5 Key Takeaways from The 17th State of Agile Report

May 21, 2024

Is Agile still relevant? Does it even work? Why do so many organizations struggle to implement the framework? 

Also, when companies across all industries are experiencing budget cuts for initiatives that don’t directly tie to the bottom line, how do you ensure that your investments in Agile deliver profitability?

There are so many questions and so much hard data that points to the decline of Agile, but no one is talking about why or what comes next. That’s where Praecipio comes in. We’ve done the work for you with this article that pulls together the key takeaways from the 17th State of Agile Report. Commissioned by, the report includes rich data about the latest trends and best practices shaping the future of Agile. 

We recently gave you the tl;dr on achieving enterprise intelligence in the cloud, and now, we’re doing the same for the 17th State of Agile report.

The tl;dr on the 17th State of Agile Report

1. Agile is still going strong, but organizations are increasingly dissatisfied with the framework.

If you’ve been on any social media platform in the last year, you’ve probably read that Agile is dead. However, nearly 70% of respondents said IT and the software development and delivery teams use Agile, as do nearly half of engineering, product, and R&D teams. In this case, the data speaks for itself (and we’re all about Big Dashboard Energy at Praecipio!).

So, what’s all the fuss about if Agile is alive and well? Most likely it’s because organizations are increasingly dissatisfied with the framework. In 2022, 71% of respondents stated they were either very or somewhat satisfied with Agile in their organizations, but in 2023, that percentage dropped to 59%. Almost every business today aims to become more agile, but many still face challenges in achieving the expected outcomes of business agility.

2. Organizations that focus on outcomes vs outputs are more likely to drive enterprise agility. 

Over one-third of respondents said their team is measured on velocity, while only three in ten say they are measured on value delivered. Businesses can’t seem to get away from progress versus value delivered, but they will have to find a way if they want to enable enterprise agility. According to the 17th State of Agile Report, organizations that focus more on outcomes vs. outputs experience more success with scaling Agile methodologies.

Thankfully, we’re starting to see a shift towards this. An increasing number of organizations are linking OKRs to epics (up 5% from last year!), which allows for a more business-centric approach when defining and executing work. OKRs are a great tool for translating organizational goals into clear, impactful statements with measurable outcomes, ensuring visibility all the way from the organization's overarching goals down to the planned daily tasks.

3. Enterprise organizations struggle to successfully implement Agile because they lack end-to-end visibility.

Roughly 44% of respondents said Agile works very well or somewhat well for their organizations. Small businesses seem the happiest with the methodology, while large companies say it’s not working so well. So, why are enterprise organizations not getting the results they expect?

Larger organizations have massive amounts of data locked away in enterprise silos and legacy systems. As a result, stakeholders don’t have access to the business intelligence they need to make the smart, fast decisions that an agile enterprise requires. 

What these organizations lack is end-to-end enterprise visibility. To improve business outcomes, they need a way to aggregate and analyze data in real time, allowing teams to understand how their work contributes to organizational goals and providing leadership with insight into how work execution connects to business strategy.

4. Executive leadership teams are the foundation for driving business agility, but they must be willing to shift their mindsets and embody Agile values. 

It’s not surprising that 41% of respondents identified a lack of leadership participation as a hurdle to adopting Agile, a trend we continue to see year after year. Ironically, though, leaders and executives have the power to be one of the biggest enablers in driving enterprise agility.

Agile adoption requires a significant cultural shift across people, processes, and technology. Achieving this kind of change involves getting leadership on board. This means executives must be willing to shift their mindsets and engage in training to lead their teams in Agile transformation effectively. Strong leadership with a strong (i.e. realistic) understanding of Agile culture is what will end up moving the needle for organizational change.

5. Instead of wasting time updating spreadsheets, organizations need to invest in a well-implemented enterprise Agile planning tool (EAPT) that enables effective decision-making.

We can’t have a conversation about Agile transformation without talking about tools. Agile isn’t dead, but spreadsheets might be–at least when it comes to scaling business operations. With over 60% of respondents using Atlassian's Jira for Agile projects and 50% using Jira Align as their chosen EAPT, it’s clear that traditional tools like spreadsheets are inadequate for scaling Agile across the enterprise.  

And while we’re on the topic of tools, don’t fall into the trap of thinking Jira Align will solve your organizational chaos. While the enterprise platform excels at bridging the gap between strategy and work execution, achieving visibility at scale with Jira Align requires proper configuration. The key is a well-implemented tech stack that enhances agility and leverages data for effective communication.

Turn Insights into Action to Drive Business Agility

We still believe in the fundamental values of Agile – people over processes and tools, responding to change, and the importance of customer collaboration. We also know that implementing Agile practices is hard, and doing it well is even harder, especially when there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. 

To dive deeper into the pulse of Agile and discover what the report’s data means for your business, download our special edition of the 17th State of Agile Report. Whether you want to comb through in-depth research or read expert commentary from our seasoned Agile consultants, learn how to turn insights into actionable strategies for driving business agility. 

Praecipio can guide you through your Agile journey, digging into the unique aspects of your organization and fine-tuning an approach that works for your teams. Recently recognized as Atlassian’s Agile at Scale Partner of the Year, we can help you get the results you expect from your Agile implementation. 

Contact our team to start making business agility a reality for your organization. 


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