I’m sure most of you are familiar with XP (Extreme Programming) – software development methodology, which intent to improve software quality and responsiveness to changing customer requirements. The history of XP goes back in the end of 90s. Despite very short history XP is very popular and it is hard to find a respectful software development team not adopting at least part of principles of XP.
Earlier this week, I learned about XM (eXtreme manufacturing) inspired by Scrum and Kanban. XM named after XP and it takes some principles of eXtreme Programming such as agile, communication, user stories and more. According to Wikipedia article, XM is interactive and incremental development framework. It combines best practices of project management and focused on holistic approach in goal achievement. The same wikipedia article quotes and example of experimental car that was developed just in 3 months. Few other examples are available. Here is the passage from wikipedia speaking about that:
In 2008, Joe Justice entered the Automotive X Prize, and achieved with XM what Fortune Magazine called the “seemingly impossible;” he and his team developed a functional prototype of an ultra-efficient automobile in three months time. Even more remarkably the 100 mpg car has an impressive 0-60: < 5 seconds . A number of prototype cars have been developed by separate companies using the XM process. Companies use XM as a way to challenge their employees to develop new skills and learn the power of teamwork to solve complex problems. For example, Lockheed Martin(Sunnyvale, CA) challenged 200 of its engineers to build a 100 mpg car in a single day; the challenge was met and the team’s car was sold for $25,000. Another such example isopensourceecology.org, whose Global Village Construction kit is bringing affordable industrial farming techniques to the small scale farm.
If you are familiar with XP, you may find some of XM methods very similar. Here is a very short explanation:
XM uses a prioritized product backlog as the primary work input queue. Work is visualized in an open area generally on a single team Kanban Board. Every XM team has a Scrum Master and also a Product Owner, who together with the team help to ensure that Agile/Lean principles are followed.
Learning about XM made me think about possible intersection of PLM and XM. It seems to me PLM vendors are not very focused on this space today. There are lots of tools for XP and Agile development. These tools are helping to support development teams to achieve goals, work on user stories, log issues and control projects. Some of these tools are very successful. These tools such as Jira by Atlassian successfully developed large software communities. I’m sure rethinking some of existing XP tools can be a good starting points to develop PLM for XM.
What is my conclusion? Manufacturing space is changing. New type of manufacturing companies are coming. My hunch, these companies will adopt agile and XM type of work and will change traditional working methods. These companies will develop new world of manufacturing (similar to the revolution that was made by Henry Ford back 100 years ago). It looks like an interesting opportunity to look what type of software tools these companies will require. Just my thoughts…
picture credit scruminc