07 February 2009

Agile Asphyxiates Creativity?

What is your organizational attitude? Does it have a pulse for inspired ideas? Does your organization encourage pie-in-the-sky thinking?
or
Is your organization compelled to justify every shekel spent on product increments from the Backlog?

Reeju Srivastava, Senior Software Engineer at Nokia asked our Agile Alliance group:

Is there any space for Innovation and Creativity in Agile methodology?
Telefonica R&D Agile Coach, Gemma Hornos Cirera suggested a Creativity Backlog:

We have a "Creativity Backlog" during the whole iteration... when we finish the iteration sometimes we have what we call "creativity/innovation meetings"
The purpose of Gemma's creativity/innovation meeting is to evaluate the best ideas and move them into the Product Backlog.

Stacia Broderick and Lee Devin explore organizational innovation and creativity. In the blog post Is Agile Squashing Innovation? they ask

What can management do so that teams stay innovative?
I highly recommend that you read Is Agile Squashing Innovation? - particularly if you manage - or work in - an organization the suffocates right-brain thinking. Broderick and Devin give an actionable list of suggestions to help innovation and creativity bubble to the top by:

Seeking, Identifying, and Budgeting for Innovation.