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Can Mechanical Engineers Adopt Agile Product Development?

Should mechanical engineering companies adopt an agile-oriented paired design approach?

That question has been raised a lot lately and it’s a pertinent one, as agile has gained an enormous amount of popularity in the world of software development over the last 12 years.

At first blush, the method appears a natural for product design. It’s used for complex projects that have ever-changing needs and requirements, which can’t be fully predicted or estimated at the project’s beginning.

At second blush, the method’s potential move from software development to product design raises some questions. The agile approach calls for teamwork, collaboration, and adaptation. It breaks tasks into small increments that don’t call for long-term planning. Iterations are short, and cross-functional teams work on all parts of the task, including planning, analysis, and design.

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