Scrum for cyber-physical systems: a process proposal

Author(s): Stefan Wagner
Venue: International Workshop on Rapid Continuous Software Engineering (RCoSE 2014)
Date: 2014


This paper looked at applying Scrum to cyber-physical systems. These systems have both software and hardware components. The problem that faces projects that include hardware is that iterative development does not work as well as it does with software. The paper proposes a Scrum CPS (Cyber-Physical System) solution that is a variation on Scrum to work with hardware projects.

The main variation is the implementation of two different types of sprints: design sprints and hardware sprints. In a design sprint, software is designed and developed but hardware is just designed. In a hardware sprint, software is again designed and developed but this time, hardware is actually built into a prototype. This prototype can then run the current software and tested to see what changes need to be made.

The paper used a fitness tracker example that included a wrist-let hardware component and a mobile application and web based application software component. The example included starting off with two design sprints that lasted 30 days. After the hardware design was believed to be shippable, the third sprint was to build a prototype and test it out. The following sprints were then other hardware sprints to iterate the development of the hardware and software components.

It is worth noting that the fitness tracker example was only hypothetical. Further research is to be done starting at the university level. After that, the researcher wants to do testing in industry to hopefully build upon and prove this methodology.