Transforming Wheels to Code
How Valtech assisted BMW in transitioning from automotive manufacturer to tech giant
- Enterprise Transformation
- Experience Elevation
- Data Evolution
Get to Know BMW
Established more than a century ago, BMW is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of luxury vehicles and mobility solutions, with 31 production facilities in 15 countries and a global sales network.
What BMW Needed
By making significant strides in autonomous driving technology and automotive innovation, BMW recognized the need to pivot from traditional manufacturing to software development. To facilitate this transformation, BMW partnered with Valtech which championed the implementation of the Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) methodology at its new Unterschleißheim campus in Munich, Germany. This approach prioritized customer value and aligned with BMW's commitment to excellence and innovation in managing large-scale software development.
The automotive industry is being disrupted by new experiences enabled by autonomous driving features of vehicles. Automotive OEMs are being challenged by tech companies that are eager to launch digital services. The manufacturing of vehicles is likely to become a commodity, OEMs may be degraded to hardware manufacturers for software companies from Silicon Valley - and may lose a lot of creative value in the new experience economy. Well-known automotive brands have therefore started to transform into tech companies. Today, many people in R&D have already started working in software development. Already today, the majority of the people in R&D work in software development. The software stack for autonomous driving is very complex and includes in-car development and many more features. This complexity can only be managed by agile software development.
Transforming BMW's Autonomous Driving Department
In 2016, BMW reached out to Valtech to enhance its autonomous driving division. By spring 2017, we led a workshop, steering senior management toward shifting from a planned to an agile development process, necessitating an organizational paradigm shift. That’s why BMW selected Valtech as its transformative partner and opted for the LeSS framework. Our task was to help traditional mechanical engineering teams embrace a software mindset, accelerate iterations such as POCs and pilots and facilitate a large-scale transformation by promoting agile and software practices.
Driving Agile Transformation with the LeSS Framework
Our change management experts collaborated with BMW's leadership and employees to shape the LeSS framework rollout. We began by creating a pilot group of 50 individuals in a requirement area, consisting of up to eight teams. Through comprehensive training, including managers, everyone embraced the new model. We also provided technical coaching to instill excellent practices like clean code and TDD, crucial for successful large-scale agile software development.
Furthermore, organizational coaches assisted teams in adopting new ceremonies and techniques. After a few months, the pilot area was operational, leading to further expansion. Valtech supported the initial rollout in 2018, spawning more areas. Teams delivered software biweekly, with Valtech continuing to enhance BMW's agile engineering expertise into 2019. This collaboration embodies the journey towards a high-performance agile organization.
Nurturing Excellence at BMW
Our commitment extended to BMW's IT department, as we designed and delivered an extensive training program, known as back2code.campus, encompassing critical skills ranging from coding prowess to comprehensive code review. To further bolster BMW's endeavors in the field of autonomous driving, we extended our coaching and training services, particularly within the context of LeSS. We were proud to assist BMW in its certification efforts, and we remain committed to supporting its in-house initiatives as needed.
Valtech has been instrumental in successfully implementing new practices and processes by deploying multiple trainers at BMW. Beyond onboarding, Valtech collaborated with various departments, fostering transformative approaches. The ongoing partnership between Valtech and BMW has proven so impactful that Valtech has been called upon to assist other teams in similar transitions, revolutionizing the brand's operations and significantly strengthening its competitive advantage.