Audi Engineers Race to the Finish Line With Atlassian

JIRA brings transparency into all development projects within the Volkswagen Group


Innovation lies at the heart of Audi 

The four rings of the iconic logo represent the principles of "Vorsprung durch Technik," which means "Advancement through technology."

From plug-in hybrid technology to piloted driving, the brains behind much of those innovations lie within the main Research & Development Centers (R&D) of Audi in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, Germany.

Currently holding around 6,000 employees – engineers, designers, software developers and QA teams – the R&D Centers play a decisive role in reaching the long-term goal of Audi: to become the world's number one automobile manufacturer in the premium segment by 2020.

Furthermore, Audi collaborates many different suppliers around the world, requiring easy access to relevant and current information.

Audi manages all development projects in standardized systems within the VW Group. So the challenge presented to the Audi Engineering Network Program was keeping all those involved parties on the same page concerning supporting processes – without slowing momentum due to growing pains. Accordingly in 2007 Audi R&D Centers’ knowledge management systems and issue tracking were centralized with Atlassian, as there had already been 20-30 different instances of Atlassian products before.

"By supporting the main development process and systems, JIRA and Confluence have a strong positive impact on every car leaving our manufacturing center," said Florian Banzer and Martin Binder, business analysts at AUDI AG.

Enterprise-ready Project Management

Audi R&D Centers use JIRA to support their projects regardless of car, car software or business software related. According to Martin, JIRA adoption grew rather organically: initially applied as a simple issue tracker among engineering teams, JIRA is now used to collect thousands of feature requirements for all development projects.

Some teams are even starting to log car software bugs into JIRA during test drives, at the road testing facility of Audi.

Meanwhile, most teams use Confluence for storing knowledge documentation, department protocols, meeting notes and policies.

People are practicing more knowledge-sharing than ever before, resulting in more transparency and efficiency. For example, we’ve been able to replace the typical Excel to-do lists, which is, from an IT specialist’s perspective, pretty excellent.

"Beyond all that we have one big JIRA and one big Confluence platform with standardized processes and professional support, but it's still flexible enough for very specific needs. People simply communicate with their requirements to us and we can quickly generate a project or dashboard.”

In collaboration with Atlassian Experts, EPOS CAT GmbH, Ingolstadt, and Communardo, Dresden, Audi upgraded its entire Atlassian instance fairly quickly. 

Furthermore the automobile manufacturer integrated with legacy systems like its LDAP directory and application middleware, IBM Websphere. In addition Audi rolls out new features without a long deployment process by using Marketplace, Atlassian's add-on engine.

We invested in Atlassian because we saw the potential for enterprise support.