UK wasting £37 billion a year on failed Agile IT projects

May 4, 2017

Are CIOs wasting money on Agile?

British business is set to waste an estimated £37 billion on failed Agile IT projects over the course of the next 12 months, according to a new report from independent IT consultancy 6point6.

6point6 commissioned a survey of 300 CIOs in the UK and the US to examine their experiences of Agile and measure how successfully its principles are being applied.  The organisations taking part in the 6point6 research employed approximately 1,300 people on average with revenues of £127m. The findings are being launched at the CIO Insight Summit in Frankfurt today in a major new report, An Agile Agenda: How CIOs Can Navigate the Post-Agile Era (available for download at

6point6 CTO Chris Porter, one of the authors of the report, said: “Agile IT in the UK is facing a hidden crisis – 12% of Agile projects are failing completely.  CIOs tell us they expect to undertake six agile projects next year, one in eight of which will fail completely.  Given there are about 6,000 CIOs in the UK and that the average Agile IT projects costs approximately £8 million, that represents a huge amount of waste.  The truth is that, despite the hype over the theory, Agile development doesn’t always work in practice.

The research also uncovered that 53% of CIOs regard Agile development as “discredited” while 75% are no longer prepared to defend it.  73% of CIOs think Agile IT has now become an industry in its own right – while 50% say they now think of Agile as “an IT fad”.

Chris Porter said: “This is a conservative estimate.  We’ve only looked at Agile IT projects that fail completely.  This doesn’t include the waste involved in Agile projects that fail only partially.  UK and US CIOs now estimate that nearly a third of Agile projects fail to some degree.  The failure to apply Agile effectively is a huge problem for the UK.

The IT consultancy is launching their 6point6 Agile Agenda today to tackle the problem and help CIOs survive in the post-Agile era (available for download here).

The report did unearth some good news for the UK tech industry, however.  While the rate of complete failure of Agile projects was 12% in the UK – in the US, CIO’s report 21% of Agile projects result in complete failure.