When can you offer innovation, without being off-task?
I can't understand how creative innovation fits in Agile and other methodologies.

People just want what they asked for, right?
Say you're following an efficient methodology like Agile/SCRUM. When can you offer innovation, without being off-task?

Say you're making an app and doing some creative stuff with the UX. The client gave you implicit instructions, and you're staying on track. Imagine you discover an innovation that's not a beta. If you introduce innovations the wrong way, you could appear off-task.

  • 1
    what's the question? Apr 7, 2011 at 21:46
  • @ Steven A. Lowe, I cleaned it up. I do UX, but I can't understand how creative innovation fits in Agile and other methodologies, or just good business practice.
    – DisEngaged
    Apr 7, 2011 at 21:51
  • If you're not solving the client's problems, you should not be charging the client. Mostly they want something that goes from State A to State B. Deliver that, make money, and innovate on Saturday. When you have polished your innovation, then sell it to your clients. Apr 7, 2011 at 22:00

3 Answers 3


Agile Retrospectives would be the time to ask for a better way to do something within an Agile process. This does presume the innovation could be about the process, product or something else of course.

A spike would be another possibility for investigating something that may or may not be useful. Have you ever seen a spike? I've seen more than a few.

  • It don't make it easier with clients, but that's kind of what I'm looking for.
    – DisEngaged
    Apr 7, 2011 at 22:05

In generally, if you are working for a client with a defined project, there isn't going to be much room for innovation unless you ask them for a bit of extra time to try and work out a "cool idea" which they may or may not agree to. In larger organizations you can sometimes have side project that is explicitly allowed for the purposes of allowing developers to do a bit of innovation work on the side as well as trying out some new technologies.

In someways, Agile/SCRUM are designed to not give developers much time to go "off task" since those side projects do take away time that could be used to add required features or fix bugs. This is where teams will need to explicitly add a bit of time to go "off task" or allow for a bit of creative work between sprints.


Regardless of methodology, if you have clients that state exactly how they want things done you can either save your innovations for the next client or take a risk of showing the client and getting rejected without being compensated for the time.

Seems like you are under the impression that agile/scrum are very strict. Try waiting until you're in the middle of a water-fall project and tell your team, "You know what would be cool..."

Planning for innovation is difficult, but just because you have a plan, doesn't mean you can't innovate.

  • +1, I'm also struggling to imagine how there's a difference between agile and waterfall methodologies when it comes to adding innovations above and beyond what the client has asked for. Apr 8, 2011 at 0:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.