We learned last year at the OOP 2011, that we can deal with the faster release cycles by using agile techniques. Over the year we saw, that everybody is doing agile and releasing faster. The consequence is, that we must not only be faster, we even must be better than our competitors. The quality of our software must increase, to be adopted faster and be more reliable. But also our ideas of reaching the user must be the first one, even before the user (or competitor) can smell them.

So what do we have: We have a product, we can work hard to increase its quality, and we have the people, who possibly, certainly have great ideas.

So it is not a miracle, that a lot of tracks of the OOP 2012 have something to do with quality (sustainablility) or creativity and innovation.

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how and when innovate

My first day at the OOP 2012 I concentrated on the last two items, crativity and innovation. I heard Professor Neil Maiden (@NeilMaiden) from the City University in London and Bianca Hollis from BBC Worldwide (@BiancaUXD), first at their workshop "innovation, Requirements & Agile techniques for Getting More from your Business Analysis", and second at their talk at the evening session "Thinking Creatively in Agile Projects".

In the workshop we learned even by doing on ourselves in small workgroups the creativity techniques Hall of Fame, Constraint Removal, Innovation Triggers, Combine Story Elements and creatively Write Stories.

This was a good basis for listening to the talk afterwards, where we learned how to use those techniques in reality in agile projects. Both referees reported from their experience in bringing innovation and creativity in ongoing and new projects, which must have been sometimes hard.

No project is equal and the combination of agile roles and the characters behind are changing, so that everybody in an agile team has to cope with an everytime new situation when bringing in creativity and innovation. I think, not only one person (scrum-master or product-ownwer) can admit the resposibility for that, every team-member has the possibility to ask for, how to bring in innovation. Change is not a decision made by a few people assumed high in the company's hirachy. Change is also a movement comming from everybody. So let us get creative and have fun.