I’ve started working on my next book, When Agile Gets Physical: How to Adapt Agile Principles to Accelerate Hardware Development, with my long-time colleague, Kathy Iberle. Today, the information available is mostly written by Agile software experts — and it shows. They mostly take a “Just Use Agile” approach that does not account for the real differences between hardware development and software development.
Most Agile software methods operate under the key assumption that resources (software developers and testers) are interchangeable, just as user stories are independent of each other. This is one area where Agile software experts run into real trouble when they push these ideas onto hardware teams.
An Agile Software Development team works iteratively — they write some code or make a UI design model, get fast feedback on it, improve it and add to it. Some people claim that 3D printing and other rapid prototyping methods allow hardware developers to work just as iteratively. But they are wrong, for two reasons.
In 2014, Sonion embarked on a journey to accelerate the pace of innovation. Sonion makes tiny microphones, speakers and other components for hearing health and professional audio. The company’s product development cycles are tied to their customers’ development cycles and most products are built to spec for a specific customer. For a company like this, […]
Agile software experts tend to describe phase gate processes as obsolete or inherently “waterfall” and therefore evil — but this is more a reflection of how poorly the Agile coach understands the nature of product development outside of software. In the hardware world and in many other places, phase gates are ubiquitous because they work.