AGILE 2006-An Excerpt from IDEO (, GM, Tom Kelleys Presentation


My career gives me the opportunity to interact with a lot of decision makers.  The software products industry ( The companies are called ISV’s) needs to be very innovating to survive the market pressures.  I have known IDEO( by reading a book by Tom Kelley himself ( which makes a real good read.  We advocate the use of AGILE based development practices to our clients and have a working group doing it’s own freaky things to handle collaborative teams and outsourcing as a part of the AGILE manifesto(  There are some ideas Tom Kelley suggesting the basics of what needs to go into innovation from his recent presentation at AGILE 2006, Germany (

He talks about Cultivating the Three Learning Roles of Innovation and I’m writing a brief on what I learnt:

Role 1: The Anthropologist (look, learn and try) ..get to the customers playground and see areas where his business pain points occur.  From my view point the people who are really in close contact with the development teams at our clients place are the developers and they really need to have a scrap book to learn from their counterparts about where the pain lies.

Role 2: The Experimenter (learn by experimenting)  …there is a need to make those prototypes in an easier and faster manner.  He suggests that making around 3-5 prototypes gives the team and decision makers more space to play.

Role3: The Cross-Pollinator (look far afield) .. He talks about why we need to move out of our business playground to learn about ideas which are running and being experimented on.  For example, I love a part of the talk entrepreneurs give to VC’s.  The business case presentation. could be worked on with hot and meaty opportunities in our pipeline and dealt with in a proper manner.  A VC takes a chance looking at the ROI generated by an entrepreneur and the same thing applies to larger B2B sales, in which the pressure is equivalent.

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