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Lucas Paetow for SinnerSchrader Engineers

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Innovation from within the team?

(Photo by Tomasz Frankowski)

How do you bring innovation to long term client projects?

Can you still be creative and try wild ideas?

We are working on a big project with many other people for quite some time now and we all will be working there for quite some more time. We have our set meetings, alignments, refinements, plannings, lunch times, reviews, and everything else for a smooth ride. But sometimes I wish I could bring more to the table, add my own ideas to existing stories or create new ones entirely.

Many of us have some expertise through other (side) projects or previous jobs and have ideas in that direction. For example, I really enjoy working with animations and therefore often see opportunities where to add them to increase the usability of the project. If I see some possibility to add them, I could of course write a ticket but it might never see the light of day on the bottom of the backlog (even if it suits the long term goals of the client).

But should it?

  • Is this kind of thinking more of a luxury problem?
  • Does the client always know which ticket order is best because in the end, all we can do is give advice to the best of our knowledge and priorities are always shifting anyways?

What about you

  • Were you able to convince your client to let you bring in your own ideas to even further improve the product?
  • If so, how?
  • With your own process like an “innovation sprint” or separate backlog?
  • Or did you find another solution entirely?

Discussion (2)

josefine profile image
Josefine Schfr

I am very torn about this - it seems like it mainly comes back to how you see yourself and your role when working with a client: Are you an advisor or a service provider? And how far does that service go?
I have not worked in a set up with innovation sprints or separate backlogs before, but I am still hoping that if you have good enough reason behind your proposals, are 'able to sell it' so to say, it should be possible to bring in own ideas, right?

lptw profile image
Lucas Paetow Author

Totally true! I also think it's about trust. We as the team are the experts in terms of design / usability / testing / development and our suggestions would be in the best interest of the project. When these suggestions fall into the bottomless pit of the backlog, the team might not feel as an equal part of the conversation (which is coming back to your question => advisor or service provider?)