Until 10 years ago, nomenclature like standup, sprint and scrum master were completely foreign to me. I was introduced to the world of agile after taking on a client in the software development space in NYC. The early aughts saw the beginning of so many new ideas in business, including SEO, podcasting and a concept called the agile methodology – a new way of working that completely turned “business as usual” on its head. It was during this time that I was introduced to the concept of agile marketing.
When I first started working with this client, it took me a while to understand the importance of agile work. The idea of iterative development was foreign to me, as my experience in technology always followed the ‘release’ model. This way of working meant all of our customers received new features and functionality on a set schedule. If they needed custom work, they simply had to take a number and wait.
The idea of iteration and being able to see progress regularly by implementing agile development was eye-opening–it was a truly monumental change in the way I learned to work.
A Twist on the StandUp
At Red Bamboo, we have adopted some of the same techniques that are used in agile software development, including the daily stand-up. The stand-up is a 15-minute meeting where each person reviews the highlights from the previous day, the main tasks for the current day and any challenges they have completing those tasks. This quick and dirty status meeting keeps our team united and is an opportunity for us to help each other.
This team approach helps individuals make better choices for our clients while putting a focus on priority tasks and projects. It helps instill a sense of accountability for everyone on the team, including the managing partners and clients.
To add our own twist, we choose a stand-up leader each week to run the meeting for the team. This gives each of our employees the opportunity to lead. In this model, the leader picks a special theme for the week that will be incorporated into the daily stand-up routine.
Themes have included betterment, inspiration, healthy living, getting out of your comfort zone by speaking another language and sales. We have taken walks, watched inspirational videos, learned a little about each other’s personal dreams and drank apple cider vinegar (with the mother). This twist on the stand up has been fun, it helps us be genuine with each other and get to know each other.
A Little Bit of Patience Goes a Long Way
One of the primary benefits of agile methodology is teaching organizations to pivot. I love this idea and how it can be applied to marketing. In marketing – especially content marketing and storytelling – clients and marketers need to understand it takes time for an idea, a story or a brand to be recognized and drive results. If we decide on a strategic direction for a client, we have to give it time to work.
In order to be a recognized brand or product, seen as a thought leader or valuable to your followers, you can’t pivot too fast or your audience will get confused. Moving from one industry segment to another, leading with one product then another, or developing campaigns and programs that are far from your brand’s purpose, can be detrimental to your marketing efforts.
So, all and all, I am thankful that I learned about agile software development long ago and that some of the things that seemed so foreign to me are like second nature now.
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