The development of future-oriented in-vehicle technologies demands modern project management methods, which in equal measure ensure transparency, flexible control options, resource efficiency and a high development speed. Aside from the classical V-model process, at MAGNA Telemotive, we are also experts in modern development methodologies such as agile, Scrum, Kanban or Automotive Scrum. Depending on the project, the methods are combined to achieve a customized and profitable solution for the customer.
A phase-oriented process was established with V-model, which is perfectly tailored to the software development and is widely used. The method was derived from the waterfall model; it analyzes and defines the software requirements during certain phases, while at the same time defining the tests intended to review them. All requirement levels are tested individually in this fashion, to ensure a high quality standard. Moreover, incomplete specifications or information are identified early-on in the project. After the complete refinement of the specifications, the implementation can start. Once it is complete, the tests will be conducted in reverse order of the phases - thereby creating the shape of the letter "V", from which the name has been derived. The phases which the project is actually divided into are not specified in detail, making it possible to react in a flexible manner to the respective project.
The trend toward agile development is holding steady - and for good reason: The quality improves, the development duration is shortened, the costs decrease. At the same time, the motivation and satisfaction within the development team and the customer are increasing. How does it work?
The key to success is in the high degree of adaptability and the continuous performance improvement. Agile development deliberately foregoes laborious documentation and rigid processes and promotes the quick completion of functional software. Moreover, it is accepted that software development is complex and cannot be planned to the last detail in advance. Agile software development evolves and adapts continually to the customer's individual needs.
Since 2014, MAGNA Telemotive has joined the agile software development, and is now considered an expert in the field. A long list of agile projects has already been completed successfully. Different options are available for the implementation of agile methods. At MAGNA Telemotive, we are using Scrum and Kanban, the two most common applications.
Scrum is arguably the best known framework for agile development. Iterations (sprints) with a defined duration, often two weeks, replace the rigid waterfall model. All project phases proceed through an iteration, making it possible to deliver a usable increment of the software at the end of the sprint. Results can be visualized within a very short period of time. The development of the product is manageable and the focus is clear. Furthermore, obstacles are identified immediately, errors can be remedied and modifications can easily be incorporated into the development. The teams are largely operating self-organized. The continuous improvement is a main component of Scrum. Without rigid hierarchies and unnecessary processes, Scrum focuses on the creative and quick development of first-class software.
Kanban is a Japanese word and means "visual signal". The main feature of Kanban is that the progress of the project is visible for all involved parties at all times. A Kanban board with three or four columns exists for this purpose, which are used to sort the tasks depending on the degree of progress. The tasks themselves are described on cards, and only a limited number of tasks may be present in the column titled "in progress". No new tasks may be started before the others have been completed. This way, obstacles are detected immediately and can be remedied without delay. The workflow is accelerated, the project progress is visible and the most important tasks are completed first. With Kanban, the developers are also working in teams and largely self-organized. This enables every developer to maximize his or her full potential.
MAGNA Telemotive has more than ten years of experience with software development processes according to the OEM standard. In addition, it has five years of experience with agile software development in a regulated environment, in particular Automotive SPICE. For these kinds of projects, MAGNA Telemotive makes available certified Scrum masters and product owners. Furthermore, MAGNA Telemotive brings to the table many years of experience with the adaptation of methods and processes to a non-agile project environment.