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Ten years of product line engineering at Danfoss: Lessons learned and way ahead

: Fogdal, Thomas; Scherrebeck, Helene; Kuusela, Juha; Becker, Martin; Zhang, Bo


Mei, Hong (Ed.) ; Association for Computing Machinery -ACM-:
20th International Systems and Software Product Line Conference, SPLC 2016. Proceedings : Beijing, China, September 16 - 23, 2016
New York: ACM, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-4503-4050-2
International Systems and Software Product Line Conference (SPLC) <20, 2016, Beijing>
Fraunhofer IESE ()
product line adoption; industrial experience; product line engineering; evaluation

Software and systems product line engineering (PLE) has been an established approach for reducing time to market as well as cost and increasing quality in a set of related products for two decades now. Although there is a huge body of knowledge on PLE, adopting a concrete PLE approach is still not a trivial endeavor for interested companies. With the increasing importance of development speed, the advent of agile engineering approaches, and decreasing management interest in improvements that require large organizational transformations and only show benefits after several years, companies are facing challenges in successfully adopting this approach. They often hesitate as there is no clear adoption path, nor any certainty, that the intended improvement steps will also provide added value in the short- and mid-term perspective. In consequence, a considerable amount of PLE potential still remains unexploited. To help such companies with the adoption of PLE, the goal of this paper is to provide inspiration and evidence that PLE is a sound approach and its successful introduction is possible even in settings that differ substantially from those of pioneer product lines. To this end, this paper presents the following main contributions with the PLE adoption case at Danfoss Drives: an overview of the key change drivers and the motivation for adopting a PLE approach, a discussion of incremental PLE introduction in an agile engineering context, a presentation of the current PLE setting with a focus on key concepts, and finally a presentation of motivators and directions for future improvements.