Agile vs. Regulation: Three approaches to apply agile methodologies in times of increasing regulation

Agile vs. Regulation

Agile methods like Scrum, Unified Process, and RAD are increasingly becoming the tools of choice in R&D, especially when there is a high degree of uncertainty regarding viable solutions. This uncertainty is typically seen in complex projects where the technology is still unknown and the requirements are still notably far from an agreement. Contrary to that, the traditional waterfall approach is applied for projects where the problem domain is well understood and the solution is an incremental evolution based on the existing solution (see figure 1). 

Figure 1: Stacey Matrix classifying different project types


However, in regulated industries, product development has to fulfill certain industrial standards, regulations, or norms regardless of the project type, and these industrial regulations tend to get increasingly complex as well as
country specific in each industry. 

Common industry examples are the homologation standards in the automotive industry and the new European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) that applies changes to many r

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Author

Nathalie Holdry

Nathalie Holdry

Nathalie Holdry is a Senior Consultant at 3DSE Management Consultants GmbH in Munich. With more than four years of R&D consulting experience, she has supported companies in transforming and shaping their R&D to meet today’s requirements. Her core competencies lie in variant and complexity management, platform strategies, agile development and digitalization in R&D. She has acquired broad industry experience in automotive (commercial and agricultural vehicles), aerospace, manufacturing, and the railway sector.

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