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Can agile methods enhance mechatronics design education?
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Mechatronics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3699-5049
2013 (English)In: Mechatronics (Oxford), ISSN 0957-4158, Vol. 23, no 8, 967-973 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a study of the integration of agile methods into mechatronics design education, as performed at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. The chosen method, Scrum, and the context of the studied capstone course are presented. With the integration of Scrum into the capstone projects, an educational favorable alternative is identified, to previously used design methodologies such as more traditional stage-gate methods as the Waterfall or method or the V-model. This is due to the emphasis on early prototyping, quick feedback and incremental development. It still might not be the favorable method for use in large scale industrial development projects where formal procedures might still be preferred, but the pedagogical advantages in mechatronics education are valuable. Incremental development and rapid prototyping for example gives many opportunities for students to reflect and improve. The Scrum focus on self-organizing teams also provides a platform to practice project organization, by empowering students to take responsibility for the product development process. Among the results of this study, it is shown that it is possible and favorable to integrate Scrum in a mechatronics capstone course and that this can enhance student preparation for a future career as mechatronics designers or product developers. It is also shown that this prepares the students with a larger flexibility to handle the increased complexity in mechatronics product development and thereby enabling the project teams to deliver results faster, more reliable and with higher quality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 23, no 8, 967-973 p.
Keyword [en]
Mechatronics education, Agile methods, Capstone course, Design-centric education
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-140161DOI: 10.1016/j.mechatronics.2013.01.003ISI: 000328659200008ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84888388046OAI: diva2:689505

QC 20140121

Available from: 2014-01-21 Created: 2014-01-17 Last updated: 2014-01-21Bibliographically approved

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