In brief

In brief

  • The automotive and mobility industry has been confronted with transformative change due to the increased use of software in vehicles.
  • Software is the key to meeting ever-increasing regulations, satisfying customer expectations and staying ahead of intense competition.
  • Auto R&D activities require software/hardware systems to help engineers design innovative products while handling complexity, dynamics and costs.
  • The rigidity of product creation has led R&D teams to integrate Agile processes, which use short development iterations by cross-functional teams.

The Agile engineer processes conundrum

The number one challenge is a mindset that, “Agile is just for Software Engineering and doesn’t work in the embedded software space.” Agile is about organizational change and the best success transpires when it's truly a corporate wide leadership initiative. It must go beyond software, and even engineering, with an understanding that the C-Suite, Finance, HR, Program Management, Manufacturing, and Operations are all affected and need to change to yield the benefits that becoming Agile will produce.

"If today's product development landscape is not hard enough, tomorrow is going to be even more intimidating and complex."

– DAVID RUSH, Chief Methodologist and Principal Director Industry X.0 Consulting – Connected Products & Lifecycle Services

Our team members are not ‘Agilists’ who are trying to apply purist approaches to product development, they are 'Systems Engineers' that are leveraging agile principles to aid them with driving speed, quality, and customer satisfaction within their engineering practices. They are, and will continue to be, focused on Agile Model-Based Systems Engineering and Agile Product Line Engineering Methods to become more robust in their engineering of systems and to drive high levels of reuse of engineering assets and systems. Systems engineers must also continue to improve the way they help with an Agile transformation, as well as improve how to tackle the challenges brought on by organizational change. It’s imperative to continuously work on improving ways to shift paradigms, mindset, impending leadership practices, and traditional thinking.

Advice for automotive leadership

Automotive leaders are advised to seek out experienced Agile mentors and advisors to help them with any Agile transformation journey. The fundamentals of Agile are truly built on pillars of transparency, inspection, adaption, and values such as respect, openness, and trust. Most of Accenture’s clients are responding to the increasing demands for software by exploring Agile, but three primary questions emerged and led Accenture to harmonize the approach for automotive. The primary questions AutoScrum addresses are:

  • How can Lean-Agile Methods be scaled to large, globally distributed product development teams?
  • How do agile practices align with emerging systems & software compliance standards?
  • How do agile practices align with modern engineering techniques that are leveraged to handle increased product complexity?

AutoScrum was specifically created to take the best of the scaling patterns that exist, and apply them to the automotive product development context. To solve for agility, automotive leaders must solve for agility in the context of emerging compliance standards and modern engineering techniques. It’s just as important to invest in Agility and Engineering improvements, compared to other corporate areas, since engineering is truly where innovation occurs. It’s essential to be driven by measured product development outcomes: learn quickly, pivot, adapt, and continuously improve.

How Accenture AutoScrum transformed product development

AutoScrum was started in 2007 to be a harmonizing umbrella of methods and techniques, which reconciled the seemingly conflicting practices in automotive product development processes. Accenture has been promoting Lean and Agile ways of working for a long time and currently works with a broad spectrum of clients to help implement a range of Agile methods and frameworks.

Accenture has continued to see the same challenges and impediments slowing clients down in their quest to become Lean and Agile. Although many of these impediments are universal, Accenture found there was a need to be industry specific. To be Lean and Agile in automotive, organizations must be compliant with many standards, such as Functional Safety ISO 26262, AutoSpice ISO15504, and the new cyber security standard ISO/SAE CD 21434 (under development).

David Rush

Chief Methodologist, Principal Director – Industry X.0 Consulting, Connected Products & Lifecycle Services


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