When Agile Gets Physical: How to Use Agile Principles to Accelerate Hardware Development

When Agile Gets Physical: How to Use Agile Principles to Accelerate Hardware Development

by Katherine Radeka, Kathy Iberle
When Agile Gets Physical: How to Use Agile Principles to Accelerate Hardware Development

When Agile Gets Physical: How to Use Agile Principles to Accelerate Hardware Development

by Katherine Radeka, Kathy Iberle


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"When Agile Gets Physical distills the right principles, derives methods to apply them, and in doing so represents a major milestone in defining the best practice of hardware product development." -Andrew Flint, Product Development Director, IMPINJ

Why is it that so many hardware teams get stuck when using Agile? Why do they still endure long, slow loopbacks? Why do organizations waste valuable time and resources fixing problems in late development that could have been found earlier?

Software and hardware teams face separate problems at different stages. But some Agile Software experts suggest that the necessary solutions are often the same. We've seen too many implementations of Agile tools and practices that just don't translate to physical products.

The authors have personally had to untangle many physical product teams who used Agile in ways that slowed them down, caused rigidity and sacrificed the full potential of their outcome.

If you want to get the speed, flexibility and responsiveness of agile principles without force-fitting a method that was designed to solve a different set of problems, this book is for you.

When Agile Gets Physical reveals how you'll use the best parts of Agile to accelerate your time-to-market with proven methods, and:

  • Why the common problems hardware teams have experienced for decades can easily be avoided.
  • How you'll get a stronger product that beats your competition to market up to 50%+ faster by building a reusable library of resources every team member can understand.
  • What Agile Software advocates are getting wrong about physical product development and why abandoning agile principles isn't the answer.
  • How a simple reframing of important decisions improves efficiency, communication, and results without losing the "big picture view".

If you feel like progress is too slow, your teams probably feel the same way. The research in this book pinpoint why this is, what changes to make and how hundreds of international companies using our framework detected problems earlier to get better outcomes later.

Katherine and Kathy's combined experience in agile for physical product development will show the exact steps to take towards integrating your software and hardware teams more closely, and how to keep the benefits of agile without force-fitting the wrong methods or adapting them beyond recognition.

Once you get a closer look, you'll be wondering why you weren't using this method from the start.

What is Agile For Hardware?

Agile for hardware means the ability to be fast, flexible and responsive as a product moves from idea to launch. As you explore an idea for a product, you learn new things that change the conceptualization of the product.

While software engineers can easily make changes at any point in the process by writing new code, physical products are much harder to change once the team starts building prototypes.

For a hardware team to be fast, flexible and responsive, they need to be aware of the Last Responsible Moments to make their most important decisions. You'll learn how you can leverage this concept to preserve flexibility, even in areas that seem too rigid to do this effectively.

Who is this book for?

This book is for anyone working on physical product development. That includes but is not limited to:

  • Chief Technology Officers
  • VPs of Engineering, Product Development, Innovation or Research & Development
  • Product Development Project Leaders
  • System Architects and other Technical Leads
  • Scientists and Engineers
  • Or anyone responsible for teams creating physical products.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9798986038209
Publisher: Chesapeake Research Press
Publication date: 04/05/2022
Pages: 180
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.41(d)

About the Author

Katherine Radeka is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Rapid Learning Cycles Institute and supports a growing global community of Rapid Learning Cycles Certified® Professionals who are actively using the framework to get their best ideas to market faster.She has worked with companies on every continent except Antarctica, and in industries from aerospace to medical devices and pharmaceuticals to consumer electronics and alternative energy. In 2021, she launched the Accelerate Net Zero project to share her expertise with startups and early-stage innovation programs working on climate tech.In 2015, Katherine published the 1st edition of The Shortest Distance Between You and Your New Product. In 2012, she published the Shingo Research Award winning book The Mastery of Innovation, based upon her research into Lean methods for product development.Katherine has climbed seven of the tallest peaks in the Cascade Mountains and spent ten days alone on the Pacific Crest Trail - until an encounter with a bear convinced her that she needed a change in strategic direction.

Kathy Iberle has been working in Lean and Agile product development for over twenty years, using cutting-edge methods to help strengthen development and make mixed hardware/software projects run more smoothly. She's worked with many types of products - printers, medical instruments, electronic instruments, and website apps - and in a variety of roles from developer to quality assurance expert to agile adoption leader. Since 1998, Kathy has been developing professional training courses - first for her fellow engineers at HP and later for a wider audience as a consultant. Recently she began authoring courses for Rapid Learning Cycles Certified® Professionals seeking the advanced Rapid Learning Cycles certification that will give them the skills to adapt the Rapid Learning Cycles framework for their organizations and train others how to use it.Kathy was an early collaboration partner whose work directly contributed to the development of the Rapid Learning Cycles framework as we know it today. She was the first Rapid Learning Cycles Certified® Advisor fully licensed to share the Rapid Learning Cycles framework with others, and she is still the person Katherine calls on first to help with RLCI's toughest client challenges.
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