BMW Autonomous Driving
Development of the Autonomous Driving Features
- Transformation Consulting
From Automotive to Tech Company
BMW is, with its development of autonomous driving features, in the middle of a transformation into a tech company.
Valtech is an important partner in this transformation and has introduced Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) on their new campus in Unterschleißheim close to Munich. The goal is to cope with the complexity of this large software development. LeSS is helping companies to focus their organisation on customer value.
The automotive industry is disrupted by new experiences enabled by autonomous driving features of vehicles. Automotive OEMs are 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 the silicon valley - and may lose a lot of value creation in the new experience economy. Well-known automotive brands have therefore started to transform into tech companies. Already today, the majority of the people in the R&D work in software development. The software stack for autonomous driving is very complex and includes not only in-car development. This complexity can only be managed by agile software development.
Approached by the BMW division for autonomous driving in 2016, Valtech started with an initial management workshop in spring 2017. The workshop was explicitly designed for the senior management. Moving from the plan-driven development process to agile development requires a paradigm shift on all levels of the organization. BMW decided to change their organisation to run LeSS. Valtech was chosen as the partner to support this change.
In the Beginning ...
... our change management consultants worked with a team of the BMW leadership and employees to define the initial working model and the rollout strategy for LeSS. The first step was to create a first requirement area of about 50 people. An area consists of up to eight teams that work together in a LeSS organisation. All people, including all managers, were trained so they were able to take ownership of the new working model. Immediately we started to provide also technical coaching to impart technical excellence practices (e.g. clean code, TDD) in the new teams. High maturity of technical excellence is a critical success factor in large-scale agile software development. Organisational coaches supported the teams to learn and habitualize the new ceremonies and refinement techniques. After a couple of months, the area was running and the rollout continued to span more requirement areas.
Valtech has supported this rollout in 2018. Several new areas have been created. The teams create running software and bring it into the car every two weeks. As of spring 2019, Valtech is still supporting BMW in this transformation, mainly to grow their expertise in agile engineering practices. Valtech provides technical coaching and trainings.
Valtech is proud to continue the partnership with BMW to help them in their transformation. BMW's position in this field is very strong. They are eager to create an open platform to include other automotive brands. The LeSS working model made it possible that 80 agile teams work together to create running software and bring it into the car every Sprint. Furthermore BMW is able to restructure their requirement areas (orchestration of teams) according to customer value or actual priorities without any organizational change within a day. This advancement lead to strong partnerships. Fiat-Chrysler-Automobiles (FCA) and most recently Daimler has announced to join forces with BMW.