Agile Software Development of Embedded Systems (AGILE)

ITEA-AGILE: Software development made more efficient

Application of agile processes speeds up embedded software development and boosts quality


The AGILE project provided compelling industrial proof that significant cost savings and quality improvements are possible when agile processes are applied. In extensive trials with more than 1,800 engineers and managers in 68 industrial pilot projects, AGILE demonstrated up to 70% reductions in total R&D lead time and costs. This offers European industry a significant opportunity.

Changing product requirements, rapidly evolving technologies and time-to-market constraints are common challenges in embedded software development, yet the sheer volume of software continues to grow rapidly. Current engineering methods make it necessary to freeze requirements, architectures and schedules in the R&D phase to achieve stability. This is paradoxical since embedded software markets are highly volatile and often take unexpected turns. Clearly, new approaches are needed that enable incorporation of innovations and last-minute changes throughout the product development phase.

Agile software processes do precisely that. They are change-driven, place emphasis on working software and allow for increased stakeholder nteraction to minimise communications problems. However, at the start of the project, little was known about adapting agile processes to complex systems engineering projects. There have been many attempts to combine agile and embedded software development in the AGILE project. The AGILE team studied the use of agile methods in embedded software development in 68 industrial trials involving more than 1,800 engineers in 17 European companies over a 2.5-year period.

A more detailed description of the ITEA-SPICES project can be found on the AGILE ITEA Project Results Sheet.

 

More information about the project can be found at http://www.agile-itea.org