The Benefits of Agile,
the Needs of HW Development

The Complete MAHD Framework


While the MAHD Framework Core focuses on methods to manage specific development projects, the Complete MAHD Framework applies agile methods to an organization’s entire product development process, including:

  1. Complex systems which incorporate a range of software and hardware elements, products, and sub-systems
  2. The continuous release of software and hardware updates
  3. Sustaining engineering and production challenges
  4. Product portfolio management
  5. Managing innovation pipelines and advanced R&D initiatives

The Complete MAHD Framework provides the governance and agile methods needed to manage the entire product lifecycle while integrating seamlessly with other processes such as Stage-gate, Lean/Six Sigma or SAFe. 

Key Elements of Complete MAHD

While all projects will use the core MAHD principles and methods, including project kickoff with the MAHD On-ramp, using Iteration Plans, and executing short learning and execution cycles, there are some additional elements to consider as you scale:

A MAHD team-of-teams approach

With major projects, having one large MAHD team isn't often practical and you need mechanisms to manage multiple teams. 

New responsibilities

Additional Agile skills and responsibilities are needed to manage larger projects, whole product lines and the overall portfolio.

Integrated Iteration Plans

For large systems, you might even have multiple levels of Iteration Plans to manage each major workstream. 

Explore the Complete MAHD Framework

Hover over the destination icons in the model below to get move information of the Complete MAHD Framework.

Executive and Cross-discipline Leadership

Central to any process is the need to set strategy, make resource decisions and support development teams. Agile principles and mindsets start at the top to help guide strategic planning and decisions at each stage of the NPD process.

Portfolio and Innovation Management

The MAHD Framework helps teams manage product portfolios and innovation pipelines using agile principles. This allows teams and management to: 

  • Guide portfolio analysis and product selection and using rapid learning and execution cycles similar to any NPD project
  • Make incremental investments in advanced R&D and new products based on learning and demonstrable progress
  • Apply the same MAHD On-ramp and agile project team formation and execution tactics for a holistic approach to NPD throughout the entire PLC.

Agile Product Roadmaps

With agile, there can be confusion as to what constitutes a product roadmap since plans are always flexible, and the backlog is intended to capture and prioritize new features. 

However, hardware development requires more forward-looking thinking to anticipate architectures, technology, and product releases that may have long shelf lives. The MAHD Framework incorporates product roadmap planning as part of strategic planning and on-ramp activities while still staying true to agile principles. 

Agile Resource Management

Central to project success is the allocation of resources. The right people, at the right time, with the right focus.  While Agile teams best run with dedicated team members, hardware developers, architects, designers, etc., can rarely be allocated entirely to a single project, the reality of shared resources is built into the MAHD Framework. Some considerations when allocating resources:

  • Use Iteration Planning to identify key resources you'll need to remove risk and focus on the highest priority attributes early
  • Ensure shared (part-time) resources on your teams participate in task development and estimating
  • When one critical resource is shared across too many projects, ask, "How might we help these teams be successful?"

Setting Metrics

Metrics become the yardstick with which your product development process will be measured and allow you to make focused improvements as you learn. We recommend establishing metrics in four dimensions:

1) Market success - forecast accuracy, ROI, margin, etc.

2) Customer satisfaction - net promoter score, ratings, competitor rankings, etc.

3) Team satisfaction - autonomy levels, morale ratings, etc.

4) Efficiency - speed from concept to market, decision-making speed, resource utilization, etc.

MAHD Team of Teams

Large projects, such as complex products, systems, and product lines, need a MAHD team-of-teams approach. This requires some additional roles and coordination, including:

  • Agile Program Manager - Team leader with MAHD skills and experience to lead multi-team programs with cross-team dependencies
  • Program Level Iteration Plan - Planning and executing an Iteration Plan for the full system and/or multiple products, often with shared resources
  • Program Level Team - Comprised of project team leaders (agile project managers and owners) and other key decision-makers

MAHD Sustaining Engineering & Customer Service

While some projects may require a continuous flow of product or systems releases that are managed with successive Iteration cycles, hardware development often ends with a discrete product launch. Once a product is in production, the MAHD Framework guides teams to: 

  • Use agile and lean methods such as Kanban to manage and prioritize fixes, cost reductions, manage part changes, address quality issues, etc.
  • Help customer service teams apply agile and lean methods and incrementally improve customer satisfaction
  • Manage larger projects with the same core MAHD Framework and agile methods to align with development teams and the whole organization

Support Services Integration

Hardware-based products require a range of support from supply chain management to market research services throughout the development cycle as well as during the ramp-up to production. For project success, the right resources must work with product teams at the right time. The MAHD Framework helps optimize how these resources engage with product development teams to:

  • Align support services needs with R&D needs
  • Set priorities and structure tasks
  • Align timing and deliverables with product development

Explore the MAHD Framework Core

While the Complete MAHD Framework provides the governance and methods to manage the entire product development process, the MAHD Framework Core provides the basis for project excellence.

Discover how the MAHD Framework Core enables agile methods to deliver project success by clicking below.

MAHD Framework Core

Learn More About MAHD

Download the Introduction to MAHD E-book to learn about the key elements of the MAHD Framework  including how to initiate projects, the MAHD On-ramp and tips to get started going MAHD.

Is MAHD Right For You?

The fastest way to learn if MAHD is right for you is to request a 45-minute overview and discussion of your situation. Whether you currently use Stage-Gate, Lean, SAFe or other methods, we can help you quickly learn the unique benefits of the MAHD Framework.