For my thesis research on 'Application of Scrum in Innovation', I came across the fact that innovation is an expensive process and a lot of companies shy away from it. Do you think if Scrum methodology is applied to innovation, the process could be made more sustainable? Can Scrum be Applied to innovation successfully across all industry and not just IT?
I am the Program Manager at a leading Global Bank's APAC Innovation Lab and from my experience over the last 24 months in this role I feel a balance of Scrum & Kanban i.e. Scrumban is more appropriate for Innovation engagements. We have a team of Innovation Catalysts who act as the contact point for our Product/Sales partners trying to find new & innovative solutions and/or products. At this stage, a lot of discussions take place and can even include client representatives. To facilitate these discussions our Design Thinkers step-in and use various tools & methods to flesh out the exact pain-points & the journey ahead. At this time as things are still evolving and at the same time we need to keep a track of our workflow, hence Kanban is best suited at this stage. Once we are able give shape to the product/solution conversation and know exactly what Proof-of-Concept (POC) is to be built, the Rapid Prototypers join the team. These POCs are executed in Scrum fashion, as we need rapid feedback on the increment and generally, the reviews lead to feature enhancements getting added to the Backlog.
How important do you think it is to establish empirical process control when innovating? What techniques have start-ups applied successfully, and used to validate a range of novel business propositions?