From Kanban Boards (to-do lists) to Product Backlogs (client requests), Agile and advertising/marketing are made for one another. Feedback loops are shorter, clients are happier, and final products are better.
But when we say Agile can be applied to non-tech industries, you may be thinking, “Easier said than done.” So this week, we want to show you rather than tell you about how adopting Agile has improved one advertising agency.
Monday—Weekly Standup Meeting
Every Monday morning, the agency kicks off the week with a detailed standup meeting that includes every project that falls within every client. Half of the Team is virtual and half is in-person, so the digital work management website Asana is used. Each client is touched upon—what’s the overall project status, what Sprints are currently going, what Stakeholders need to be contacted, and what roadblocks exist.
The beginning of the week is a great time to check in again with clients and Stakeholders to let them know the status of projects and to follow up on any Roadblocks. Some clients use Trello as their virtual Kanban board, some prefer typed notes, and some don’t need or want any input until the end of a Sprint.
It’s time to onboard some new clients! Clients who aren’t familiar with Agile learn about the process—Backlogs, Sprints, Retrospectives, Product Roadmaps, Release Plans. Many times this differs from traditional waterfall methods that clients have become used to, and they get excited hearing about a shorter feedback loop. After an in-depth kickoff meeting with Stakeholders and the internal Team, a Roadmap, Release Plan, and Backlog are created virtually. This creates instant transparency and sets expectations for all.
During the week, Teams break off and start by refining the Product Backlog and then setting or adjusting the Sprint goal. Sometimes this looks like drafting up logo designs, sometimes it’s creating a brand strategy, or sometimes it’s editing a TV commercial. By the backside of the week, the Teams have a pretty good idea of how a project is going and if there are any impediments that will prevent the Sprint Goal from being achieved. In that case, Thursday morning is a great time to reach back out to clients to break down any roadblocks before the end of the week.
At the end of the week, the agency assesses what Sprints or entire projects were completed and then conducts both an internal and external Retrospective. What went well? Where was there a breakdown in communication or expectations? Does the client agree the project is “done” per the agreed-upon definition of done? What was learned? What can be improved for the next Sprint or project?
To learn more about how advertising agencies can become Agile, read our case study on how we helped The Modern Brand.