Friday, February 14, 2020

Agile and automotive: McKinsey's take is wrong

McKinsey recently published an article on software in Automotive:

Here's what they say about it:

The McKinsey Center for Future Mobility just released the article "Mastering automotive software-launch excellence". In the article, we provide an overview of the escalating role of software in the growing launch problems, analyzing its root causes and providing two solution approaches following the launch excellence framework. We, then, dive further into how automotive players can crack the code on superior launch performance by reducing complexity and increasing robustness in embedded software development. More of our latest thinking on

My take:
Frankly, I think McKinsey missed it here and their analysis here is a bit dated, misses the major challenges, and will never make automotive software of the quality or experience people expect from their computer and phone.

There is a whole cultural and values based analysis of automotive delivery, throughout the ecosystem, that reminds me of many other industries pre-agile (15-20 years ago) and stands in the way of the necessary changes. They have a way of working around negotiation specs and delivery - and view software as a part or sub-system, with a whole organization behind this (finance, program, manufacturing, design, etc). Software isn't 'isolation' or treated as a part, that needs to be spec'd and finished, but an agile mindset of delivery. 

Until these barriers come down, software in cars will continue to be the worst part of the user experience, and the few that master it (I'd put Tesla in the lead) will delight their users and find that software is not 'just another part of the car' but one of the key elements of the mobility experience and delivery

Software has never done with half measures, and these recommendations are even less.

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