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The agile mindset for innovation with Huub Rutten


Dr. Huub Rutten is one of the Founding members of Sopheon and is currently the company's Vice President for Product Research and Design. After gaining a Masters in Applied Linguistics from Radboud University in the Netherlands, Huub went on to work for several academic institutes teaching linguistics and communications.  An adjunct professor at the European Institute for Public Administration (EIPA), he then became a permanent advisor to the European Commission, counseling them on IT and policy development. Huub is instrumental in Sopheons development of linguistics and knowledge management technologies and continues to lead Sopheon into solutions for Innovation. He currently resides in Maastricht in the south of the Netherlands. We continue our 3-part Innovation conversation with Dr. Hubb Rutten by delving into the Agile Manifesto philosophy, which he says was born of the frustration of software products' past failures. He reveals how the software world embraced Agile teachings that promised better, more successful, faster products and why he thinks some of the promises of Agile are an illusion.  Huub breaks down what he describes as an 'Agile way of thinking' and how software companies think it's a tool to get closer to the end-user of the product. He also warns of the pitfalls within the Agile mindset and why companies should not rely too heavily on one framework.

"I think that the intentions of Agile are not bad. I don't think so. But I believe that it cannot be the only answer to the success of the company." – Huub Rutten

"If I am Agile with a scrum team with ten stupid people, it will have a stupid product coming out of it." – Huub Rutten

"Agile is a method, cannot be the goal." – Huub Rutten

"I would say that Agile is confused with 'agility and flexibility."  – Huub Rutten 

"Flexibility and agility come with a price that is not the same as Agile. Agile is a methodology. It's a project management methodology. It's got nothing to do with agility."  – Huub Rutten


This week on Innovative Talks:

  • How the Agile movement rose up in the software world
  • Why the different interpretations of Agile can be counter-productive between software and hardware teams
  • Why Huub thinks Agile is old tried and tested practices dressed up as a belief system
  • How the Agile framework was sold to the product developers
  • The problems software companies have connecting with their users in development
  • How basic customer market research has parallels with Agile methodology
Resources Mentioned: Connect with Huub Rutten: Connect with Paul Heller:

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