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A Birthday Present for Agile Processes?

In the engineering and manufacturing industry we’ve been working for decades on digitizing the description and performance of our products and the processes by which we make them.

As a result the traditional methods and organizational paradigms that govern how we deliver new innovations to market ought to change too, right? After all, if we’ve digitized product & process definition then, surely, we can iterate at similar speeds, and with similar methods, to the software world, right?


Image by ArtPhoto_studio on Freepik

Although continually adapting, in many industrial engineering organizations, a lot of the ideas & methods in place today are based on working ideas from the last century: The stage gate process, which a huge number of corporations utilize, really took off in the 1960s.

The better news is that there’s change in the air. Many are starting to realise that our best source of experience and inspiration, in how we go about delivering innovation, comes from what software teams have been doing for a while now. In fact, the latest “State of Agile Report” outlines that 1/3 of engineering / R&D teams have now adopted Agile. Agile is definitely “crossing the chasm” .

However, did you know that the Agile Manifesto is 22 years old this Feb?

Birthday celebrations aside, outside of software, vertically stacked, cross functional, integrated project teams, focussed on the needs of the customer, and the overall performance of their supporting systems, collaborating together, in a daily scrum are increasingly buzzworthy ideas of late.

The buzz is warranted. Agile projects have been proven to be 1.5x more successful than traditional methods, with 2.5x better quality and 25% improved productivity. It’s incredibly exciting to see these changes, and the benefits they bring.

However, what’s not so exciting is the level of support software provides to these processes. Outside of the software industry, there’s little support for agile processes. In addition, the vast majority of software offerings in the market today, particularly in R&D, involve isolated disciplinary islands.

To be blunt, today’s tools for engineering are not as well developed as they need to be. At Authentise, we believe this needs to change! As with the change in methods, we foresee a need for better support from our software tools. We’re in a position to help, and are actively developing solutions.

If you feel the same, and want to get involved and help, we want to hear from you! Contact us or leave a comment at the very end of this page.

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