Kuglermaag

Dear reader

Change all over the car industry: automated driving, connectivity in a system of systems, digital services, artificial intelligence, new mobility concepts, and electric vehicles – feel free to add your own project requirements to this list of newcomers. Planning and decision-making are like a guessing game where the only thing you can rely on is that the car will have wheels. How should Jane or John Doe, the average project engineer, or even a departmental head, cope with all this overload?

Well, you won’t be surprised to hear that no-one at Kugler Maag Cie has mastered this new conjuring trick either. There’s no such thing as a silver bullet. It remains a fiendish problem, or to use the words of Berkeley scholar Horst Rittel, »wicked.« German speakers know what he means when he refers to »ill-defined planning problems.« To respond to the challenges facing the industry, we take an in-depth look at integration. Of course, we don’t pull a catch-all solution out of the hat. But we do address the key challenges of each issue and ask what the real requirements are. It’s no mean task and we’re nothing like finished yet. At the same time, we’d like you to be part of the solution. That’s why we’re starting with this workshop report.

And there’s plenty to report. With each issue of Concepts, you’ll gain a more complete picture. In this first issue, we introduce you to »Automotive integrated Development«.

AiD is, in short, the backbone of our methodology – an approach that allows development tasks to be aligned from the initial concept down to each fine detail, so practitioners will find it useful. AiD is even designed to handle conflicting requirements faced by engineers – process maturity, innovation, responsiveness, functional safety, cybersecurity, usability, to name a few. And let’s not forget robustness, because the entire vehicle should interact reliably with vehicles specified elsewhere. Does this pique your interest? Then you should get to know AiD.

Spoiler alert! In the next issue of Concepts, you will discover how we integrate our machine-learning process model with AiD. This approach will also be demonstrated on a real customer case. As the number of challenges faced by industry grows, so does AiD.

The Concept crew at Kugler Maag Cie

Conversation about integrated development

Hello Christian, »integration« is on everyone’s lips in E/E development. For example, there’s a trend toward closer connectivity and stronger digitalization, leading to more overlaps in backend and on-board functionality.

As a result, new criteria are coming to the fore – like data security and update features. What’s the best way to deal with this increasing complexity?

By making the required activities transparent, structured, and interlinked. We’ve developed a blueprint to address the challenge called AiD – i.e. Automotive integrated Development. AiD is not about creating a new »model« with ever more requirements. That’s no help to anyone. Instead, the aim is to show essential paths and dependencies on the journey through the jungle of different requirements stemming from standards and norms.

Using AiD allows you to address typical risks early in development. By highlighting dependencies, crucial activities can be planned, estimated, and traced – good and early. For example, concepts and assessments of safety and cybersecurity aspects flow into the architecture directly. New tasks such as machine learning or data management can also be taken up along the same lines.

Christian Hertneck

Christian Hertneck is a Principal at Kugler Maag Cie. For more than 20 years, one of his passions has been developing organizational processes and competences that are both sustainable and in tune with individuals’ capabilities in order to deliver innovation and success.

What exactly can Automotive integrated Development help me with?

AiD is a kind of blueprint or generic construction plan for essential activities encountered throughout the E/E product life cycle in the automotive environment. The aim of AiD is to provide different perspectives of necessary activities and how they should be integrated. For example, if I have to integrate data management and security into my engineering activities, AiD provides me with a condensed overview of the exact activities required to do this, including dependencies.

What are the benefits for suppliers and automobile manufacturers?

AiD makes it possible to address each challenge within the overall process. By adopting an integrated, holistic approach, it provides key insights into every aspect. It also lays a foundation for comparing existing and potential approaches that could be adopted within the organization. We also support our partners during implementation based on our strong track record in practical application.

Where do you see the main challenges during implementation?

One of the current challenges faced by our customers is working out the essential factors that dictate the content of the AiD blueprint. I can name examples, such as agile methods and practices only being implemented half-heartedly, or not being based on proper processes. As a result, essential activities needed to meet standards are either not tackled at all or only when it’s too late.

One problem we often run into during customer projects is that measures needed to safeguard data security and product security (including UNECE, SOTIF, functional safety, and cybersecurity) are developed much too late. That’s dangerous.

As in the past, many development projects are based on electronic or hardware considerations, although most aspects of functionality are now about the software, which is why people now talk about the »software-centric organization.«

There are also numerous examples relating to the product life cycle. Many services involving or relating to modern vehicles now depend on your ability to master data. What we often find is that there’s no systematic approach for handling or managing data – from development to operation – so connectivity or data operations are being neglected.

But I also encounter the classic issues such as the late inclusion of internal and external interfaces in areas like production, services, or sales. And then of course there’s the challenge of achieving and maintaining maturity and process capability to meet agreed timings, costs, and quality requirements.

In what ways will Automotive integrated Development change the work of development units?

Development work has already changed massively due to globalization. Teams now work on projects across entirely different time zones and cultures – and systems now involve numerous partners along the supply chain. The interdependencies are intensifying with each new trend that comes along – such as digitalization, machine learning, connectivity, or new mobile solutions. Therefore, AiD is the right answer to the amalgamation of locations, value creation partners and, finally, technologies –  we create transparency along the entire value chain and the entire product life cycle.

Thanks for the interview!

The interview with Christian Hertneck, Principal at Kugler Maag Cie, was conducted by Olga Henzel.

Why to choose AiD
Com­pre­hen­sive

Covers all relevant VDA requirements, standards and regulations

Ex­ten­dible

Also for other workstreams such as AI

Modular

Dovetails easily with new and in-house workstreams

Cus­tom­izable

Adapts to your project landscape and processes

Adaptable

Can be tailored individually to your project and process landscape

Future-proof

A basis for meeting new regulations such as UNECE

Always on the safe side

It doesn’t matter if an artifact falls under system engineering tasks or whether it’s required for cybersecurity reasons – the y-axis allocation of specialist tasks is captured on timelines and ultimately, it’s deadlines that establish order and dictate the pace. This provides an organizational framework and sets your priorities for all key activities along the entire E/E product life cycle. As the project manager and decision-maker, you always know how far you’ve come with your project. As for your software developers and engineers – do they know which boxes need ticking on the to-do list, as well as boxes relating to who, when, and exactly what? The process drives everything that needs organizing and managing – tools, task allocations, and that scarcest of resources: awareness. By carefully basing your project management on processes and corresponding deliverables, you ensure the value stream keeps moving forward.

Complex development projects are not entirely different to the systems they result in: Crucial performance criteria – such as robustness, scalability, and maintainability – require well thought-out system architectures. It’s no different with projects. Without robust project and process architectures, you can’t organize internal and external collaboration properly. You also can’t manage requests to make changes. This is where Automotive integrated Development – or AiD – comes into play. The AiD blueprint enables you to model project architecture, which is basically a counterpart of system architecture. An important mainstay in doing this is provided by your design and quality artifacts. For each project, you can draw on work products and any deadlines set for required deliverables and use these to plan critical paths.

Processes without silo thinking

Focusing on the value stream also makes things more efficient. By basing methods on the process – and thus also outcomes – you avoid overlapping effort at the company or tinkering around with options that no-one needs. Departments are taken out of their ivory towers, forging links between software engineers, hardware developers and front-line mechanics. Not only do interdependencies become transparent, everyone knows which of their co-workers are waiting for which artifacts. Having a concrete view of processes is an excellent way to gain an overview. Information dovetailing with processes is available for everyone to see and is always up to date. This is achieved by offering user-specific views of the critical path. Turning the spotlight on processes is made possible by systematically breaking down all activities that will occur during given workstreams. It’s not the fact that department X is responsible for something that matters, or that Smith and Jones have always done things that way. What really matters are responsibilities associated with certain roles and instructions you have issued.

AiD is definitely not some sort of new ‘model’ that will lead to even more requirements. That’s no use to anybody.

Christian Hertneck, Principal @ Kugler Maag Cie

»The idea is to pinpoint essential paths and interdependencies as you make your way through the jungle of sometimes incredibly diverse requirements driven by standards and norms. Using AiD addresses the typical kinds of risks you encounter early on in the development process« explains Hertneck.

Nothing gets swept under the carpet

Because AiD can show in advance which non-functional requirements will impact your project, expected outcomes can no longer be overlooked during planning. And there are further benefits: AiD makes it clear which requirements definitely need to be addressed during concept development. »This makes it possible to plan essential activities in advance,« Hertneck emphasizes, pointing to perfect examples of this such as cybersecurity factors and software update capabilities. »If these are taken into account from the outset, they can be allocated directly to architectural components – a prerequisite for robust systems and security by design.«

AiD is designed to be scalable across the entire organization, so you can apply it to any department or product, plus a whole host of company services. To ensure it delivers the desired results in any type of organization, AiD offers a blueprint for the kinds of projects you deal with, based on projects of a comparable size, with comparable roles in the value chain and comparable regulatory conditions – such as safety-critical applications or areas such as hardware and machine engineering. In addition, the focus on deliverables makes it easier to install systematic review mechanisms, as well as feedback loops pulling in representatives from all involved areas of engineering. These built-in learning cycles are an ideal opportunity to acquire additional experience, to the benefit of current and future AiD projects. By continuously adapting your processes, AiD takes you to a higher level and becomes a kind of knowledge database, capturing all instances of best practice at your company.

Conclusion

Systems are becoming increasingly complex, fueled by convergence between different fields, which is only heightened by increasingly tight deadlines. As a result, project transparency is a key factor in quickly and reliably creating electronic systems. AiD lays risks and critical paths bare even before your projects get underway, empowering you to always keep projects under control.

Automotive integrated Development – a robust approach to keeping project risks under control

As more and more vehicles evolve into connected systems, an increasing number of overlaps are developing between different areas of specialization. This trend towards connectivity and digitalization is increasingly dovetailing driving functions with back-end functionalities. Established requirements are now being supplemented with new ones, such as data security and updatability. Technical development will certainly not become less challenging. So how will project managers at carmarkers and suppliers deal with all this change? Can they keep pace and cope with these added levels of complexity? If you need a better overview, the Automotive integrated Development (AiD) blueprint comes in handy. As well as helping you manage tasks, it’s also useful for controlling risk.

Project managers are now expected to invest a great deal of time and energy in non-functional requirements stemming from ISO standards, systems engineering topics, and corporate management systems: On Monday you’re establishing a baseline, on Tuesday you’re running into a change request, and on Wednesday, a potential cybersecurity incident crops up, demanding your full attention. To maintain an overview of the complexity of development projects, every decision-maker needs a solid understanding of project risks and dependencies. Engineering excellence requires absolute transparency. And – while we’re on the topic – with so many new cybersecurity regulations looming, insurance companies to think about, and an increasing number of critical consumers out there, newcomers from far-flung countries (who might think they can cover their eyes and hope for the best) will soon come unstuck. Innovative cars are a big thing at the moment, but they’re built on a foundation of functional safety, operational safety, and cybersecurity, without which nothing is allowed to happen. So, what can be done to establish order and transparency in this maelstrom of non-functional requirements?

Backed by Kugler Maag Cie, Green Hills Software has succeeded in transforming our existing processes into a single, adaptable product life cycle. We are expanding this integrated life cycle consistently to meet new requirements.

Tim Reed Sr. VP of Advanced Products @ Green Hills Software

Always on the safe side

Complex development projects are not entirely different to the systems they result in: Crucial performance criteria – such as robustness, scalability, and maintainability – require well thought-out system architectures. It’s no different with projects. Without robust project and process architectures, you can’t organize internal and external collaboration properly. You also can’t manage requests to make changes. This is where Automotive integrated Development – or AiD – comes into play. The AiD blueprint enables you to model project architecture, which is basically a counterpart of system architecture. An important mainstay in doing this is provided by your design and quality artifacts. For each project, you can draw on work products and any deadlines set for required deliverables and use these to plan critical paths.