Scaling agile practices on different time scopes for complex problem solving

DS 91: Proceedings of NordDesign 2018, Linköping, Sweden, 14th - 17th August 2018

Year: 2018
Editor: Ekströmer, Philip; Schütte, Simon and Ölvander, Johan
Author: Breitschuh, Jan; Albers, Albert; Seyb, Patrick; Hohler, Sophie; Benz, Jonathan; Reiß, Nicolas; Bursac, Nikola
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
ISBN: 978-91-7685-185-2


There can be no innovation without time and space for ideation and courage to endeavor new terrain. Approaching this terrain in a structured way whilst managing the risks linked to the uncertainty of the novel is a major advantage of agile process models such as Scrum. On the other hand, most companies in mechatronic product development organize their activities in Stage-Gate-Processes for good reasons. This paper thus aims at combining the benefits of traditional and agile process models. The core assumption is, that even in overall complex projects, only a certain amount of tasks really benefits from agile practices. In order to identify these project elements, a differentiated view on project complexity is necessary. This differentiation is then integrated into a tool for analyzing task entropy as a measure of unknowingness and thus potential for agile approaches. These agile approaches are considered to be timebound episodes of concentrated problem solving with restricted resources. Thus, theories about human problem solving and multitasking serve as a fundament for the conceptualization of short-term agile workshops. By restricting the duration of these workshops to two to five days, the barrier of practicing agile methods in arbitrary process landscapes is significantly lowered. The question arising is how proven agile practices can be scaled to these small time scopes while retaining the valuable, structuring elements such as fixed sprints and regular meetings. On the fundament of ASD –Agile Systems Design, this paper presents guidelines for implementation of agile workshops on smaller time scopes based on three pillars: 1) using a structured agile process, 2) using methods and tools in an agile way and 3) providing an agile moderator. Subsequently, an exemplary implementation of the concept is shown. This paper thus contributes to actually creating innovation by describing a systematic way to generate results whilst containing risks under conditions of limited resources.

Keywords: ASD –Agile Systems Design, Scrum, agile moderation, Entropy Compass, problem-solving, ASD-FIT


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