Lessons learnt in the deployment of scrum in space hardware development projects

Alessandro Golkar, Simone Briatore, Nicola Garzaniti

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Scrum is an agile approach to engineering development that structures projects into rapid, adaptive iterations. While the method is well known in software its use in hardware development is not widely explored, let alone in the space engineering domain. The New Space industry started accelerating projects and development schedules. It is clear therefore that new schedule demands require new approaches to the development of space missions. At the same time, engineering teams need to learn what advantages could be gained in terms of schedule acceleration while avoiding pitfalls derived by the departure from classical development approaches. This paper describes the lessons learnt in observing from a scientific perspective the deployment of Scrum in a hardware development project. We describe the initial challenge undertaken by the hardware development. We discuss the approach we adopted to provide a scientific characterization of Scrum and the initial results we gained in investigating Agile development approaches. We underline the challenges we have identified in the deployment of Scrum. We finally draw lessons learnt from the experience in using Agile for a space hardware development and benchmark with the results obtained in the in-space demonstration of the hardware. This paper will be useful to spacecraft developers in industry and academia interested in exploring new approaches in the development of space hardware under accelerated schedules.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberIAC-19_D1_5_6_x51187
JournalProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event70th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2019 - Washington, United States
Duration: 21 Oct 201925 Oct 2019


  • Agile product development process
  • New Space mission development
  • Scrum


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