The Columbus Agile Productivity Benchmark Project; Initial Insights from Project Data

Michael Mah | 11:45 – 01:00


Kent Beck, the visionary behind Extreme Programming, once said that Agile projects would be considered more successful – in the sense that they’d deliver more functionality with fewer defects.  In essence, higher productivity and quality.

With Agile now becoming mainstream, is that truly the case?  What are the patterns being found here in Columbus OH?

Industry research from QSM reveals varying degrees of Agile success.  Some of the best teams – whether they be XP, SCRUM, Lean, etc. are finding Beck’s statement to be true. Others are not.  What factors can make a meaningful difference?

The Columbus Agile Productivity vs. Industry study is looking to discover such patterns.  Whether new to Agile or not, we’ll be determining baselines for this vibrant Columbus Agile community.  Using a combination of velocity, burndown, and quality metrics, we will seek to understand productivity, time-to-market, quality, and cost patterns as this community matures.  Serving as a comparison framework is the QSM SLIM industry database, with more than 10,000 completed projects (waterfall, agile, offshore, onshore) collected worldwide.

This talk will describe the group progress observed thus far, with initial discoveries that can help accelerate your Agile success.  Join us for an overview of this project, and find out how you can participate if these goals are also important to you, your development, and your executive teams.


As managing partner at QSM Associates Inc., Michael Mah teaches, writes, and consults to technology companies on measuring, estimating and managing software projects, whether in-house, offshore, waterfall, or agile.

He is the director of the Benchmarking Practice at the Cutter Consortium, a Boston-based IT think-tank, and served as past editor of the IT Metrics Strategies publication. With over 25 years of experience, Michael and his partners at QSM have derived productivity patterns for thousands of projects collected in its worldwide database across engineering and business applications. His work examines time-pressure dynamics of teams, and its role in project success and failure.  QSM is the creator of the SLIM® model, a suite of tools for software release planning, measurement, and estimation.

Michael’s background began in physics and electrical engineering and expanded into software. His graduate training was in the field of mediation, facilitation, and dispute resolution.  Michael is also a private pilot and lives in the mountains of western Massachusetts with his two children. He can be reached at