A faster and more flexible product development

The demands on product development are getting higher and higher - driven primarily by increasing complexity and dynamics. Under these circumstances, agile techniques have clear advantages over the classical, plan-driven approaches. This is not only true for small software projects, but also for multi disciplinary projects. We can help your development team to apply a simple and agile model like Scrum in a step-by-step approach, and adapt it to match the standards and compliance required for your company.

What is agile product development?

Agile and lean principles have common roots in manufacturing; lean production as well as Kaizen approaches for continuous improvements. For product and software development, lean principles are:

  • build-in quality during the complete development cycle

  • create knowledge by promoting learning practices

  • defer commitment until feedback and experiences with prototypes are available

  • deliver fast to get a common understanding of the product

  • trust people and promote self-organized teams

  • reflect about your experience and optimize the process

  • eliminate waste such as inefficient communication.

Agile principles for software projects focus on projects that have to be delivered ever so faster and need to handle changing requirements effectively. These techniques are described in the “Manifesto for Agile Software Development” (www.agilemanifesto.org) and further emphasis the collaboration and the early deployment of working software. These approaches can be translated very well to product development.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is an agile development process that supports us to focus on delivering the highest value in the shortest time. At the end of each development cycle (Sprint), the team delivers a potentially shippable set of product features that provides an early feedback about the requirements and a managed way to handle changes. Scrum characteristics are:

  • Self-organizing teams: The customer and the product manager set the priorities. Teams then self-organize to determine the best way to deliver the highest priority features.

  • Iterative: It allows us to rapidly and repeatedly inspect actual working products. Every two to four weeks every stakeholder can see real working product features, and decide to release them as is or continue to enhance them. With hardware and electronics, this early feedback is supported by prototyping and modeling.

  • Reduced number of artifacts and roles: In Scrum, the re-quirements are captured in a single list called “product backlog” and then extended with tasks for each iteration (“sprint backlog”).

Which are the benefits of Scrum for your organization?

  • High flexibility regarding changing requirements
  • Features with the highest value for the customer will be developed first
  • Realistic schedules which will be met
  • Reduction of unused but expensive processes and unwanted product features
  • Learning from own experiences
  • Self-organizing teams – improving motivation and personal involvement.

How to introduce Scrum step by step in a sustainable way

To ensure a lasting establishment of agile techniques your teams will have to quit some of their old habits and adopt new techniques into their daily life. Pilot projects are very helpful in doing so. The development teams can adapt current practices and establish a first set of improvements in their own real projects and then deploy the changes to the work of their peers.

Can you use Scrum if you are in a regulated industry?

Scrum itself is not compliant with industry standards and regula-tions such as CMMI, IEC 62304 or IEC 61508. However, we can show you how to enhance and adapt agile techniques to obtain just enough process for your industry. Furthermore we apply validated tools which can support Scrum in regulated environments.

Your advantage

Agile product development is a logical way to go for companies that need not only high quality and low development costs, but also speed and flexibility. With Scrum, errors of the past can be avoided. The experienced Scrum Masters of EVOCEAN will help you to initiate the necessary change in a pragmatic way and with minimized risk – corresponding best to your organization and its relevant standards. The improved motivation of your development teams is not just side effect but a motor for future innovation!

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