By Ben Gritz, Managing Director at Totally Communications
Agile marketing practices have amassed a great deal of publicity and headlines in recent months. Examples such as the Oreo team’s rapid Twitter response to the blackout at the American Super Bowl — ‘You can still dunk in the dark’ – which went viral, has validated the methodology, despite it being far from traditional marketing approaches.
Yet while many experts and organisations tout ‘agile’ marketing as the way forward and an absolute necessity for organisations in today’s digital market, many businesses are still reluctant to adopt an ‘agile’ approach to other working practices.
However, an ‘agile’ approach is the most logical and absolute approach for many working practices, including project management. In fact, when applied to project management, an ‘agile’ approach is perhaps the most effective, enabling businesses to easily align technology innovation with business objectives.
In today’s rapidly changing business environment, where products and services evolve and end users are becoming more sophisticated, an ‘agile’ approach allows organisations to de-risk their development, reduce the cost and, critically, rapidly achieve a solution that meets the businesses requirements.
Agile project management follows the lead set by agile software development, where the methodology originated, applying an iterative and incremental approach in which requirements and solutions evolve through self-organising, cross-functional teams. This requires the business goals and objectives of a project to be agreed early on, but at the same time allows, if required, for flexibility and adaptation in the way those goals and objectives are achieved.
Such agility and flexibility is important to meet constantly evolving user needs. The benefits of the approach speak volumes and become even more apparent when applied to the risk management of projects, with the iterative approach of agile mitigating against failure in a number of ways.
The collaborative nature of agile means the development of any project is highly visible and involves a robust sign off process throughout. This not only creates transparency at every stage for all relevant stakeholders, but establishes accountability. As a result, agile led development provides organisations with a project that is both on budget and within scope; and a product that directly matches business and user needs.
With organisations needing to satisfy the demands of increasingly multi-faceted consumers, in turn shifting from a “sell what you are going to build” mentality to a “build what you are going to sell” state of mind, agile is now the most logical and absolute approach to project management.
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