The Definitive Resource for
Agile for Hardware Methods

An Introduction to the MAHD Framework

Key Agile for Hardware Principles

The MAHD Framework is a flexible product development process that can be scaled from managing simple projects to complete product portfolios and complex system projects.  The foundation of the framework consists of four Agile principles:

  • Short development cycles to drive learning and adaption to change

  • Accountable, autonomous and focused teams

  • Validating work at the end of each development cycle

  • Applying intelligent rapid prototyping strategies

While Agile methods typically assume teams of software developers, MAHD assumes projects will require a range of cross-discipline skills. Get an introduction to the MAHD Framework with a variety of resources below.

How Are the Needs of HW Supported?

While Agile principles are the foundation of the MAHD Framework, the tactics must be modified to work for the unique, and often more constrained characteristics of hardware development. MAHD also considers the needs of physical products to:

  • Define electrical and mechanical attributes

  • Allow flexibility to change, but also freeze designs

  • Develop flexible prototyping and validation strategies

  • Leveraging shared resources and external partners

  • The need to develop documentation, build quality plans and manage supply chains

The MAHD Framework Core

The core of the MAHD Framework focuses on initiating and executing individual projects from concept to launch.  A project might be a new product, new innovation initiative or any project that requires a team, has stakeholders and can benefit from iterative learning and development cycles. 

The MAHD Core consists of: 

  1. The initiation of a project with an Agile Project Brief that provide strategic guidance and product-market overview information.
  2. A set of cross-discipline collaborative activities (the MAHD On-ramp) before development begins to drive project clarity of objectives, risks and key questions that ends with an Iteration plan and Backlog.
  3. Two levels of learning cycles. Higher level IPAC Iterations to manage the overall project, establish key milestones, plan prototypes, etc. and lower level sprints the team executes in 2-4 weeks.
  4. Flexible key roles such as Product Owners, Agile Project Managers and MAHD Masters.

What Are IPAC Iterations?

An IPAC Iteration is a development and learning cycle comprised of one or more 2-4 week sprints (typically 3-4 sprints in an Iteration, but can be highly variable).  During Iteration Planning, the team determines the length and goals of the iteration and consider at least these four IPAC objectives:

  • Integration – Which functions and disciplines should integrate in this iteration, what does that mean, and how will we validate the results?

  • Prototype – What level of prototype can we develop during this iteration to answer key questions, reduce risk and/or show progress?

  • Alignment – Which sub-systems, functions, disciplines, suppliers, etc. do we need to align with in this iteration and what does that mean?

  • Customer engagement – How will we get internal and/or external stakeholder (customer) feedback on our progress and get guidance for moving forward?

Learn About the MAHD Core

Register to join the free MAHD community to download e-books and other resources including An Introduction to MAHD, which provides details on the core of the MAHD Framework such as how to execute the On-ramp steps, develop Iteration Plans and more.

The Complete Framework

The Complete MAHD Framework expands on the core to help teams manage complex projects that are larger than one MAHD team as well as the whole product portfolio.

The Complete MAHD Framework consists of:

  • Agile projects that are executed using the MAHD Core methods.

  • Projects requiring large teams organized as smaller teams by discipline or sub-system, using a MAHD team-of-teams approach.

  • Additional roles to manage teams-of-teams, the overall portfolio, etc.

The Complete MAHD Framework is meant to provide guidance for companies to manage the full product portfolio and product lifecycles.  Teams and organizations must determine how to best define roles, and integrate with their existing Lean, Six-Sigma, Stage-Gate or other systems.

Learn About the Complete MAHD Framework

Learn more about the complete MAHD Framework from portfolio management to sustaining engineering, clicking on the image below to explore each element. 

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How's MAHD Different?

The table below summarizes the differences between the Modified Agile for Hardware Development (MAHD) Framework and other common Agile-based processes.  The primary difference is that while MAHD applies Agile principles, the tactics are designed specifically to meet the needs of physical products. Learn more about the details by joining the MAHD Community and downloading resources to get started.

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