Top 8 People and Resources for Agile Hardware Development

ons aug 10, 2011 (Axcon)

Agile methods for hardware development is gaining momentum – both Scrum and other techniques are becoming more common.

So what are the best resources and people to learn more about agile hardware development from?

The question was recently raised by @larsthorup of Zealake, sparked by a question from his talk on Elephant Carpaccio (dividing big tasks into thin slices).

I am not sure I know the right answer, but here is a list of the top 8 resources I can think of right now.

Please help me expand the list with your best links and input.

#1: The AgileSOC blog by @nosnhojn and @bryanmorrispeng

Talks mostly about doing IC development with agile methods. IC design is the extreme, where you really really want to build your product (the chip) only once due to the extreme costs.

Niel does talks as well (was at Agile2011).

 #2: Bent Myllerup blog by @bentmyllerup

Development manager at TC Electronics (develops professional audio effect gear) and scrum coach. A nice person with some good hands on experience that far out-weights the negative emotions I get from the “certified scrum master pyramid scheme” he is also part of.

Bent does talks and such and does it well.

#3: Don Reinertsen

His thinking about second generation lean development, are not specific for any specific kind of development. Don has a long experience in all sorts of product development, and being an electrical engineer himself, knows about hardware. He has, through a different path arrived at the principles underlying agile development, and thus offers a thinking and a toolkit that more suitable for a range of different development situations

His books :

  • Flow – Second generation lean product development
  • Managing the design factory
  • Developing Products in Half the Time: New Rules, New Tools, 2nd Edition

Are all excellent references.

He is doing a class in Copenhagen in late November, 2011.

#4: Last Planner by Sven Bertelsen

For Integrated Product Development and managing the complexity of dependencies, the Last Planner Concept is a variety of agile/lean development that has been used in construction with great results for a number of years. This is not exactly hardware development, but you get the point that this can be used in other situations when building physical products.

#5: Random LinkedIn discussions – including this one in Danish:

and this one from the AgileSOC group on IC design:

#6: The Axcon/Bestbrains team with Anders Enggard and Bent Jensen

They have been offering coaching and help in implementing agile methods in integrated (hardware, software, mechanical etc.) product development since 2009. Anders have years of experience in hardware and chip development management for countless different projects and customers. Bent have been agile coach for years and is coaching teams around the globe – always eager to explore new ways to apply the agile ideas.

#7: Larry Maccherone @lmaccherone

A very relevant blog post from a mostly software centered guy on how to apply agile methods to hardware:

Top 10 questions asked, when using agile on hardware projects.

#8: This is where your input comes in

Please help me complete the list by providing your input below.

Q: What important resources for learning about agile hardware development am I missing here?


  1. neil johnson added on 10. august 2011

    thanks Rolf for collecting this list! I would definitely add James Grenning to this list of people. He’s seeing more embedded developers getting into agile and seems very keen to see agile trickle down into the hardware.

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