Limber up and get agile!

AOTBOne of our most successful projects is Agile on the Beach and we are very proud to be part of it but more importantly, it has had a profound impact on how we work.

Having grown out of the IT/software development sector, Agile is more of a way of life than a simple process. It’s about focusing on actual needs and wants and evolving one’s product or service throughout the development and delivery processes rather than a more transactional approach.

To us, this is second nature. We always focus on what our client wants and what the project needs and we make sure that the conversation happens throughout the development and delivery processes. It’s just how we roll….but Agile gives us a structure for ensuring that this flexible and engaging approach is effective and profitable.

Agile, and particularly value stream mapping, gives us a means to understand the reality of the processes involved in what we do and identify where there is waste in terms of time, money and effort. Beyond the operational, Agile also has models that we can apply strategically to understand where we are adding value in our business, and where there is weakness or waste. We used it to frame both current and future business models when we shifted from a traditional employment hierarchy to a more flexible network structure.

It is increasing in popularity beyond the software and IT sectors with applications in team management, business strategy and work planning that are applicable to any sector. The team at MPAD are doing it within PR and having explored process driven structures with value stream mapping, they are now focusing more on the people rather than the processes. The great thing about Agile is that the application of the principles adapts with us too. Yesterday, I learnt that an American events and communications agency, Struck, is using Agile and multi-modal learning styles to develop communications across their teams and manage workload, all with a focus on what the customer needs and wants.

So it’s not just for software developers, it’s for anyone. There’s loads of information out there but all the presentations from this year’s Agile on the Beach are uploaded to the AOTB site now so a perfect opportunity to hear what it’s all about from the experts….

Claire Eason Bassett, Managing Director, Mackerel Sky

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