University of Limerick
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Enabling open innovation through agile development

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conference contribution
posted on 2011-01-26, 16:36 authored by Ken Power, Lorraine Morgan, Kieran Conboy
In much the same way that XP and agile development radically changed the software development landscape, Open Innovation is transforming how organizations manage their innovation processes. In a traditional ‘closed innovation’ model all new business development processes and marketing and development of new products takes place within the boundaries of the organization. This approach is characterized by firms that invest in their own R&D, employing smart and talented people to surpass their competitors in new product and service development. Additionally, after producing a stream of new ideas and inventions, firms must thoroughly defend their intellectual property against the competition. Open innovation, on the other hand, fundamentally challenges how organizations innovate new product development ideas by extending the pool from which ideas are drawn. This model is concerned with combining internal and external ideas, as well as internal and external paths to market, to stimulate and advance the development of new products and technologies. This approach suggests that firms develop processes to ensure a flow of ideas across its boundaries because not all smart people work for the organization and there is an increasing geographical dispersion of knowledge. Although firms may not exclusively develop all the research they use, they can still profit from it. In addition, firms may acquire relevant IP and integrate it into their internal processes. Consequently, open innovation has implications for how we view ‘the customer’ in agile projects, but also presents many opportunities for agile organizations to benefit from a different type of customer engagement. However, getting innovative ideas into your organization is just one part of the problem. Many organizations still struggle with what to do with all those innovative ideas once exposed to them, and how to incorporate them into their products. Through our experience and research, however, we have found that Agile and Lean principles and practices create the right environment for Open Innovation to thrive. The workshop is open to all XP2010 attendees and workshop attendees are invited to submit topics for discussion in advance if they desire. This can take the form of questions, position statements outlining experience with Open Innovation or innovation processes in general, problems encountered, or challenges currently faced.



11th International Conference on Agile Software Development, XP2010;





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