IoT & Embedded Technology Blog

Don't Water-Scrum-Fail.

by Chris Rommel | 04/15/2013

Agile is a great weapon available to OEMs to fight the challenges inherent in device development today. It is not, however, a silver bullet.

In a recent post, we explored how Agile projects are still finishing behind schedule, despite favorable comparables against standard V-model workflows. The truth of the matter is that Agile projects are subject to many of the setbacks as traditional ones. They can and will fail. It is more important than ever for engineering organizations to recognize what specialized or unique implementation strategies they need to use to increase their chance's for long-term success with Agile.

Many of you have heard the expression - water-scrum-fall in the past. It speaks to the reality that Agile is often implemented in some sort of a hybrid fashion – as in not true “Agile” per the manifesto. This is especially true – and important - in the embedded market. As you know, there are a ton of differences between development for an ISV and an engineering organization. The number of verticals markets, process standards, and multi-engineering domain considerations make some level of hybridization or customization necessary.

Agile hybrid
But customization does not come without its cost. For example:

  1. Light weight Agile project management tools can't cut it alone. Integrated, formal automated tooling is required to manage traceabilty across the lifecycle.
  2. Ongoing training and coaching takes center stage. Embedded engineers are creatures of comfort. Left alone for too long and they will revert to a more primitive state.


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