Agile product development has reached an inflection point. Already the dominant method of creating and releasing software, now more and more hardware manufacturers are debating Agile philosophy for their workflows, and still many more have likely adopted Agile principles without realizing it.

Yet for all the progress, numerous hesitations remain. For many, developing hardware like software sounds too good to be true. Yet these manufacturers should take note, there already exist numerous reasons to care about and embrace Agile product development.

In this blog, we will focus on four key reasons why manufacturers should embrace Agile product development. Keep in mind, these are not the only four reasons to adopt Agile design philosophy, merely highlighted excerpts, which include:

  1. To enhance their distributed work collaboration capabilities
  2. To attract and retain the best talent
  3. To increase internal transparency, thus reducing the risks of product development
  4. Most importantly, manufacturers should embrace Agile product development because they cannot assume their direct competition will not

Before we further explore these insights, let’s first lay some groundwork. Just what is Agile product development and how did it gain so much in popularity?

The Principles of Agile at a Glance

Agile has been gaining prominence for decades but was first truly compiled and understood in 2001, when 17 software developers met to discuss improving development strategies. That is where the Agile Manifesto was written, a comprehensive document that outlines 12 key principles and four core values of Agile product development. At inception, it was only intended for software.