Applying Agile Development in Mass-Produced Embedded Systems

  • Ulrik Eklund
  • Jan Bosch
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 111)


The paper presents a method to manage critical interactions to manage when introducing agile software development in mass-produced embedded systems. The method consists of a context model together with a set of measures, and is validated by empirical evidence from three cases.

From an industrial perspective, the paper provides a prescription on how to implement agile software development outside the typical domains for agile, in this case for mass-produced products with embedded software governed by a stage-gate process for mechanics and hardware.

From a research perspective, the paper provides an analysis of the software development cycle for products with embedded software, especially where product development as a whole is driven by a plan-driven process. The main contribution is a method for introducing agile in areas where by necessity the full R&D process cannot be agile.


embedded systems agile software development case study 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Goodman, D., Elbaz, M.: “It’s not the pants, it’s the people in the pants” learnings from the gap agile transformation - what worked, how we did it, and what still puzzles us. In: Proceedings of the Agile Conference, pp. 112–115. IEEE (2008)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chung, M., Drummond, B.: Agile at Yahoo! from the trenches. In: Proceedings of the Agile Conference, pp. 113–118. IEEE (2009)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Salo, O., Abrahamsson, P.: Agile methods in european embedded software development organisations: A survey on the actual use and usefulness of extreme programming and scrum. IET Software 2(1), 58–64 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Walsham, G.: Interpretive case studies in IS research: nature and method. European Journal of Information Systems 4, 74–81 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brannick, T., Coghlan, D.: In defense of being “Native”, the case for insider academic research. Organizational Research Methods 10(1), 59–74 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Robson, C.: Real World Research: A Resource for Social Scientists and Practitioner-Researchers, 2nd edn. Blackwell (2002)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mintzberg, H.: Developing theory about the development of theory. In: Great Minds in Management: The Process of Theory Development. Oxford Handbook of Management Theory, pp. 355–372. Oxford University Press (2005)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Beck, K.: Extreme Programming: A Humanistic Discipline of Software Development. In: Astesiano, E. (ed.) ETAPS/FASE 1998. LNCS, vol. 1382, pp. 1–6. Springer, Heidelberg (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Schwaber, K.: Scrum development process. In: Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Object Oriented Programming Systems, Languages, and Applications, pp. 117–134 (1995)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Beck, K., Beedle, M., van Bennekum, A., Cockburn, A., Cunningham, W., Fowler, M., Grenning, J., Highsmith, J., Hunt, A., Jeffries, R., Kern, J., Marick, B., Martin, R.C., Mellor, S., Schwaber, K., Sutherland, J., Thomas, D.: Manifesto for agile software development (2001)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kniberg, H.: Scrum and XP from the Trenches. (2007)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    McCaffery, F., Pikkarainen, M., Richardson, I.: Ahaa –agile, hybrid assessment method for automotive, safety critical smes. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Engineering, pp. 551–560. IEEE (2008)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Taxén, L. (ed.): The system anatomy - Enabling agile project management, 1st edn. Studentlitteratur (2011)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fürst, S., Mössinger, J., Bunzel, S., Weber, T., Kirschke-Biller, F., Heitkämper, P., Kinkelin, G., Nishikawa, K., Lange, K.: AUTOSAR - a worldwide standard is on the road. In: International VDI Congress Electronic Systems for Vehicles, Baden-Baden, Germany (2009)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ebert, C., Jones, C.: Embedded software: Facts, figures, and future. Computer 42(4), 42–52 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ronkainen, J., Abrahamsson, P.: Software Development Under Stringent Hardware Constraints: Do Agile Methods Have A Chance? In: Marchesi, M., Succi, G. (eds.) XP 2003. LNCS, vol. 2675, pp. 73–79. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Manhart, P., Schneider, K.: Breaking the ice for agile development of embedded software: An industry experience report. In: Proceedings of International Conference on Software Engineering, pp. 378–386. IEEE, Washington, DC (2004)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Boehm, B., Turner, R.: Management challenges to implementing agile processes in traditional development organizations. IEEE Software 22(5), 30–39 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Kruchten, P.: Contextualizing agile software development. Journal of Software Maintenance and Evolution: Research and Practice (2011)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Turk, D., France, R., Rumpe, B.: Limitations of agile software processes. Systems Engineering 43, 43–46 (2002)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Laanti, M.: Implementing program model with agile principles in a large software development organization. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Software and Applications, pp. 1383–1391. IEEE, Turku (2008)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Savolainen, J., Kuusela, J., Vilavaara, A.: Transition to agile development - rediscovery of important requirements engineering practices. In: Proceedings of the Requirements Engineering Conference, pp. 289–294. IEEE (2010)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrik Eklund
    • 1
  • Jan Bosch
    • 1
  1. 1.Software Engineering Division, Dept. of Computer Science & EngineeringChalmers University of TechnologyGöteborgSweden

Personalised recommendations