Expectations and Challenges from Scaling Agile in Mechatronics-Driven Companies – A Comparative Case Study

  • Christian Berger
  • Ulrik Eklund
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 212)


Agile software development is increasingly adopted by companies evolving and maintaining software products to support better planning and tracking the realization of user stories and features. While convincing success stories help to further spread the adoption of Agile, mechatronics-driven companies need guidance to implement Agile for non-software teams. In this comparative case study of three companies from the Nordic region, we systematically investigate expectations and challenges from scaling Agile in organizations dealing with mechatronics development by conducting on-site workshops and surveys. Our findings show that all companies have already successfully implemented Agile in their software teams. The expected main benefit of successfully scaling agile development is a faster time-to-market product development; however, the two main challenges are: (a) An inflexible test environment that inhibits fast feedback to changed or added features, and (b) the existing organizational structure including the company’s mind-set that needs to be opened-up for agile principles.


Scaling agile Agile Software development process Mechatronics Comparative case study 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    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 the Agile Software Development (2001)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Runeson, P., Höst, M.: Guidelines for conducting and reporting case study research in software engineering. Empirical Software Engineering 14(2), 131–164 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kettunen, P., Laanti, M.: Combining agile software projects and large-scale organizational agility. Software Process: Improvement and Practice 13(2), 183–193 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dybå, T., Dingsøyr, T.: Empirical studies of agile software development: A systematic review. Information and Software Technology 50(9–10), 833–859 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dingsøyr, T., Nerur, S., Balijepally, V., Moe, N.B.: A decade of agile methodologies: Towards explaining agile software development. Journal of Systems and Software 85(6), 1213–1221 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Abrahamsson, P., Warsta, J., Siponen, M., Ronkainen, J.: New directions on agile methods: a comparative analysis. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Engineering, pp. 244–254 (2003)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Holmström Olsson, H., Alahyari, H., Bosch, J.: Climbing the “stairway to heaven”. In: Proceeding of the Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications, Cesme, Izmir, Turkey (2012)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kerievsky, J.: Industrial XP: Making XP work in large organizations. Executive Report, vol. 6, no. 2, Cutter Consortium (2005)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    McMahon, P.: Extending agile methods: a distributed project and organizational improvement perspective. In: Systems and Software Technology Conference (2005)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lagerberg, L., Skude, T., Emanuelsson, P., Sandahl, K., Stahl, D.: The impact of agile principles and practices on large-scale software development projects: a multiple-case study of two projects at ericsson. In: ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, Baltimore, MD, USA, pp. 348–356 (2013)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Albuquerque, C.O., Antonino, P.O., Nakagawa, E.Y.: An investigation into agile methods in embedded systems development. In: Murgante, B., Gervasi, O., Misra, S., Nedjah, N., Rocha, A.M.A.C., Taniar, D., Apduhan, B.O. (eds.) ICCSA 2012, Part III. LNCS, vol. 7335, pp. 576–591. Springer, Heidelberg (2012) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Shen, M., Yang, W., Rong, G., Shao, D.: Applying agile methods to embedded software development: a systematic review. In: Proceedings of the International Workshop on Software Engineering for Embedded Systems, pp. 30–36. IEEE (2012)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Müller, M., Sazama, F., Debou, C., Dudzic, P., Abowd, P.: Survey - State of Practice “Agile in Automotive". Technical report, KUGLER MAAG CIE GmbH (2014)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kaisti, M., Mujunen, T., Mäkilä, T., Rantala, V., Lehtonen, T.: Agile principles in the embedded system development. In: Cantone, G., Marchesi, M. (eds.) XP 2014. LNBIP, vol. 179, pp. 16–31. Springer, Heidelberg (2014) Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Shull, F., Singer, J., Sjøberg, D.I.K. (eds.): Guide to Advanced Empirical Software Engineering. Springer London, London (2008) Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Goodman, L.A.: Snowball Sampling. The Annals of Mathematical Statistics 32(1), 148–170 (1961)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Fisher, R.A.: On the Interpretation of \(\chi ^2\) from Contingency Tables, and the Calculation of P. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society 85(1), 87 (1922)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    van Manen, H., van Vliet, H.: Organization-wide agile expansion requires an organization-wide agile mindset. In: Jedlitschka, A., Kuvaja, P., Kuhrmann, M., Männistö, T., Münch, J., Raatikainen, M. (eds.) PROFES 2014. LNCS, vol. 8892, pp. 48–62. Springer, Heidelberg (2014) Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Petersen, K., Wohlin, C.: A comparison of issues and advantages in agile and incremental development between state of the art and an industrial case. Journal of Systems and Software 82(9), 1479–1490 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    van Waardenburg, G., van Vliet, H.: When agile meets the enterprise. Information and Software Technology 55(12), 2154–2171 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ambler, S.W., Lines, M.: Disciplined Agile Delivery. 1 edn. IBM Press (2012)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceMalmö UniversityMalmöSweden

Personalised recommendations