Agile Beyond Teams and Feedback Beyond Software in Automotive Systems
Journal article, 2022

In order to increase the ability to build complex, software-intensive systems, as well as to decrease time-to-market for new functionality, automotive companies aim to scale agile methods beyond individual teams. This is challenging, given the specifics of automotive systems that are often safety-critical and consist of software, hardware, and mechanical components. In this article, we investigate the concrete reasons for scaling agility beyond teams, the strategies that support such scaling, and the foreseeable implications that such a drastic organizational change will entail. The investigation is based on a qualitative case study, with data from 20 semistructured interviews with managers and technical experts at two automotive companies. At the core of our findings are observations about establishing an agile vehicle-level feedback loop beyond individual teams. First, we find that automotive original equipment manufacturers aim to decrease the lead time of development. Second, we also identify seven strategies that aim to enable scaled-agile beyond teams. Finally, we extract six foreseeable implications and side effects of scaling agile beyond teams in automotive. By charting the landscape of expected benefits, strategies, and implications of scaling agile beyond teams in automotive, we enable further research and process improvements.

Computer architecture

Feedback loop

organizing for fast cycle time



software process management

Automotive engineering



Agile methods

systems engineering


Magnus Ågren

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Interaction Design and Software Engineering

Rogardt Heldal

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Software Engineering (Chalmers)

Eric Knauss

University of Gothenburg

Patrizio Pelliccione

Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI)

University of Gothenburg

IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management

0018-9391 (ISSN) 1558-0040 (eISSN)

Vol. 69 6 3459-3475

Subject Categories

Software Engineering

Embedded Systems

Computer Systems



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