I found a nice bit of research done by Greg Geracie at Actuation Consulting covering the rate of growth and decline of several product development methods; Agile, Waterfall, Kanban and Lean. As noted in Greg’s research while there has been growth in the Agile Method, the blended method of Agile and Waterfall is still the most common methodology.
In my own far less detailed research, A.K.A., networking with other product managers and technology directors I know, I have seen the same thing in terms to the graph below. One common refrain is that there are still some organizations that are holding on to Waterfall and when and where possible product managers are trying to push in Agile. I suspect it’s that because the upper echelon of the company likes the perceived finality of a waterfall program in terms of how long and how much. I suspect however, that ultimately the blended method will fall and we will see the pure Agile method become the most common method.
From the article:
What Our Product Development Process Adoption Data Shows
We have been tracking adoption rates for a variety of product development processes since 2012. This is the first year that we have trended the information in our recently published white paper.
Survey respondents indicate that by far the most popular methodology used in product development is a blended approach combining some aspects of Waterfall and some of Agile. The blended approach accounted for nearly half of all survey responses (45.41%). The second most popular methodology is Agile/Scrum, which is used in companies employing 33.16% of our respondents. Nearly 11% of responders indicated their companies utilize Kanban (2.55%) or another methodology (8.68%). Only a tenth (10.20%) are utilizing Waterfall.