Today’s consumers are always hungry for the latest new product and they want it now, or preferably yesterday—technology, entertainment, clothes, widgets, gadgets, food, you name it, now is good!
Consumer expectations are driving new ways of working and producing rapid innovation in many industries.
For companies like us here at Tait, with traditionally long product development cycles, being innovative in the way we approach product development is key to meeting the needs of our customers’ ever changing world.
In recent times we have embraced Agile principles across both software and hardware to speed up and improve our product development cycle.
The Agile principles ensure iterative and incremental development phases that force high performance or change.
As these principles require collaboration between and across teams, if a group doesn’t deliver at the end of each short cycle of work, then it is immediately apparent to everyone and forces action.
Direct customer feedback during development is a key driver for product direction and ensures that we are delivering what customers want.
We use the Agile framework of Scrum every day to organise and drive the hardware and software development with our teams, which is speeding up product development considerably.
We have also incorporated Lean manufacturing techniques into our factory processes with good results.
Learning from experience
In July this year, we invited Joe Justice and Tim Meyer from WIKISPEED to work at Tait on a week-long project to model the ultra-rapid development processes that they have pioneered with the development of a high performance car.
Joe and Tim have adopted the Agile principles for software development and applied them to manufacturing with amazing results.
What did we achieve in the week Joe Justice and Tim Meyer were here?
For a week, a dedicated team of software and hardware engineers were co-located to work together on a project with direct customer feedback on the product development and direction. The cross functional team, working together proved to be an invaluable experience that not only built up team morale, but also delivered great product results.
Stefan Sohnchen, Business Analyst Manager, says “The enthusiasm and team morale that Joe and Tim generated while they were onsite at Tait was amazing and we are getting them to come back to run another workshop and improve our understanding of these principles and keeping the momentum going”.
Interested to learn more about WIKISPEED and the transition to Agile?
You can watch the video below, there’s also a Forbes blog post to enjoy!