Mark A. Wilson
It seems that systems engineers are continually being assaulted by the word “agility.” Our software engineering colleagues use “agile methods” to develop software intensive systems, and there is no shortage of advocates exhorting us to apply agile methods to systems of all types in order to build “agile systems” that can easily and rapidly adapt to continually changing requirements. Is “agility” merely a buzzword that will soon be replaced by another engineering or management trend promising better success with less effort?
The concepts of agile development for software-intensive systems have been discussed at length for over a decade. Some writers contend that the underlying fundamentals of agile methods are significantly different from those of traditional, requirements-driven development methods. We believe there are agile development best practices that also have value in hardware-intensive projects, especially with today’s improved additive manufacturing techniques. This presentation will suggest a broad working definition of agile development and describe some best practices of “Agile Systems Engineering” across a spectrum of development situations.