Shorter product life cycles, increasingly intense global competition and growing market demand force many businesses hand to expand their established development approaches by applying agile methods – with regard to not only software development, but also physical products.
Agile development is primarily founded in two principles: focusing on client needs and swift feedback from earlier prototype tests. This allows a substantial reduction in development time and cost and the development of disruptive innovation ensuring long-term strategic competitiveness.
Agile approaches for physical product development
Adapting agile approaches to the peculiar features of your own product development is not always straightforward. After all, popular agile methods such as Scrum or Design Thinking were originally not designed for the development of physical products. Dependency on a supplier network and wait times arising from development of costly prototypes further hamper implementation of short-cycle agile product development in practice. Speed of development, efficiency and level of innovation of products can however be improved substantially if agile tools can be adapted to suit the features of physical products. Development of potentially disruptive innovation, which entails great uncertainty rendering planning difficult, particularly benefits from these approaches.
From pilot testing of agile projects to company-wide introduction
The Fraunhofer IPT helps you select suitable projects for pilot testing and adapt agile approaches to your company’s needs. Our experienced »Agile Coaches« can support you in implementing approaches on-site to ensure successful introduction and acceptance among staff.
In collaboration with the INC Invention Center we also offer you to implement your development projects at the INCworX, a 1,000sqm creative space. Additionally, you will have access to some of the machinery at RWTH Aachen and neighboring institutes for fast prototyping, while benefiting from direct access to technology experts of a range of disciplines as well as a safe space for you and your staff to realize your most unconventional product ideas.
- Implementation of agile development projects on-site at your company or in the Invention Center’s INCworX
- Coaching and support for your staff during the selection phase and during introduction of agile methods
- Creativity workshops on deriving potentially disruptive product ideas (e.g., design thinking)
- Consulting for identifying and analyzing client demands (»fuzzy frontend«)
- Support during early-stage, iterative market testing of your products