How to Convince Executives that Agile is a Better Way

Product development teams are under constant pressure to be faster, more efficient, and focus intensely on customer value. Using traditional development processes, you may have tried all possible strategies to structure your projects to drive the desired results, but at some point, realize there must be a better way. One direction that most software teams have moved to make significant improvement in their ability to deliver better products, faster is by adopting agile development methods. Many hardware-based development teams also realize they can get these same advantages with agile but can find it challenging to convince their senior management to make the investment. 

It’s no secret that organizational change can be difficult and it’s difficult to fight years of momentum, but making the shift to agile methods can pay big dividends. However, agile implementation requires the full support of the company’s leadership and it can be quite a task to assure the C-level that agile is actually the better way. 

Here are some tips for how to convince your executive suite as to why your organization should prioritize making the agile transition.

Top Business Advantages of Agile Methodology

In this new era of work dominated by the speed of technological advancements, businesses must adopt a flexible approach to respond to market changes and incorporate new information efficiently. Adopting an agile framework delivers visibility, adaptability, accountability, and value from the start of the project. 

Recent research suggests that agile projects have a success rate of 64%, whereas the traditional waterfall approach has a 49% rate of success. Thus, agile projects are nearly 1.5X more successful when compared to waterfall. Furthermore, as agile offers enough room for continuous inspection and adaptation throughout the project cycle, the overall risk of every project is reduced considerably. Also, the teams can quickly spot potential obstacles before they escalate and tackle them with effective decision-making processes. 

Agile Challenges: Resistance to Change

Even with the clear advantages of agile methods, due to a lack of proper understanding of agile principles, it can be difficult to convince senior management to adopt agile project management, especially for teams developing hardware-based systems. There is a sense of lack of control if they perceive there is no schedule to bind projects, questions about how a design freezes, and other concerns with little understanding of how to apply agile for hardware teams. 

Building organizational agility needs the active involvement and support of the top leaders. Helping them understand not just the benefits of agile methods, but how projects can still be governed with the needs of management built-in can go a long way to gaining this support.

The MAHD Framework Can Help

The general agile approach adopted by most software teams does not serve manufactured products and portfolios, such as those that include mechanical components, electronics, and firmware elements. However, the Modified Agile for Hardware Development Framework by Auxilium truly understands hardware-based systems and offers agile methods and tools from concept to launch as well as considering the enabling software.

The MAHD Framework is designed around the core agile principles but offers a highly flexible product development process with modified tactics. The core foundation is based on:

  • Short development cycles
  • Adapting to new product-market insights
  • Real customer engagement
  • Massively enhanced cross-functional collaboration  

Here are the key benefits of the MAHD Framework that speak to top executive needs:

Predictability

Traditional product development processes often create a false sense of being “on schedule” as they follow a strict timeline and sequence. But it is the results, not the processes, that matter. Agile for Hardware offers more transparency, as it involves iterative execution and shows demonstrable progress.  

Product-market fit 

Teams often have to wait until late in the development process to validate if customers want the solution. This can lead to last-minute changes, and if the product must be changed, considerable time, effort, and resources get wasted. With agile, customer feedback is an integral part of the product development process. The customer is involved throughout the process and offers valuable insights for beneficial results. Therefore, any issue can be quickly addressed, and changes can be made per customers’ expectations. 

Efficiency 

Agile for Hardware drives efficiency through a healthy sense of urgency, focused priorities, and rapid decisions. Regular reviews of quality, progress, and costs allow the optimum use of resources. Also, the development efforts can be refocused, and higher-value features can be added without starting over. One of the core principles of agile is the consistent focus on improvement that helps create superior products. 

Are you interested in trying out the MAHD framework? Then, get in touch with us, and we will help you get started with agile through detailed resources and hands-on training. 

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