Some of the feedback that we get about Figure 1 is that this can’t be, given that the claim is that with Scrum you can do twice the work in half the time. Sadly this claim of 4X productivity improvement doesn’t seem to hold water in practice. A recent studycovering 155 organizations, 1,500 waterfall and 1,500 agile teams found actual productivity increases of agile teams, mostly following Scrum, to be closer to 7 to 12 percent. At scale, where the majority of organizations have adopted SAFe, the improvement goes down to 3 to 5 percent.
We are constantly running into teams that have adopted a prescriptive agile method, very often Scrum or SAFe, that have plateaued because they’ve run into one or more issues not directly addressed by their chosen framework/method. Because the method doesn’t address the problem(s) they face, and because they don’t have expertise in that area, they tend to flounder – Ivar Jacobson has coined the term “they’re stuck in method prison.”