How Agile is Solving Today’s Biggest Challenges for Automakers [#Agile #AgileSolutions #AgileAutomakers]


Automakers need to accelerate speed to market and become much more responsive to requirements of the customers—especially with regard to digital features and services.

A handful of automakers are already well on their way toward mastering new, Agile ways of working—and the results speak for themselves.

At its core, Agile comprises a set of principles that guide an entire way of working. Agile does not constitute a dogmatic prescription of specific structures and rituals. As the automotive industry becomes increasingly driven by innovation and software, Agile delivers many advantages, including the following:

Better Products:
With consumer expectations at an all-time high, automakers must understand what guides purchasing decisions of buyers and respond rapidly. Agile teams continuously engage with customers and recognize changing market forces as they emerge.

Reduced Risk:
With so much innovation happening in vehicle design, automakers cannot afford to get bogged down with late-stage changes and rework. Cross-functional, dedicated teams have full visibility into products and processes to minimize miscommunication and delays.

Accelerated Speed to Market:
Automakers need to find ways to keep up the freshness of their products. Traditional, hardware-driven product cycles must be managed in conjunction with software-driven innovation so that new functions and new services can be updated over any given lifetime of a vehicle.

Cost Savings:
The shift toward EVs and autonomous driving requires a massive investment for automakers—and reducing costs is a priority. Agile ways of working allow teams to increase efficiency, boost productivity, and do more with less.


Deliver like a software company:
The technology-driven revolution in mobility is changing the rules—and automakers need to be much more nimble, customer focused, and innovative. In short, they must learn to behave more like a software company.

Satisfy customers through continuous innovation:
Consumers increasingly view their vehicles as smartphones on wheels rather than as utilitarian modes of transportation—and expectations for freshness have skyrocketed. Customers want more frequent product releases, more advanced autonomous features, and monthly (or even weekly) real-time, over-the-air software updates. With customers anticipating new functionality on a continuous basis, automakers must reorganize to meet this demand.

Cut costs—in just one month:
A global automaker in the EU used Agile to generate significant savings in a very short period of time: approximately one month.


Set the ambition:
Evaluate the current maturity level of the company, identify specific business challenges, and analyze the root causes of significant inefficiencies. With this knowledge in hand, senior leaders can effectively align on the objectives that can be achieved by becoming more agile.

Secure buy-in from top management:
Unwavering commitment by senior executives is essential. Senior leaders play a top-down role in defining the new organizational structure, but they also need to enable people and catalyze change from the bottom up.

Big bang or wave by wave:

“Big bang” approach:
With the “big bang” approach, leaders redesign the organizational structure and the operating model up front and pursue an Agile transformation simultaneously. This approach is best for mature, Aagile organizations with a reasonably high risk tolerance.

Pilot-led—or wave by wave—approach:
For companies with less Agile experience and less appetite for risk, the pilot-led—or wave by wave—approach is preferable because quick wins can be achieved within individual units, thus building momentum for a larger Agile transformation.

An Agile Game Plan for Automakers:

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