Agile SPICE as a bridge to Automotive SPICE

Last year, Toyota recalled 3.4 million cars due to a possible malfunction in the onboard electronics. The statistics for recalls are on the rise, which goes hand in hand with the increasing complexity of on-board systems.

Megatrend e-mobility and assistance systems
With megatrends such as e-mobility and driver assistance systems, functional safety (ISO 26262) and cybersecurity are playing an increasingly important role. Those who want to be at the forefront in the future must not only build comfortable and efficient cars, but must also distinguish themselves from the competition through innovative and safe concepts in ever shorter cycles.

Getting the risk under control
The risk of software errors is minimised in SPICE through good planning, a systematic approach and comprehensive testing. Problems are detected and eliminated at an early stage. Traceability in the entire V-model makes progress transparency possible, which also allows for complex developments.
The degree of maturity is closely related to well thought-out processes that are accepted by the team.
While the waterfall model is often still used in hardware-driven departments, APPs and cloud systems have been developed in an agile way for quite some time.

Does the Agile Manifesto contradict SPICE?
Four core values were laid down in the Agile Manifesto:

  • Individuals and interactions more than processes and tools.
  • Functioning software more than comprehensive documentation
  • Collaboration with the customer more than contract negotiation
  • Responding to change more than following a plan.

This means that although we find the values on the right important, we value the values on the left more highly.

Critics would say that the classical approaches to risk management are thrown overboard with the Agile Manifesto and give way to unpredictability. A second look, however, reveals that processes, planning and documentation are not dropped, but are supplemented with important core values.

A team or team of teams, in which the individuals know their tasks and are well trained to carry them out, the risk is minimised not only in intelligent processes, but above all through cooperation and team spirit. Change can be reacted to because solutions emerge in short and effective meetings.
The other extreme would be that, like the fire brigade, one only fights trouble spots and systematic progress and efficiency fall by the wayside.

So what is Agile SPICE?
Agile SPICE is a bridge to Automotive SPICE. The strengths of agile development teams are to be incorporated into projects assessed according to ASPICE criteria. Agile and ASPICE want the same thing: efficient development of good vehicle software.

While in Agile terms such as Epic, User Story, Backlog, Sprint are defined and lived, in Automotive SPICE project plan, defined milestones, quality management, configuration management etc. are in the foreground. Agile SPICE now redefines process attributes that incorporate agility in team orientation, flexible reaction to change and cooperation with the customer.

Agile SPICE thus stands for the synergy of agile methods with decades of experience in Automotive SPICE.

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