survey results (more updated than link above)

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