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Using Agile/Scrum? Add Innovation Engineering for best results

October 18, 2016

If you Google terms like “innovation”, “software development”, “project management”, etc., you’ll get a number of hits describing different methodologies that organizations can use to “win”. As a leader, it can be difficult to compare them to determine which is right for you. While IT departments often use Agile/Scrum to accelerate IT projects, an approach that complements Agile while benefiting the organization as whole helps everyone “win”.

Let’s start with some definitions:

Innovation Engineering is a system of education, tools and coaching designed to help organizations grow by developing meaningfully unique products, services, markets, and internal systems. (Meaningful = the idea matters to individuals and the company; unique = new to the world).

Agile/Scrum was created for software development projects. Agile is born of four main values that come from a defined manifesto. Scrum is the process used to execute on those values.

To start, let’s use the four Agile values for our comparison:

Agile vs Innovation Engineering Comparison 2016

The values that each system holds are aligned in many ways, but what does that look like in action? Click here for a comparison chart of Innovation Engineering and SCRUM activities.

If your organization uses Agile/Scrum for its IT initiatives and is looking to add Innovation Engineering to its toolbox, here’s what you need to know:Business photo

1. Innovation Engineering and Agile/Scrum aren’t the same, but they play well together. The biggest different in the two approaches is that Agile/Scrum is used only in software development today; Innovation Engineering can be applied to those projects in addition to any other project in IT or any other department.

2. Organizations that are already using Agile/Scrum for software development may have an easier time leveraging Innovation Engineering for other projects than other systems out there due to the similarities in approaches and values. With that framework already in place, some of the hurdles we may have seen at the beginning of a project have already been removed.

3. The culture required to successfully leverage Innovation Engineering and Agile/Scrum is consistent. If one works well, the other should function equally well. On the flip side, if your organization struggles to have the discipline to leverage one, the other will be challenging.

The best part? Both approaches support a culture of rapid innovation cycles that reduce risk and increase speed, so Agile/Scrum users can leverage Innovation Engineering to drive that culture into non-IT areas of their organization. Get ready for a more nimble organization that is firing on all cylinders to make progress happen. It’s a “win” for everyone.

This article is the second of a series designed to compare Innovation Engineering and other common systems. Read the first article “Why Lean needs Innovation Engineering” here.

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