The Agile Agency
When I first started learning about Agile methodologies years ago, the idea of a marketing agency having truly Agile partnerships with its clients seemed nearly impossible to me.
How can Agile ever be implemented fully when clients often want fixed price, fixed timelines, and fixed scope? How can the concept of a defined two-week sprint possibly succeed when the precedent most agencies have set is that they will take on any unplanned requests on top of the planned work? How can agencies make the transition to Agile practices when those practices require significantly more involvement from clients? I am excited to say that Intelligent Demand (ID) has found many ways to incorporate an Agile mindset as well as
Agile methodologies into the way we work with our clients, and our partnership with GTT Communications (GTT) is a stellar example. We are using the Scrum framework, and both ID and GTT are reaping many benefits, a few of which are detailed below.
Say “Goodbye” to status meetings, and “Hello” to increased visibility
Perhaps one of the most powerful elements of doing Scrum with GTT is that we have shared access to a scrum board which is constantly updated by both teams. No one has to wonder what is in the backlog, what is being worked on, what needs to get reviewed, and what is complete. Instead of frequent status meetings, we all get to spend our time actually doing the work.
Say “Goodbye” to big-bang campaigns, and “Hello” to iterative campaigns
Rather than waiting to launch a campaign until every single asset it will ever require is developed, we release components as they are ready. This is a major win because we get into market sooner and we quickly start learning from the data and optimizing accordingly. Hooray for adaptive and iterative validated learning campaigns!
Say “Goodbye” to switching costs, and “Hello” to focus and efficiency
Before each sprint, we collaborate with GTT to determine what will be delivered by both teams over the next two weeks. We stick to this plan unless something critical comes up that requires us to reprioritize. This enables better focus for both teams and avoids inefficiencies caused by switching from task to task due to emerging, unplanned work.
Aaron Ballew, Sr. Director of Portfolio Marketing at GTT, recently said this to me in an email:
“As a couple of things pop up, I’m creating new user stories. However, I am *not* assigning them to this sprint. That would not be cool because it’s equivalent to assigning new work within already-consumed capacity that nobody agreed to.”
I might have teared up a bit when I read this.
If you’re interested in how ID and your marketing team could partner in a more agile way, please let us know! Or, if you’re looking to help your company better align solutions with business needs, respond to change quickly, or improve efficiencies, reach out to us. We love helping companies become more agile!