GMV leads the application of SAFe Agile in aerospace industry

Last June, the European Space Agency (ESA) awarded the development of the ground segment for control and in-orbit validation of the second generation of Galileo (G2G) to the multinational technology company GMV. This contract is an addition to those previously signed for the first generation of Galileo (G1G). The Galileo European Satellite Navigation System currently delivers positioning, navigation, and time synchronization services to over 4 billion users globally, with GMV playing an indisputably prominent role in its implementation.

To deliver these services efficiently, GMV is incorporating SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) into its project developments. This scaling methodology is recognized as the most widely used globally, as highlighted in the “16th Annual State of Agile Report” from 2022. Prominent companies, including Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, NASA, Porsche, Deutsche Bank, Société Générale, Chevron, Petrobas, IBM, and Air France, exemplify its successful implementation.

As an integral part of the software system development lifecycle, GMV applies this innovative approach, customizing it to suit the requirements of the highly regulated aerospace industry. GMV’s goal in implementing the SAFe framework is to bring about substantial enhancements in business agility, including improvements in productivity, quality, and employee commitment. This facilitates greater predictability in workload balancing and prioritization, incremental value delivery, expedited time-to-market for solutions, and an elevation in product quality.

The impact of SAFe Agile on organizations employing this working methodology is reflected in four key aspects of business and team dynamics: market responsiveness, quality, productivity, and commitment.

  • Productivity boosted by 20-50%
  • Quality improved by 25-75%
  • Time-to-market reduced by 30-75%
  • Employee engagement and job satisfaction increased by 10-50%

According to Víctor Pozo, director of the Navigation Systems Ground Control Segment business unit, “SAFe is indispensable as it fosters alignment between strategy and execution. Moreover, it brings about substantial enhancements in business productivity, quality, employee commitment, and time-to-market, ensuring that work teams remain synchronized.”

Customization of SAFe in Galileo’s G2G

GMV’s adaptation of the SAFe framework for the development of the ground segment, controlling and validating the second generation of Galileo (G2G), has been supported by Scaled Agile, Inc. and Estratecno, as a pioneering company in the introduction of agile methodologies, a SAFe Gold Transformation Partner in Spain. The implementation is based on the official SAFe implementation roadmap, reshaping and advancing GMV’s work approach by integrating agile practices into its processes and organizational structures. This enables the efficient delivery of products and services. Moreover, this application contributes to establishing a flexible, scalable, expandable, robust, and autonomous ground segment.

As part of its European tour in late 2023, GMV welcomed the CEO and several executives from Scaled Agile, Inc., a leading organization that promotes and provides scalable agile frameworks like SAFe. The visit facilitated interactions between the CEO of Scaled Agile, GMV, and the European Space Agency, acting as business owners for activities conducted under the framework of this contract. During the visit, Scaled Agile acknowledged the value of GMV’s customization of the SAFe framework in developing this project, as well as the expertise and best practices developed to adapt the numerous requirements, validations, and software features of mission-critical aerospace solutions.

During this visit, discussions also touched upon initiatives regarding cybersecurity and SecDevOps, a software development philosophy promoting the integration of security throughout the entire lifecycle. This aligns with the current importance of this field in areas such as operational security, regulatory compliance, and protection against cyber espionage.

Agile Methodology to Support Additional Activities

GMV has been successfully extending SAFe artifacts, crucial resources for reinforcing project productivity and quality. This involves obtaining swift feedback from stakeholders, business owners, and commercial partners through Systems Demos. Additionally, GMV has implemented Program Increment (PI) Plannings, pivotal events in SAFe designed to align goals and priorities. These gatherings bring development teams together to strategically plan and coordinate their activities over a specific period, typically spanning 8-12 weeks. This approach facilitates communication, collaboration, and decision-making, ultimately enabling the more effective execution of large-scale agile projects.

In this context, professionals are actively establishing connections to facilitate knowledge sharing among experts from GMV, Scaled Agile, Inc., and other prominent companies in the industry.