In Research, Agile methodologies like Scrum or Kanban have to be interpreted to fit this specific context. There might not always be a real identified customer to give regular feedback on progress, and the project backlog may not be fully defined at the beginning of a project. However, the main concepts of Agility can be applied: self-organizing, cross-functional teams, adaptive planning with short iterations and flexible response to change.
In particular, in the Advanced Development Lab (ADL) of Naver Labs Europe, we use Agile methodologies to develop and implement solutions that solve business problems. Our teams implement various aspects of Agile methodologies, from sticky-note task boards to daily stand-ups, with the goal of delivering high quality, innovative solutions that answer a business problem or a research objective.
As part of our Agile toolset we like testing our research prototypes and proofs of concept by putting them in the hands of customers, partners and our business colleagues. When part of Xerox, Open Xerox was our virtual laboratory allowing researchers to host software prototypes in the form of webapps, mobile apps, APIs, etc. Please do not hesitate testing our work and giving your feedback.
Please contact us if you want to share your experience with Agile methodologies in a research environment.