Beyond Software: Agile Methods in Automotive

At KEGON, our basic conviction is as simple as it is revolutionary: Agile principles are not limited to a specific industry or area of life. They are universal. The agile approach, based on values such as transparency, quality, respect, continuous learning and continuous improvement, is versatile enough to bring remarkable benefits to a wide range of organisations and institutions. It is a philosophy that transcends the boundaries of development and IT.

The legacy of lean: from the production line to the lifeline
Lean thinking has been a transformative force in manufacturing facilities in various industries around the world for decades. Yet its potential remains untapped in so many other areas. At KEGON, we have extended Lean-Agile thinking beyond its usual association with software development, applying techniques and values with equal success to projects in hardware development or embedded systems, among others. Rethinking companies and organisations, and therefore the reality of life for all employees, in an agile way is KEGON's answer to increasing disruption and the rampant shortage of skilled workers.
Meeting the challenges of the automotive industry with agility
In the automotive sector, we repeatedly come across one argument: compliance with the prevailing ISO standards seems to be incompatible with an agile methodology, or at least a challenge. The industry standard for evaluating the development processes of ECU suppliers is Automotive SPICE. In order to strengthen our expertise and answer uncertainties and questions confidently and knowledgeably, we have engaged Torsten Blume from CO-Improve GmbH & Co. KG, a knowledgeable and eloquent expert for our internal training event.
Automotive SPICE and Agile: A compatible pair
As an official assessor for evaluating the effectiveness and safety of development processes, Mr Blume provided a comprehensive insight into the development of common standards over the years. A key finding was the realisation that agile development methods can meet the widely accepted SPICE Level 3 standard. It should be emphasised that the Automotive SPICE regulations describe the necessary results without prescribing the methods with which they are to be achieved - a concept reminiscent of agile procedures, in the implementation of which the "what" is separated from the "how".
The agile consultant's perspective: interpreting standards flexibly

Mr Blume illustrated this with an example. BP1 stipulates that the scope of work within a project must be defined in order to ensure feasibility with the available resources. The focus here is on the "what" - the definition - and not on the "how". While traditional estimates use person days, agile methods advocate that teams estimate the complexity in points and thus the actual scope of work. Both approaches fulfil the requirements comprehensively.
Agile methods and automotive: moving forward together
The presentation emphasised an important message: industry-specific regulations in the automotive sector can harmonise with agile methods and dispel the myth that product development cannot be improved through agile practices. Awareness and acceptance of new development processes among companies is growing, as companies such as Tesla have achieved great success with agile methods in a short period of time.
Mr Blume's presentation reinforces our focus on agile change in the automotive. And supplier industry. When the course has to be set and processes rethought, we are an experienced and reliable partner!"

More about Agile in Automotive here.