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Agile SPICE™ is the bridge to Automotive SPICE™

Aglie SPICE(tm)

Agile SPICE™ is the bridge to Automotive SPICE™

In January 2020, Toyota is recalling 3.4 million cars back to the repair shops because of a possible malfunction in the on-board electronics. There is no need to explain the costs associated with such a recall among experts. The statistics for recall actions show upwards which goes along with the increasing complexity of mechatronic systems.


With megatrends such as e-mobility and driver assistance systems, functional safety (ISO 26262) and cybersecurity are playing an increasingly important role. Anyone who wants to play a leading role in the future will not only have to build comfortable and efficient cars but will also have to stand out from the competition through innovative and safe concepts in ever shorter cycles.

Today, almost every vehicle component contains software in one form or another. While software updates in an air conditioning system are probably not as frequent, in vehicle navigation systems it is impossible to imagine life without an update of the map material and the current traffic situation.

Managing the risk

The risk of software errors is minimized in SPICE (System/Software Process Improvement and Capability dEtermination) through good planning, systematic procedures and comprehensive testing. Problems are detected and eliminated at an early stage. Traceability throughout the entire V-model allows for progress transparency, which also allows for complex developments.

The degree of maturity depends closely on well thought through processes that are accepted by the team. While often hardware-driven development departments still use the waterfall model, APPs and cloud systems have been developed agile for quite some time.

Does the Agile Manifesto stand in conflict with SPICE?

In the Agile Manifesto four basic values were laid down:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Working software over comprehensive documentation

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Responding to change over following a plan


That is, while there is value in the items on

the right, we value the items on the left more.

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

A team or team of teams, in which the individuals know their tasks and are well trained to carry them out, minimizes risk not only in intelligent processes, but especially through cooperation and team spirit. It is therefore possible to react to change because solutions are created in short and effective meetings.

The other extreme would be to fight only sources of fire, like the fire brigade, and systematic progress and efficiency would lose out.

What is Agile SPICE?

Agile SPICE is a bridge to Automotive SPICE. The strengths of agile development teams should be incorporated into the projects evaluated according to ASPICE criteria. Agile and ASPICE want the same thing: efficient development of good 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. In Agile SPICE, process attributes are now redefined to include agility in team orientation, flexible reaction to change and cooperation with the customer.

As a concrete example, AGL.1 Work Management builds the bridge to MAN.3. In ALG.1, agile concepts are taken up and the base practices are described according to agile management methods. Agile practices in ALG.1 are mapped to practices known from MAN.3. Thus, projects that are evaluated with Agile SPICE base practices in ASPICE assessments become comparable and transparent.

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

AGL.1 Work Management

The purpose of Agile Work Management is to collaboratively manage the work of a team (of teams) to develop iteratively within work boundaries, vision and strategic themes to generate business and customer value.

BP1         Identify Demand and Work Boundaries.
BP2         Build Team
BP3         Define Work Approach

The Agile SPICE Guide contains the definitions of AGL.1 in the pilot phase.

Download Agile SPICE™ eBook now

Knüvener Mackert is actively contributing to the new intacs™ standard Agile SPICE™ and has acquired competence in agile software development in the ASPICE area.

Come and talk to us on how we can support your team in the introduction of agile methods. Maybe you know a lot about Agile software development and are aiming for a higher ASPICE competence level.

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