Using agile methods to become more competitive

Agile methods are becoming more and more important in the face of growing requirements in the automotive industry. They can be utilized to avoid long development processes and help car manufacturers to launch their products more quickly. This increases companies’ ability to compete internationally.

Electromobility, altered supply chains, innovative technologies for the connected car and a new cycle for measuring fuel or energy consumption: The automotive industry is facing a diverse range of challenges and global competitive pressure. Car manufacturers have to be able to react increasingly quickly to new demands and customer requests and reduce the time-to-market for new products, which leaves little room for lengthy software development. Agile methods are a remedy to this problem.

One example of this is the gradual introduction of the new Worldwide Harmonized Light-Duty Vehicle Test Procedure, or WLTP for short. This testing method makes it easier to measure the exhaust emissions and fuel consumption of passenger cars and light utility vehicles. It was introduced in the EU in September 2017. As a result, car manufacturers had to adjust their methods for measuring the energy consumption values of their cars in order to fulfill the new regulations at short notice.

Implementing new requirements on time

In order to be able to measure up well to this task and other time-sensitive challenges, car manufacturers need to put their trust in agile development teams. With their help, new demands, methods, products and functions can be implemented on time, in spite of tight time schedules. For example, Lufthansa Industry Solutions is utilizing agile methods to help one manufacturer reconfigure its data collection process in such a way that it will be able to precisely calculate the measurement values of the new WLTP in future.

The benefits: The car manufacturer can harness the additional support in order to fulfill the new regulations while continuing to concentrate on its core business. This is because this collaboration is based on Scrum, a project management framework. The agile external project team takes complete charge of the project’s implementation. The agile team is well practiced in and has corresponding expert knowledge of the automotive industry. In addition to this, their work methods are in line with the German Temporary Employment Act (Gesetz zur Arbeitnehmerüberlassung). The person in charge of the car manufacturer’s project is in close contact with the Scrum Master, who liaises with the project team on behalf of the service provider. On the basis of this process, car manufacturers can implement their projects quickly, efficiently and on time.

Our technological expertise and years of experience in the automotive industry make us the right partner for the job of assisting the automotive industry with complete teams during agile software development or during program and project management.