Beyond Scrum – Agility is more than a project accelerator.

If you like buzzword-bashing, using words like “Scrum” or “Agile” right now is a good way to start. And with all the hype, the criticism grows louder – which in turn is usually a good indicator that there is something real about that hype. So let’s get this out of the way: in an increasingly complex automotive sector (digital or not), it is not the question IF one needs to become Agile, but HOW.

At, we are huge supporters of Scrum in Automotive. We don’t think of failing as failing, but an iterative process of (idea-) validation and experimentation – or in the words of Scrum: inspect and adapt. This is even more important when using Scrum beyond software development. However, we understand that there is so much more to working Agile, than simply applying a framework – such as Scrum. We combine a user-centric approach with a lightweight framework and a fail-fast attitude to help us master future mobility’s highly complex challenges.

It is super important to recognize that agility goes beyond Scrum and is more than an accelerator to your project or development team. Working Agile means to holistically change the approach of how to solve problems from ideation to development – not just in that one project, but as an entire organization. For us at, Agile in Automotive is about living the values and principles first – a sustainable culture change is the necessary foundation to successfully combine multiple aspects of Agile, such as Design Thinking, Scrum and DevOps. That means Agile is more about embracing change than about certain routines, rules, or events such as a Sprint Planning

When looking at Scrum, it is important for us to keep it as lightweight as possible by utilizing management practices that promote simplicity. For example: organizing work in a single set of priorities in the backlog, or constraining the work-in-progress based on our team’s velocity. In addition, our most imoprtant value is openness, because it is needed to enable empirical actions, which in turn allow us to try out new techniques and ways of thinking in order to gain new insights. Openness also means transparent handling of information (requirements, obstacles, progress). This is how we ensure continuous improvement whenever possible. When looking beyond Scrum, the great minds behind Atlassian ( inspired us to try a two-owner-approach, introducing a Service Owner next to the well-know Product Owner. While our Product Owner translates user-needs into new features and user stories, the Service Owner is responsible for identifying technical, non-functional needs like performance, reliability, or security. Both then need to align with each other and prioritize functional and non-functional user stories.

If you feel a need for your team to look beyond Scrum, use the built-in improvement mechanisms of working Agile, such as a Retrospective to inspect and adapt towards DevOps, include Design Sprints and other good or emerging practices.

For all the hype around working Agile, we are absolutely convinced that it is not just a cosmetic fix, but a continuous transformational process that companies need to invest resources and above all: show Patience.