I normally use Scrum for software projects, but I don't mind exploring other methodologies.

I realize that most of the time Scrum restricts the creative culture. The developer does the job that's designer and PO told them to do and that's it.This makes the feedback loop pretty slow and the team is not caring much about how the product going to be.

By this, we can't get all the benefits from team member perspective and diversity, leading to a lack of creative and innovative culture.

I realize that a way to enable creativity is to ask for team members feedback, discuss about the product and design the users are expecting. This could be done as a group, not by any process or artifact meeting.

So question is, How to enable this?

And is there any other ways to leap up the creative and innovative culture?

  • 2
    Your assumptions are flawed. Properly implemented, Scrum increases creative solutions. Figure out why your process is broken, then proceed from there.
    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 21:14

3 Answers 3


I realize that most of the time Scrum restricts the creative culture.

I'm so sick and tired of people saying "Scrum does this" or "Scrum does that" when in reality, they could read a short few pages of paper and see that they are wrong.

Your creativity is restricted because you do "design up front". Nowhere in Scrum does it say you have to have a designer. Or a design up front. Or a design at all. Scrum says your development team needs all the skills to turn a backlog item into a finished product. That's it. Any changes you make to this are on you. If you don't trust your team to do a good design by themselves and provide one for them, then it's you, not Scrum, restricting them.

Making team members feedback and discuss their product and design they're working on.

That is already a part of Scrum and called "Refinement" and "Sprint Planning". I wonder whether you do Scrum at all. What exactly are you doing in those meetings, if it's not feedback and discussion about the past and future product?

What I read from your question is that you have managed to restrict your team in a way that they start to show signs of "Don't care, not my product" and you don't actually want to officially change your restrictions, but instead want to find some way to uphold the restrictions, but have your team at the same time undermine and subvert them, by having hidden boosts of creativity, outside of the given process.

This is not going to fly with any process, Scrum or something else.

Since you use Scrum, the first step would be to read the Scrum guidelines and see what you should do. The whole restrictions around "Design" are of your own making and not a part of Scrum, so don't hide behind Scrum when it comes to evaluating them.

Then ask your team in a retrospective how to change things so they can be more creative. You cannot force creativity through a process, you can only remove restrictions and see what happens. And again: those restrictions were set by you, they are not part of Scrum.

  • First, I didn’t against scrum. Scrum is very good when you want to ship a product to your client. It has a fast enough feedback loop for that. But I against it when it’s come to solve the new product problem. Because it’s leave everything with the process, timeboxes and feedback loop took another sprint long. That’s crazy. And that’s because it’s not designed to do this job.
    – kitta
    Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 9:29
  • So I don’t think Backlog Refinement and Sprint Planning really help. Again, My observation is creativity didn’t work in a time box meeting session. It’s happen when people trying to solve the problem and think about it all the time. And when they come up with new solution or idea, They share and get feedback with their colleagues. And this question is about how I can get to that point.
    – kitta
    Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 9:30
  • 2
    Why aren't you at that point now? The refinement is not to have an idea, it's to discuss the ideas. And maybe have some. What is keeping your team from bringing their ideas to the meetings?
    – nvoigt
    Commented Jul 12, 2020 at 9:36
  • Related: ronjeffries.com/xprog/articles/jatbaseball
    – Sarov
    Commented Sep 28, 2020 at 13:56

"Creative culture" can easily de-evolve into what many software designers are consciously or unconsciously used to: "lone wolves, in a pack."

In the end, these implementers are asking for free rein to decide for themselves how to do the work. Which makes about as much sense as inviting a construction crew onto your vacant lot and saying, "go build me a nice house."

Maybe the best thing to do now is to show these folks some of the PMBOK materials about "project management maturity." Show them how people have learned from experience that there is a much better way to tackle big projects than to lean upon anyone's "individual creativity" or "autonomy."

I've dealt with a lot of software developers over the years – in fact, I have written literally millions of lines of source-code myself by now – and I take great pleasure in showing the "lone wolves" how project management discipline can help them permanently avoid the things that vexed them in their previous jobs ... things that they endured, and then probably walked away from (one or more times), but never recognized. It's fun to watch the light-bulb blink on.


I misunderstood the question a little bit in my first response, however, some of the things I stated still hold true in this kind of situation.

  1. Having a method for people to leave their ideas about a project anonymously is a good method and can be done in Microsoft Forms. Sometimes people do not want to sound stupid in front of everyone or in front of their manager/supervisor.

  2. However, Microsoft Teams and Microsoft power automate may be a good solutions for you as well. Creating a communication flow in Teams and then blatantly asking for feedback in the chat or the projects/planner app of teams. With power automate having a button users can press where they can ask if they can add this into the project and you just click on approve or disapprove (giving a reason why) is another option. Teams chats would be better because everyone can see each others comments and improve on them with each other.

  3. Even if you did utilize these tools, more would need to be done then just saying these tools are available. The workers need to know and feel like they can be themselves and can and are expected to add their own style into the projects and provide their perspectives on projects.

If you have the ability to bring everyone together in a meeting (video chat or in person) then require everyone go to a short meeting. You would explain in this meeting that you value their feedback and want them to add a little more of their own flavor into the projects. That you want them to have a little more freedom to do what they want, or you can state "I know you guys may not feel comfortable just doing an idea you have without asking, I made an approval process where I can approve or disapprove and let you know why. Regardless, the employees need to know there is no right or wrong answer in a sense. That all ideas are good ideas, even if they can not be used. If you use Microsoft Forms for secret feedback, provide everyone an easy method of getting there, and perhaps read the anonymous feedback/ideas people may want to do on a project in a separate meeting to see how everyone feels or how it can be tweaked so that a certain aspect of it can be used if the idea is liked but no entirely feasible. Example: Instead of paying money you don't have to rent a Ferrari for a photoshoot, photoshop a Ferrari in the photoshoot.

Source: Our consultant company utilizes veterans who had success with this similar method. I myself also had success utilizing this similar method while in the military. No one wanted to say anything until I arrived at each locations. People happily told me their ideas after I started encouraging feedback, and I rushed to the supervisors to share these ideas and encourage them to have a meeting on this type of issue. In some cases it boiled down to soldiers gave good ideas in the past, but nothing happened. In this case, the lower level soldiers did not know that ideas were not being shot down by the supervisor, but a higher level official for certain reason that can not always be discussed. The soldiers needed to know this and to know when the supervisors really wanted to utilize the idea but it costed to much money to do, or whatever reason it was denied.

Disclosure: We mentioned Microsoft products because we are Microsoft partners and really like these products - there are other tools that can do the same thing.

  • 1
    I think OP is trying to collect information autonomously not anonymously; different problem. Creating a form is not autonomous.
    – MCW
    Commented Sep 23, 2020 at 10:52
  • The information I posted still applied and I updated it to clarify how it still applied. The OP post is about promoting freedom and creativity. Creating the form is a part of the idea that some people do not want to say things in public meetings for many people are afraid to look dumb or have their idea called a bad one. This is one method to help encourage users to share start sharing ideas and feel comfortable expressing autonomy Commented Sep 30, 2020 at 1:20

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