State of Practice 2015

Agile in Automotive 2015

State of Practice: Latest Sector Study

Scrum is the method of choice? Far from it! Nowadays automobile manufacturers and suppliers use a full range of Agile development processes. Our latest market survey ­– Agile in Automotive. State of Practice 2015 – shows that those processes and methods which are the most promising in the current situation are chosen from the agile portfolio. 

Agility is a success story in the automotive industry: until recently agile development processes, methods and practices were often rejected for regulated vehicle development – now the industry has reached a certain maturity in the selection and usage of agile approaches. In addition to the agile classics – Scrum and Kanban – Agilists choose an agile approach, from which they hope to gain the most success.

Agile Software Development
Fig.: Agile development projects have now arrived in the stabilization phase. In 2014, the majority of projects were still busy with roll-out (left).

Agile development processes and methods in practice

  • 79%: Scrum  -16% compared to  2014
  • 64%: Continuous Integration  +8%
  • 55%: Kanban  +16%
  • 24%: Test Driven Development  +4%
  • 21%: Feature Driven Development  +1%
  • 7%: eXtreme Programming  +1%
  • 7%: ScrumBan  +1%

Scrum was 2014, the dominant agile discipline par excellence. Other processes and methods are catching up rapidly. In particular, Kanban and Continuous Integration (CI) have gained ground.

Two reasons why Kanban is gaining ground:

  1. Kanban is easier to adapt than Scrum. As evolutionary process Kanban accepts existing processes, roles and responsibilities. No complex interventions in the organizational and operational structure are required.
  2. Kanban is particularly suitable for maintenance and support tasks.

More and more users recognise that Kanban does more than provide a visual support for project management. As a result Kanban principles such as a rigorous work-in-progress limitation are being adhered to more strictly.

Agile Development Processes in Practice
Fig.: Study of agile development processes in automotive electronics in 2015

"Kanban is suitable whenever a continuous work flow is important", study director Sergej Weber explains: "Here, the work is event-driven. For example, if an error occurs a ticket is opened and prioritized and the fixing is tracked via the Kanban Board. In contrast, if a product needs to be developed continuously, the application of the agile framework Scrum is recommended due to its iterative nature."

Agile development means agile project management

Agile projects are now found primarily in software development. Last year, this was different: 2014 agile methods were also used in the requirements analysis and system design. In the requirements analysis, the decline was greater than 50%.

The dramatic fall on the left side of the V-model stands in contrast to a significant increase on the right side: the need for automated testing is a matter of discussion. This is also reflected in the significant increase of methods such as Continuous Development and Test Driven Development.

Participants in Agile Sector Study

Interviewees in 2015 again also included selected contributors from companies in Germany and in the United States, that have distributed development projects with remote teams in locations in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia.

Over of those providing input:

  • Head of Development: 31%
  • Project Manager: 46%
  • Quality Manager: 23%

A total of 42 experts were interviewed.

Agile in Automotive. State of Practice 2014

In autumn 2013, we conducted the study for the first time and interviewed selected key representatives in automotive about their experiences with the agile implementation.

Here you can compare the differences from the previous study

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Agile in Automotive. State of Practice 2014 is licensed by Kugler Maag Cie under Creative Commons 4.0: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International