Like most with experience in older SDLC (Software Development Life cycle) and newer Agile, my first thought off the headline was "What kind of idiot? What questions did they ask?". As I read on, several glaring problems with the "analysis" stood out.
(1) I see no mention of comparisons with what other methodology? It's just a focused criticism of Agile, implying that other paradigms are far better. The truth is, the percentage of successful software development projects have always been terrible. It started out with something like 90% failure rates and has very slowly improved to this day. Furthermore, the metrics to measure success are apples and oranges. For SDLC, it's that requirements are met. For Agile, it's the same repeatedly until the product is acceptable. In practice, SDLC leads to marking off a checkbox for each requirement and test. Other problems to solve or improvement ideas to make are thrown by the wayside unless they were specified or contractually obligated. No software has ever been completed without the developers thinking, "We could have done it better like ..". Agile provides that opportunity. The quality is better not only in terms of more opportunity to make it better but also in that the customer flushes out all the issues that never would have come to mind otherwise, until it was too late. In other words, an SDLC "success" is a bunch of marked off features and test results on a usually crappy first generation but barely functional piece of work. In contrast, Agile "success" is a more thoroughly fleshed out understanding of the problem and a better fitted and all-round higher quality solution for what the customers wants/needs--not just his first inclination of what he imaged of the same.
(1) They are engineering / cherry-picking to create support for their conclusions. Examples follow:
(a) "Out of over 200 survey participants, we received only four detailed comments describing success with Agile." -- oh really? Just before that, they said 28% reported success with agile. For how many did they receive smiley faces at the end of detailed comments describing success with Agile? Zero?! Geez, then it was really a total flop!!
(b) "Sixty-four percent (64%) of survey participants found the transition to Agile confusing, hard, or slow. Twenty-eight percent (28%) report success with Agile." Also from my own experience, the transition to agile was extremely hard. In fact, it's hard to get people to convert from Christianity to Islam, too (or vice-versa). That in no way addresses the effectiveness of Agile over SDLC/waterfall or anything else, as they strongly imply. It suggests that people do not like moving out of their comfort zones.. people like doing things they way they always have. It's typical human nature... and consequently, they resist and prejudices arise.
(c) Ridiculous levels of outright subjective and judgmental prejudice to the exclusion of any proper measures.. and repeated in different examples of the same, rather than just tallying up the levels of negative personal feelings toward Agile.... I have to say, this sounds very much like a survey given only to managers--it's a typical manager point of view. These are just ignorant and arrogant personal insults. This is not professional at all. Examples follow:
- Survey participants report that developers use the guise of Agile to avoid planning and to avoid creating documentation required for future maintenance.
- We received some unprecedented scathing and shocking comments about the level of competence, professionalism, and attitudes of some members of the Agile movement.
- Be aware that the Agile movement might very well just be either a developer rebellion against unwanted tasks and schedules or just an opportunity to sell Agile services including certification and training.