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5 Proven Ways To Increase Value With Innovation in Agile

Innovation in Agile is key to team success and part of Agile practices
Innovation in Agile is key to team success, unleash your innovation to do great things

Is your software product missing something that you can’t place your finger on? Maybe you meet the basis of goals, but just feel things could be better. It could be the level of innovation on the team. Bring the power of innovation in Agile to your work.

How do you know if you are not being innovative? These issues can indicate there is not enough innovation across your team.

Without Innovation In Agile…

  • Software not received in time. The team may deliver on a need or goal. However, it may miss the deadline. By missing the deadline, the solution could be reduced in value. It may have its value completely lost as well. Without the ability to innovate on solutions, the team might not build as effectively.
  • Quality not as high as it could be. When the team can’t innovate, they can’t try new ideas, processes, and technology and can create lesser solutions.
  • The team feels stifled. They are not able to solve problems themselves. They are not able to use their knowledge and creativity.
  • Deliver the wrong thing. This is where the need or goal is not met. Because an incorrect solution is provided. The team may work to a solution, but it may be the wrong solution.
  • That’s the way its always been done. I have fallen into the trap of using existing processes and tools. They are in place already. It’s just easier to not try new things.

What Do We Do to Have More Innovation in Agile?

Embrace New Challenges For Innovation In Agile

Embracing new challenges goes a long way. This mentality goes hand in hand with agile. New challenges are opportunities to learn new things. They are opportunities to try new ideas and technologies. Using them as such is a big part of innovation in agile.

Build Fast to Learn Fast For Innovation In Agile 

The idea here is to go fast and learn fast. If the team can deliver small pieces of work quickly, they can learn more quickly. Work must be kept small so that the team can learn. I prefer to take on work and move fast with it. Allowing myself to learn from it. The contrasting idea is to try and figure everything out about something, and then go do the work. I find that getting pieces of work out quickly is much more effective. It helps the team get to the goal faster. Build fast, and learn fast, so that you can have innovation in agile.

Include Incremental Delivery And Feedback Loops

Incremental delivery is the process of providing work in smaller, standalone pieces. Such that pieces work on their own, as much as they can. Working this way allows the team to build work piece-meal. This shortens timelines, which lets teams deliver faster and learn from their work. Thus the feedback loop is also mentioned. After delivering work, feedback on that loop is important. To learn and adjust by the team. Allowing the team to course correct towards the best possible solution.

Remove The Fear Of Failure For Innovation In Agile

The fear of failure is an attitude that is quite common. It is where the team fears a negative reaction to their work. This is a culture item that leadership must work towards addressing. The team fears consequences to not delivering the right thing. Teams need to feel safe in their ability to solve problems. They need to be able to try new ideas. Which lets them work towards the best solution they can present. Let’s remove the fear of failure and get back to work. Allow teams to use their knowledge and creativity, and innovate to deliver. Remove the fear of failure to unleash innovation in agile.

Best Tool For The Job

Remember the flexibility and adaptable nature of the Agile methodology. It’s about learning and adapting, to best meet goals and ultimately to deliver. Thus, you might need to change your process, your tools, and more, to best meet goals. Don’t use something just because other past work used it. There may be something better. Remember that, and don’t fall into the trap of “well its always been done that way”. Always strive to use the best tool for the job!

Agile gives you powerful values and principles, to help guide the work. Innovation is built into these values and principles. Remember these, and they will take you far.

Innovation is intertwined in the values of Agile, so don’t forget these and unleash your innovation!

Additional reading and books to help build innovation in Agile