From new ideas to new applications in a snap
Agile working in the Digital Factory at Dürr
Two years ago, Dürr concentrated its expertise from the development areas of control technology and software in the Digital Factory in Bietigheim. Since then, specialists have been working together across divisions on new, smart applications. In order to make the development process as effective as possible, they are following a current trend: agile working. What makes this way of working so special and what are the advantages?
Ilya Zaytsev has been working at Dürr for more than a year now. The business informatics specialist with Russian roots works in software development as part of the Digital Factory. His job, however, is not programming. As the first Agile Coach in the Group, his task is to promote agility in the Digital Factory. And he seems like the right man for the job. Anyone who has so far associated agile work only with moving around sticky notes and using a number of agile buzzwords will learn something new from Ilya Zaytsev. He presents his understanding of agility in a reflected and very vivid manner: “You do not become agile overnight, nor do you ever reach anything like absolute agility. That is why I see agility as a journey, not a goal. It is about finding the right direction as early as possible.”
Development work in a fast-moving environment
Why is this especially important in the Digital Factory? “Due to the fast pace of the digital world,” is Ilya Zaytsev's answer. In order to be successful in the marketplace, you have to move quickly from new ideas to new applications and continuously take into account advancing technologies. It does not usually make sense to plan the development of new software precisely from start to finish in advance. “Then you end up with a product that nobody needs anymore,” the Agile Coach puts it in a nutshell.
For this reason, agile development work is carried out iteratively and in small steps, so-called sprints, by repeatedly obtaining customer feedback and directly taking changing requirements into account. In this way, Digital Factory employees ensure that they can react quickly to changes. It also gives them the freedom to test new things. Ultimately, it is of course primarily the customers who benefit from agile development work. They quickly receive innovative and smart solutions that meet their needs even under changing conditions or newly defined requirements.
Our development work is focused on customer needs. We have the ability to respond fast when the requirements change.
Ilya Zaytsev, Agile Coach
Simple rules and defined roles
In the Digital Factory, colleagues work according to one of the best-known agile methods: Scrum. The central idea is that a cross-functional team achieves the best results through self-organization and autonomy. Simple rules and clear roles frame the collaboration and the development process. An essential part of the agile method is, among other things, the so-called Daily Scrum, a daily, maximum 15-minute coordination meeting within the entire team. In this way, every team member always stays up to date.
A job with an exciting mix
How does Ilya Zaytsev accompany the journey from a conventional to an agile organization? As an Agile Coach, he teaches his colleagues theoretical basics and best practice knowledge about agility. He also assists them when they have questions. In addition, he takes on the role of Scrum Master in individual teams. This enables him to facilitate the implementation of agile working methods and support the team in the best possible way.
“It is often a matter of experimenting. Together, we consider which methods are appropriate and where things could be done even better,” comments Ilya Zaytsev. The fact that he is only indirectly involved in the development of the digital products does not bother the IT expert. “Instead of programming, people and communication are in the focus of my work; at the same time there are still points of contact with technology and software engineering. This is an exciting mix.”