I am one of 6 product owners working on the next generation of UI software for Mercedes-Benz cars at Daimler AG. This includes all the functionality for phone / Bluetooth / connectivity / browser / assistance and emergency services. The environment that we work in has a large amount of stakeholders. This includes top managers as well as end-to-end feature responsibles that want to be able to control certain functions from within the UI.
As cars are still created using steel, iron sheets, cables and rubber there is a hard release date for software before the assembly lines start. So even if we are as agile as possible in our software-driven world, we have to keep the other departments, third party deliveries and market adjustments in mind.
In this session I want to talk about stakeholder management during the development of the UI software. I want to start with the environment that we work in from a software point of view - including design, concept, specification and implementation. Afterwards I'm going to expand this environment to, for example, car line production responsibles, backend responsibles and custom studies.
Part two of this session is about how to keep track of many stakeholders. I'm going to show some strategies that helped us and that evolved and helped us improve over time.
I will also highlight that stakeholders are not only those who request improvements but also the developers that in the end have to implement the changes. The goal is to have a sustainable development environment.
Throughout the session I will to emphasise that a process is not a bad thing as long as it supports us in doing our work and does not limit us. We went through this the hard way (first value of agility). The session is based on personal experience and team-wide improvements over the course of the last year. We had to try out different methods, and I'll highlight what helped us to be successful.
Stephan Arenswald is a product owner for HeadUnit UI software development for the next generation of Mercedes Benz cars. He is responsible for the prioritisation and planning of UI functions related to phone/Bluetooth/connectivity/browser and assistance and emergency services.
Before he started at Daimler AG he worked as a scrum master and software engineer in the database performance monitoring area at IBM. There, he helped transform an international project from waterfall to agile-based software development.
Stephan is also an advocate for project management based on the agile values and principles and tries to promote the real meaning behind the word agility whenever possible.
Outside of his day-to-day responsibilities, he sticks to his true nature as a computer scientist and is running a one-man start-up for app and web development, focusing on releasing his own ideas.