I’ve been managing an agile test team for several years, converting to an agile working method with our client a few years ago. I can say that agile has improved our software, but we still have plenty of defects, just less. I’ve studied the agile manifesto in detail and noticed that it is from 2001 and we are now in 2015. Many things have changed since 2001 and I’m thinking that there is a need for agile innovation, ways that we can still “do agile,” but rather as a framework for improvement. After all, the agile manisfesto calls for continuous improvement, so why not improve agile itself. I think that agile isn’t good enough and agile innovation is needed to improve. Agile is already old and with new technologies, paradigms and thinking, we need to improve the method itself. In thinking about innovation, I had a few thoughts:

  • We need to get back to basics and ask some tough questions that are very simple. Perhaps we have forgotten when we are “being agile” what do we need to do? What are we trying to accomplish, really? How is the best way to get it done?
  • We need to accept when we are wrong or if something is not working right.
  • For innovation, we need to start from ZERO and be curious and explorative.
  • For innovation, we need to “have no fear.” If we fail, so what. Learn from it and move on. If we look stupid, so what. If we make a mistake, that’s ok. Mistakes are part of innovation.
  • What other problem-solving methodologies from other domains can I apply to my problems here?

Tomorrow, I’m going to discuss agile innovation with my team. What are we really trying to do here? If we started from scratch, how would we do it?