With the onset of the digital age of advertising and tech development, agile has been a buzzword in the marketing world for years. The intricacies of all the moving parts, the multiple hands, the multiple roles, the need for ‘instant’ gratification in an already fast-paced environment brought about the development of a new methodology for bringing this digital product to life – “Agile.” No longer do the traditional ways of managing clients, and delivering for clients seem as fun, or current, or effective as Agile.
As with any successful methodology, the desire to take what is the best of a new process and adopt it into the way of doing business for all becomes like candy. It’s so tempting…
Reasons for Adopting the Agile* Marketing Approach According to US Marketers, Dec 2017
% of respondents
Enhance Ability to Manage Changing Priorities
Improve Alignment with Other Teams/Business Objectives
Accelerate Delivery of Campaigns
Improve Team Morale
Improve Project Visability
Enhance Predictability of Campaign Delivery
Better Manage Distributed Teams
Note: among those whose team uses the agile marketing approach; *defined as having flexible plans that change often; use at least some parts of an Agile marketing approach to manage work(e.g., daily standups, backlog, sprints, Kanban board)
Source: AgileSherpas, "1st Annual State of Agile Marketing Report" in partnership with Kapost, Feb 22, 2018
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The reasons are so compelling.
Why not use agile for all forms of production? Why not become agile in all ways of thinking and all interactions? Clients can benefit from the speedier delivery, the interconnectivity of communication, the knowledge and understanding of how things come together, the overall efficiencies promised from an agile delivery. Can’t they?
But, how many companies say they are agile only to find in execution they fail at bringing it to life? There are so many ways to bring Agile to a company – you can teach the principles, teach the methodology, certify in Agile, train on being a scrum master, and on and on. Books, videos, consultants, organizations exist that bring knowledge and are more than willing to come in and show how to make it happen. All of these exist, but there is one vital step you have to take before you can truly become agile. Check your culture – is your culture one that can truly adopt the values and principles of being Agile?
Let’s be clear – Agile isn’t the only way to get things done or make things happen. It isn’t for everyone or every company. Many have tried and have failed for a myriad of reasons. Most can be boiled down to the environment in which it lived – the culture wasn’t right, the leadership didn’t support, there wasn’t buy-in or a clear understanding of what it is or what it takes.
The culture that is Agile is one that believes in collaboration over dictation, trust over micromanagement, flexibility over rigidity, adaptability vs “it has to be done this way,” having a leadership mentality vs “I’m your boss” mentality. Conversation is key – and trust, again. Everyone has to have their eye on the ultimate goal – client satisfaction – and trust that others have that same goal in mind. Clarity of goals, openness of communication, moving together as a group, and great leadership makes for a happier environment in an agile culture.
An agile leader will bring everyone together and communicate with all. There is not a lot of bureaucracy with information – but rather an understanding that communication is the key to moving quicker, providing better results, creating a happier environment which will result in greater client satisfaction.
Now, Agile doesn’t mean there is no process, quite the contrary. But, while there is process and more than a few methods to accomplish “agile,” start the journey by ensuring you have the right culture for it to thrive.