Implementation of agile methods in small and medium sized enterprises to improve development processes


Agile development, agile methods, agile processes, development processes, change management


Industries currently experience trends such as growing individualization as well as digitalization, affecting their development processes. Product designs need to be adapted to customer wishes more heavily than ever before while product lifecycles are shortening increasingly. These challenges lead to the necessity of a more situation-specific and thus more agile development. Generally, the corresponding methods originate in software development and are to be transferred into further areas of the development processes. Especially during the readjustment or introduction period of agile development, challenges arise. Causes for these challenges can be a lack of experience, inconsistencies within the agile processes, external pressure to adhere to classical models, or the conformity to standards and rules (, 2016). These challenges indicate, that a targeted adaption and application of agile methods is required.


The objective of the project is to support small- to medium-sized enterprises in metal and electrical industries to apply agile methods successfully and competitively. Thereby the aforementioned benefits should be realized and the related challenges managed. Accordingly, the following sub-goals are pursued:

  • An agile method box: This includes brief descriptions of different agile methods, highlighting benefits and disadvantages, application situation and the specific objectives of the method.
  • A Methodology for analyzing the company-specific development situation: The methodology enables the identification of the initial situation, boundary conditions and interfaces of the development processes of a specific organization as well as agile methods. Equally, company-specific potentials and challenges are detected.
  • A methodology for selecting, adapting and planning the application of agile methods: The methodology supports the targeted application and successful implementation of agile methods in industrial practice.


Within the scope of the project, opportunities for a targeted and beneficial application of agile methods are identified together with partners in industry. Thereby, interfaces between classical development processes and agile development are considered and agile methods are integrated to a beneficial degree. Consequently, the industry partners are supported in successfully introducing agile development within the scope of pilot projects. Moreover, bayme vbm members are provided with a guideline covering the introduction of agile methods that has been tested for industrial applicability and suitability within the project. The guideline ensures the transferability to different industrial sub-sectors, motivating and enabling further companies to introduce agile methods and benefit from their advantages. These advantages promote the development of more innovative and customer-oriented products and thus generate a large competitive advantage for companies. To increase these advantages for the target companies, potentials and challenges regarding agile development are identified with specific relevance for small- to medium-sized enterprises in metal and electrical industries.

Project Partners

Medium-sized industrial enterprises from Bayerische Metall- und Elektro-Arbeitsgeber

bayme vbm

Project Term

July 2017 to October 2019