Agile has been around for over two decades. Back in 2001, a group of software engineers came together and wrote the Agile Manifesto, laying our four values and 12 principles to power their own software development teams.
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
“While there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.”
Putting the four values mentioned into marketing speak, I loosely translate:
People and communication over processes and tools
Published content over comprehensive documentation and perfection
Customer collaboration and input over exact scope of work
Responding to change, trends, and world events over following a plan
And the same applies: While there is value in the items on the right, I value the items on the left more.
From that manifesto, agile methodology moved through—and was adopted within—a variety of teams of large corporations. Agile moved from development and operations to product departments, IT, HR, and eventually sales and marketing.
Agile in marketing isn’t a new concept, but it’s new-ish to the social media world—especially to those who work in small teams, or to those who work as freelancers with their “team” being their clients.
What then, based on the four values mentioned above, can we expect from agile teams?
First and foremost, agile teams need agilists, aka agile marketers with the right mindset!
An agile mindset starts with self-awareness and:
Willingness to fail
From the four agile values and twelve principles as outlined in the agile manifesto come an infinite number of agile practices. It’s a smorgasbord out there! Frameworks, practices… It can be quite overwhelming to get started. (It was for me!)
As an agile marketer, social media manager, and consultant, as well as leader of a small team, there is one daily practice that contributed heavily to my increased workflow, freed up time, and allowed me to scale my business.
It also made me fall in love with agile!
This daily practice I highly recommend as a way to get started with agile is the daily stand up meeting.
Whether your team has five, three, or just one person, the daily stand up meeting is the best way to check progress within your team.
The daily stand up meeting is designed to be quick, effective, and productive.
Each member of the team answers the same three questions each day:
What did I accomplish yesterday?
What am I doing today?
Where am I stuck?
By being transparent with your team members on a daily basis—and being transparent and brutally honest with yourself if you are a team of one—you’ll discover where your bottlenecks are (or WHO they are!).
By sharing and listening, your team will be able to take action on items that need to “move” in order for another team member to move forward. Remember, one of the values of an agile team is team collaboration. On an agile team, everyone can and should help each other out if that means moving the project forward!
An example: If someone on the team is absent, and another team member is desperately looking for thumbnails for a video editing job, and you have access to the tool and can create those thumbnails, you step in and get the work done! Bottleneck gone, the team is instantly more productive and everything flows once again!
Daily stand up meetings should be short and to the point. Everyone on the team gets a turn to speak, and everyone listens to their peers. They should be over in less than 15 minutes!
Be implementing agile practices, and not just doing agile, but truly being agile, beautiful things will happen within your team.
Agile team members:
Feel psychologically safe
Work to their potential
Grow their skills
Agility within a team starts with people who are willing to fail, are curious, want to improve and learn and collaborate! To do that, communication is essential—aka a daily stand up meeting!
Let me know if you think agile could be your way forward to increase your workflow!
Dorien Morin-van Dam @dorien
Organic Social Media Specialist | International Keynote Speaker | Certified Agile Marketer | Community Manager | Content Marketer #StrategyTalks