Sprinting out of stuckness: Overcoming moments of stuckness to support the creativity flow in agile team settings

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Shah, Ashni; Huidobro Pereda, Alfonso; Gon
Series: ICED
Institution: Delft University of Technology
Section: Innovation engineering
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.1017/dsi.2019.241
ISSN: 2220-4342


Multidisciplinary agile teams working in fast paced, delivery-oriented sprint cycles of two weeks can experience moments of stuckness. Typically, these moments can be characterised by the inability to continue, which can be quite detrimental in agile settings, where time is pressured. This paper aims to explore these moments of stuckness, to understand when and why they occur and to understand the different strategies Scrum teams use to overcome them, both on a personal as well as team level. A combination of interviews and observations were conducted with six Scrum team members and two experts to understand their process and experiences while working in an agile set up. We have identified five strategies, which strongly rely on agile values of collaboration, communication, and creativity. These are: looking for expert guidance, open communication, creating spike stories, visual communication and incubation. The findings from this study provide both practice and academia with a deeper understanding into how can creativity be supported in agile settings.

Keywords: Creativity, Design process, Teamwork, Agile, Scrum


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