Agile has proven to be a powerful method to improve your business value delivery, and customer relationships, and increase your chances of success. As such, there is no surprise more teams and companies out there are adding it to their processes. However, since Agile was originally created for software development projects, some find it difficult to apply in their field. Today, let’s take a look at what it means to apply Agile for a marketing agency and how to ensure your efforts are successful.
Need more background on Agile itself? Take a look at this post:
Agile for Marketing Agency
While Agile originated in software development, it has since been successfully applied in many other fields and marketing is one of them. However, introducing Agile to a marketing team that works internally is a little different from applying it to a marketing agency. In the latter, you have to manage multiple resources and deliver value to multiple clients, which makes the process of implementing Agile a little less straightforward.
By applying Agile to your marketing agency, however, you can eliminate or at least minimize such pains as unprofitable projects, and late deliveries, learn how to manage constant changes in the projects, and include your clients in the process more to ensure they are happy with the results.
This will take quite a bit of effort, however. According to a survey conducted by McKinsey, only 3% of teams consider their Agile transition as smooth. This means applying Agile should be taken seriously and with good preparation instead of viewing it as something the team is simply trying for now.
So how, should you make sure the Agile transition goes as well as possible? The key is preparation and pace.
Implementing Agile for Marketing Agency
As mentioned above, updating your processes to Agile should not be a hasty decision. Instead, there needs to be consideration and preparation to ensure as little stress on your team and clients as possible.
Before jumping in and changing the processes altogether, you should consider whether:
- You have enough knowledge to spearhead the transition. As mentioned before, implementing Agile is no easy task – you will have to convince your team, and clients, and rethink the way your agency runs.
- The team is ready for the change. Your team is another big factor here. Without them, you have no agency. So, you must ensure they are willing to spend additional time learning Agile and implementing the new processes while having to deliver value to their clients at the same time.
- The clients are on board. Lastly, implementing Agile means you will have to involve your clients in the processes of the agency more. So, try and gauge their opinion on such involvement and see how likely they are to aid you in the Agile journey.
These 3 factors are key to applying Agile for a marketing agency. However, they don’t have to be ready all at once and can happen gradually as your knowledge and experience with Agile grow. Consider these 3 points to understand the steps of your implementation and what will have to be done to achieve it.
Once you’ve made the decision to move forward, you should divide the Agile implementation into specific actionable steps. Allowing the process to develop naturally and comfortably for all involved.
1. Educate yourself about Agile and see which practice suits your agency
The very first thing to do is to understand what Agile is and how it may be beneficial to your case. You are already doing so by reading this article and the exploration should continue from here. See how Agile came about, understand the main principles, explore common practices like Scrum and Kanban, and check out examples from companies similar to yours.
You can find more similar resources in our Agile library.
2. Explain the benefits and why this change is happening
Once you know why you want to implement Agile for marketing agency, present this information to the team. After all, it will be up to them if the transition is successful or not. So, explain the main benefits, and why the change is needed, and answer any questions they may have. Through having an open dialog, you will be able to create a smooth transition for all.
3. Start with a single ceremony or practice
Now it is time for the first step in your actual implementation. Aim to not overload your team with everything at once and instead introduce 1 or 2 practices first. A good idea is to start with Daily Scrum. A short meeting to get the status of what is happening today. This will get your team into the rhythm and open a way for more communication.
To supplement this meeting, you may also consider adding an Agile board that reflects the team’s tasks and status. Making it easier to present and understand progress.
4. Add more ceremonies to your team’s process
Once the team accepts the initial meetings, start adding in more of the Agile meetings and tools. This way, you will be able to slowly build the Agile process within your marketing agency without having a sudden change of pace and confusion from the team.
As the Agile process builds and expands you may find that some of the practices do not fit your needs exactly. Do not be afraid to adjust and customize them to create the perfect workflow for your team.
6. Start involving the clients
Over time, your team will become better and better with Agile. Once you feel confident that Agile implementation is successful, consider involving your clients.
Just like with Agile itself, start with one. Explain what is expected from them in the review meetings, introduce them to the feedback frequency, and ensure they will be able to participate. Depending on the client, this may be very easy to do or require some convincing, thus a good footing of Agile within the agency itself is key.
As the first client is onboarded, add in more and continue until you have successfully completed the first iteration of Agile for a marketing agency.
7. Review and iterate
Lastly, the Agile implementation is never truly over. And you will have to review and iterate your process at the end of each cycle. Sometimes the changes will be minor, in others, they may be quite big. The important thing to keep in mind is that your process should always fit your current needs and priorities.
Which Agile Practice to Choose?
As you know, Agile is an overarching term used to define the mindset of the team, To implement this mindset, teams pick one or few Agile practices and adapt them to their process. The best way to choose the practice for your team is by reading about the different approaches and finding the one that suits your needs the best.
Another way of going maybe by trial and error. However, this will cost you time and money until you find the right fit.
You can learn about the differences between the 3 most popular approaches in our post – Scrum vs Kanban vs Scrumban.
Agile for Marketing Agency – Benefits
Here are the benefits of implementing Agile in your marketing agency.
- Transparency in all processes. By implementing Agile, you will be able to shine a light on what happens in all your projects and understand how to improve the processes to reach better results.
- Good understanding of the progress. Working in iterations allows you to reflect on the progress even in long-term engagements. Allowing you to understand the value you have already created despite the fact that there still may be a lot left to do.
- Process control for the team. Contrary to other practices, Agile asks the team members to define the scope of each iteration. Which gives them more control over what has to be accomplished and how it will be done.
- Continuous adaptation and improvement. Agile is organized in short iterations each of which ends in a review. Allowing the team to get constant feedback from the clients, improve their efforts, and change direction when necessary.
- Professional growth. Agile promotes cross-functional teams where team members work together in order to achieve the best results. This means more collaboration and learning from your colleagues as you observe their work and share knowledge.
Agile for Marketing Agency – Tools
Implementing Agile takes time and effort from the whole agency. However, having flexible and easy-to-use tools can help soften the transition. Here a list comparing the best agency project management tools side by side.
Teamhood is a visual and lightweight Agile system for high-performing teams. That allows you to plan out the projects in Gantt charts, track the daily efforts in Kanban boards, and review results in automatically generated performance metrics. Moreover, you will be able to track time and manage the workload to give your marketing agency some breathing room between the projects.
Lightweight Agile System for high performing teams.
The Agile tool for marketing agencies
Passionate content marketer looking to bring better solutions to the project management space.
2020 - Present Marketing specialist at Teamhood.
2014 - 2020 Marketing manager for Eylean.