Be an Agile Survey Monkey

Survey Schmurvey!

There’s seemingly quite a bit of a dust-up over assorted agile surveys:

  • Scott Ambler’s 2010 Scrum Certification Survey.
  • VersionOne’s “State of Agile” survey.

I did Scott’s simple survey last week. I did the VersionOne not-so-simple survey the other day.

After someone dissed Scott’s efforts and praised the VersionOne effort, I replied:

I could poke serious holes in the “State of Agile” survey. I mentioned a flaw or two back to VersionOne (i.e., I replied to the email with the link).

But I won’t. It isn’t worth my time.

Surveys are extremely hard to design. I submit that the VersionOne survey has a flawed model of development projects underlying the questions—not that it stopped me from supplying answers. And when you toss it out to self-selection, it gets even weirder to draw major conclusions. And to get subjective info on being more productive with agile, etc., is anything but accurate.

If people make decisions based solely on someone’s survey (or certification or education), it’s a free country.

Good luck with that.

I would never be so foolish.