Experiences in Applying Agile Software Development Practices in New Product Development

A. Dagnino, K. Smiley, H. Srikanth, A.I. Antón, and L. Williams (USA)


New software-intensive product development, agile practices


Experiences with software technology development projects at ABB Inc. indicated a need for additional flexibility and speed during explorations of applying new technologies to future products. A case study was conducted at ABB to compare and contrast the use of an evolutionary-agile approach with a more traditional incremental approach in two different technology development projects. The study indicated benefits associated with the evolutionary approach with agile practices, such as streamlined documentation, increased customer involvement, enhanced customer satisfaction, increased capability to include emergent requirements, and increased risk management ability. This paper suggests that using agile practices during the Research and Development (R&D) phase of new product development contributes to improving productivity, to increasing value-added activities, to showing progress early in the development project, and to enhancing customer satisfaction. Another observation derived from this study is that by offering a carefully selected subset of agile practices, ABB R&D groups are more likely to successfully incorporate them into their existing processes.

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