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059: The Top Benefits of Adopting Agile Practices

Posted By Digital Enterprise Society, Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Updated: Monday, June 29, 2020

059: The Top Benefits of Adopting Agile Practices


On today’s episode, Craig Brown and Thom Singer welcome Alena Keck, the Lean-Agile Enterprise Transformation Leader.  Alena has joined the podcast to discuss the benefits of utilizing agile software and explain how to maximize the value that you are delivering to your customers.  She offers suggestions on ways to overcome adaptation limitations or resistance and highlights the four pillars of overcoming challenges in the automotive industry.  The conversation concludes with an honest look at the ways that the pandemic has forced a change on all of us that just might result in more effective teams and creative results than ever before.

On today’s podcast, you will learn:

Bringing the benefits of agile software practices to the automotive industry

  • What are the main differences between waterfall and agile systems?

  • Complex and empirical systems benefit from agile systems 

  • Agile can better support the changes that are made based on consumer preferences.

  • Benefits include decreased time to market, which is expected from the best companies.

  • Quality in continuous testing is best achieved with agile software.

  • Increased customer focus and satisfaction as well as employee happiness. 

Overcoming the limitations of agile adaptation

  • Companies need to properly set their own expectations — the goal should always be to deliver quality and value to the customer at a sustainable pace. 

  • Some infrastructure transformations are harder to make than others and will need to be given extra attention and time. 

  • Management needs to make agile values clear and tangible to leadership and teams.

  • Teams need to clearly communicate the successes of the agile transformation. 

Four pillars of overcoming challenges in the automotive industry

  • Change management and organizational structure need to be addressed first to achieve a successful transformation. 

  • Embedded systems and regulatory environment are industry-specific and 

  • Integrated continuous compliance 

Thriving in a time of pandemic

  • Self-organizing teams that believe in their purpose will thrive in spite of a pandemic, remote working or any other distractions.

  • Many companies have proved that they can think outside of the box in these unprecedented times.

  • Remote work can produce effective results with the right employees and the right management.

  • Remove yourself from your comfort zone by actively seeking feedback from others.

Do you have an example of extraordinary efforts or innovation during these unprecedented times? We would love to hear your story and possibly interview you for an upcoming episode. Please reach out to us at



Alena Keck is a Lean-Agile Enterprise Transformation Leader with over 10 years of experience in the automotive industry. Her vision is to unleash Business Value by Tapping into the Power of Lean-Agile Transformation 2.0

Alena held different international positions at one of the leading automotive companies Daimler AG and its financial services provider. She started her agile journey at the Daimler's corporate incubator and innovation hub "Daimler Business Innovation", known as "Lab 1886”. Later on as the first Release Train Engineer, she was a strong catalyst of SAFe transformation at the Digital Solution Center at Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA, bringing energy, fun and delight to the first Agile Release Train @ Mercedes-Benz Financial. 

The last 2 years of her career, Alena has been shaping Lean-Agile Transformation journey for Advanced Safety and User Experience product line at Aptiv, helping large co-located and distributed engineering program teams to leverage the benefits of lean and agile principles and practices while building quality and compliance into the solution from the very beginning. 

Alena has a unique international background with business degrees in three European countries, working experience in Europe and the US and international project management experience with global distributed teams. Alena is fluent in 5 languages.  Her areas of expertise include Enterprise-level Lean-Agile Transformation for large organizations, distributed teams, embedded / cyber-physical systems, Agile Software Development, Scaling Agile Frameworks, Value Stream, Digital Marketing, International Sales Strategy and Innovation Management.

Alena’s Agile Transformation Mantra is from Rob S. Sharma: “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end."


Tags:  Agile Software  Agile Strategy  PLM 

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