Large system development existed for a long time. Traditional development methods like V-Process or waterfall models evolved over time to deliver those large systems. These methods had to be risk averse due to the high cost of change involved in large system development.
However, when software development was getting evolved in 1980's and 1990's, the process was very much influenced by the traditional plan driven methods. These methods worked well for systems where customer needs were well known upfront but did not work well for empirical world of software development. Software community had a problem in search of solution.
In February 2001, the seventeen original signatories of Agile Manifesto, in response to the frustrations in traditional development methods, proposed 4 values and 12 principles to address problems faced by the software community. During the past two decades the Agile Manifesto has turned out to be the solution for the problem faced by the software community.
Large System Development today has to deliver to the same market demand that the software is addressing - faster time to market at lower cost and high quality with highly motivated employees.
With the successful adoption of Agile in Software Development, there is a trend to force fit the software mindset of applying Agile into other areas of work. Agile quickly feels like an ultimate solution in search of problems to solve. But, none of these seventeen signatories have proposed Agile values and principles to be adopted beyond the software development (or use square pegs in round holes).
Agile adoption in Systems Engineering or Hardware teams, have met with resistance from cross-disciplinary teams involved in building large systems. The pure Agile Ways-of-working is not helping the Systems Engineering teams to appreciate the solution proposed by Agile evangelists from the software world. It is due to failure of the Agile community to understand the difference between hardware and software development along with different needs of the Systems Engineering. The difference is simple: Hardware is hard, and software is soft. Cost of change in hardware is way too high compared to software and had to adopt the risk averse traditional v-process or waterfall approach.
Software has evolved over time, from being supporting the business in 1980's to 2000, to enabling the business between 2000-2020 and now inspiring the business in the Digital world. Every business is a software business, and every large system being developed involves software in terms of software applications, firmware, enabling tools and or building simulators to enable fast feedback.
Large System Development today has to deliver to the same market demand that the software is addressing - faster time to market at lower cost and high quality with highly motivated employees. The problem for today's Large System Development, needs a solution which takes the lessons learnt from the Agile community in software world and lessons learnt from the product companies in the systems engineering world over decades. This needs a balance between the risk averse methods of the traditional world and the exploratory approach from Agile world.
Our Lean-Agile for Systems Engineering (LASE), is an approach to accelerate large complex system development while responding to changing customer needs.
This is achieved through practices inspired by Lean product development and Agile which improves cross-domain collaboration, experimentation, and early validation by involving every part of the organization marketing, system analysts, system engineers, designers, development teams, manufacturing, procurement, support, operations and others throughout the system engineering life cycle.
If your organization is involved in Systems Engineering, which includes both hardware and software and want to discuss more about how to adopt Lean-Agile for Systems Engineering, please feel free to schedule a call with us at +919164215111 / +91 9164215222