Agile Hardware Development

The V cycle has its limits due to production constraints which are integrated in the beginning, requiring, at a certain level, to formalise and fix the interfaces. Once production is launched, product modifications are basically impossible. Agile development makes it possible to address these issues.

The principle of agile hardware development:  Contrary to the classic V cycle, agile development is centred on functional need, while emphasising adaptation. A preliminary technical study ahead of the design stage—and not during it—will allow for feasibility studies and cost definitions and will lead to a numerical response with a technical proposition, without requiring technical or detailed functional specifications.

Agile development is thus especially useful for non-critical products, prototypes, test benches, demonstrators and mechanical integration.

The two major stages in the agile hardware development cycle are needs analysis and product co-definition.

Analysis is a fundamental step which enables basing the framework of the project directly on your functional need. This need will not be defined in a statement of work or specifications, which would cause interest to be lost in this method, but through you simply expressing your need. We will then submit ideas to you while you bring us any additional details, in order to co-define the solution to adopt.

Co-definition is a key element for capturing the integral nature of your need: who other than you knows your field and your applications the best? Such an issue is worth multiple solutions. As a result, we will search for the solution that will best fit your budget thanks to our “design to cost” approach.

The analysis stage is closed when you accept our detailed financial proposal which presents, among other things, the preliminary architecture of the solution. This is then followed by the development phase.

Development is based on two fundamental ideas:

-         The definition of “done”:  This definition will be based on the product’s functionalities, and not on its performances. Thus, since no specification document has been written, we will create an acceptance testing document which defines the functionalities that you desire. This document will be the only one necessary in the majority of projects because it lists all the system functionalities.  It acts as a functional acceptance test, in which all idea of performance is omitted. The product must thus pass all functional tests successfully in order to be delivered.

-         The limited time method: Each task is allocated a certain amount of days and achieving each function has a limited time period. Indeed, in a V cycle organisation, it would be possible to spend months on one feature without being able to consider it completed and without being able to attain the expected performances. In agile development, only the functional state is taken into account. It is therefore not a performance measure except if this is part of your needs and if it has been planned for.

agile hardware

 

In order to be capable of having an Agile approach, it is necessary to master all the major fields of our clients, such as software (from microcontrollers to PC development and human-machine interfaces for tests) and hardware (digital, analog, radio frequency). Design and routing are done internally in order to have the necessary modularity to grasp your issues with flexibility. We systematically design 3D solutions and can create industrial files on demand.

The W Cycle or Development of a finished product in 2 runs

The idea of a W cycle can be used on the biggest projects and makes it possible to develop a prototype in two runs with its test tools. This agile method makes it possible to limit developments, to make gains rapidly and effectively and to have experience feedback on the product. Indeed, the prototype allows us to know which performances can be expected for the final product and to identify functional constraints. Thus, you will be able to give relevant specifications to your providers and handle development costs more easily.

 

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