Dec 142010

I have four predictions that I’d like to share with you:

  1. The decline of Scrum will become obvious in 2011. The shine started to come off Scrum in 2009 when teams started to publicly report that they had run into trouble applying it effectively and this snowballed in 2010. The squabbling between the Scrum thought leaders over their various certification schemes exacerbated the problem in 2010 and there seems to be no end in sight. My recent 2010 Scrum Certification survey found that only 27% of Certified Scrum Masters (CSMs) were willing to admit publicly that they were CSMs and another 37% would do so seldomly, an indication of the Agile community’s growing embarrassment surrounding “Scrum certification”.  I suspect that Scrum will continue to decline in popularity in 2011 and that the vast majority of people claiming to be doing Scrum today will be unwilling to even admit this by 2013.
  2. The upsurge in discussion about Lean will continue. There was a lot of discussion around Lean in 2010 and even some experimentation with it, and this trend will continue to gain steam in 2011. My guess is that attempted adoption of Lean will likely peak in three years at about 35% of IT development teams, but that the successful adoption rate of Lean will likely be about 15-20% around 2015. The move to Lean strategies such as Kanban will also contribute to the Scrum decline.
  3. Collaborative lifecycle management (CLM) will continue to grow. This trend started a few years ago with application lifecycle management (ALM) and evolved into CLM in 2010. As the complexity of software/system delivery increases, organizations are coming to recognize the need for integrated and instrumented tooling which enables development professionals to collaborate effectively and allows management to govern in a lean and efficient manner.   Spend a few minutes poking around to see where agile development tools are going.
  4. The upsurge of Agile techniques within the data community will continue. The data community is finally starting to put their toes in the Agile water, almost ten years behind the development community (we saw almost an identical adoption pattern with the object paradigm). 2011 will see a couple of new books published, an increase in Agile workshops for data professionals, and an increase in participation in only Agile database forums. This is a very good trend that was far too long in coming.

[Editor’s Note: This post is part of the annual “Cutter Predicts …” series, compiled at the Cutter Consortium website.]


Scott Ambler

Scott W. Ambler is a Senior Consultant with Cutter Consortium's Business & Enterprise Architecture and Agile Product & Project Management Practices. He is the thought leader behind Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD), Agile Model Driven Development (AMDD), the Agile Data (AD) method, and the Enterprise Unified Process (EUP).


  3 Responses to “Scrum Decline to Become Obvious; an Upsurge in Lean; and a Rise in the Use of Agile Techniques within the Data Community”

  1. I too predict that the Scrum gloss will continue to tarnish in 2011. Even when organisations decide to adopt Scrum (or other forms of agile) they will likely not realise the deleterious impact (cognitive dissonance, culture clashes, tribal conflicts, etc.) that adoption WILL cause in their organisations. We practitioners can leave them in the dark about that, or we can come clean and talk about it – and what to do about it, too. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say.

    – Bob

  2. avatar

    I can’t agree with the point being made – decline of Scrum and upsurge of Lean. My disagreement comes from the fact that the two are not orthogonal and actually coexist together pretty nicely.

    The way I see it:
    -lean is about principles one follows when developing software – at the organizational level and also in the day-to-day work. It is also a metaprocess for improving the processes.
    -scrum is one framework which can successfully be used in the execution of those principles
    -agile software development is what is used to write the very code in the above circumstances

    So scrum and lean are not mutually exclusive.

    As for declines and upsurges, the nature of software development frameworks is that they evolve out of each other. So if Scrum has become too mature, I would see a new player emerging, which would start of from what scrum has taught us.

  3. Dimitar, a few points:
    1. I didn’t comment on the orthogonality of Scrum and lean.
    2. Many orgs adopt Scrum yet not lean, many adopt lean but not Scrum, and many adopt both.
    3. So, it is very possible that the overall adoption rates of each can in fact move in different directions.

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