In today’s digital marketing climate, the ability to adapt on the fly is crucial to success. Different clients have different needs, which require different sets of deliverables, or even just the flexibility to plan for the unexpected.
LAIRE recognized this and decided to take a drastic step towards increasing productivity for both ourselves and our clients.
It was time to get agile.
What is an Agile Marketing Agency?
The Agile Methodology, at its core, stresses flexibility and the ability to perform under even the most difficult of circumstances. Since implementing agile, LAIRE is far less reliant on a physical location. In fact, at the time of publishing this blog post, our entire team is working remotely due to the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. Despite our physical locations being different, our capacity, output, and planning are all the same (if not better).
Implementing the Agile Methodology Doesn’t Happen Overnight
Implementing the agile methodology is something that takes significant time, but delivers even more significant results. Which is not all that unlike the inbound methodology we implement for our agency and our clients. It’s an investment. Time and money are two common stressors for pretty much everyone.
An agile methodology allows you to take control of both by focusing on issues and tasks that truly matter, and directly impact the bottom line. Gone are the days of order taking, and checking boxes just to check them off. We’ve fully adopted agile, and are working together to develop strategies that allow for what you want, as well as what you need. What does this mean? It means our SMART goals are more important than ever.
Prioritizing your Company’s Growth Goals through the Agile Methodology
Introducing a new product or service and need to update your website accordingly? No worries. Looking to increase your organic search visibility for certain long-tail keywords? Perfect. The focus is now on doing the work that matters, in the time our clients are allotting us to do so. No more cookie-cutter strategies. Quarterly planning is great, but how often do your needs shift, or things come up last minute?
Agile solves this by planning deliverables sprint by sprint. At LAIRE we are running one-week sprints. We meet each Wednesday morning (after some coffee of course) and decide what we need to accomplish for each of our clients. If it’s business as usual we just pull in the next issue from the backlog. If something comes up, we communicate with our clients to decide what’s more important and plan accordingly. It also allows us to tie each deliverable back to one of their SMART goals. Our client’s success is our success and vice versa. It’s much more manageable and transparent to plan week-by-week than in three-month increments.
LAIRE Agile Process
The keys to successful agile implementation revolve around data. Thorough planning is much easier when you know your team’s capacity, their utilization, and average work output. There are all sorts of formulas out there to help you figure this out for your team. Our sprint planning sessions continue to improve as we learn more about these specific numbers for our team. The goal is simple. Know how much your team can do, who can do what, when they need to do it, and how it impacts the overall growth strategy for each client. The process is completely transparent, allowing everyone to know exactly what to expect and when to expect it. All of our current deliverables and future deliverables are organized neatly in our project management software, Jira.
Staying On Track Through Scrum
Jira makes it extremely easy for our entire team to know what everyone is working on at all times. We also scrum daily, first thing in the morning, to share what we worked on the day before and what we plan to accomplish that day. It also gives us an opportunity to get quick answers or feedback from other team members.
A typical scrum lasts for 15 minutes. If there are any bigger issues or roadblocks, the relevant team members can schedule a breakout session for immediately following the scrum, or even schedule a larger meeting for the near future. All in all, scrum is a great way for the whole team to get aligned before we start our day.
Data-Driven Decisions Lead to Growth
The more data you have to make a decision the more confident you’ll feel once making the decision. Agile allows us to review all of our deliverables for a quarter in one place (Jira). When it comes time to plan the overall strategy for the next quarter we can pull all of the deliverables and go through them with our clients.
This not only gives both parties peace of mind, knowing the work has been done, but it can also be an eye-opening experience for our clients. For example, they might see we spent 15 hours on a task that they deemed extremely important, but in the end, saw other deliverables suffered because of this. All in all, it keeps everyone informed and leads to better communication between us and our clients.
Growth will always be our number one focus for our clients. Whether that’s organic search growth, a new website launch, a sales enablement campaign, or any of the other strategies we implement for our clients. If you’re not growing, we’re not growing.
With the way 2020 has started, it is certainly going to be a true test of flexibility and adaptability for us all. Implementing agile is helping us grow better together - regardless of our physical location.