How to be Agile in an agency world

Having spend many years in digital agencies and being involved in software development, I have seen the true benefits of an agile development methodology. I found the collaborative and iterative approach to creating something was much more rewarding that more traditional linear methodologies that were slow moving and rather isolating to work on. Whilst Prince2 appeals to my perfectionist side, I also remember cursing at the hours spent preparing reams of documentation and plans that I knew the development team were unlikely to read, let alone use as a guide for what they were developing.

Having navigated my career into a more strategy focused planning role I was interested to read about the Agile methodology being applied to agency planning principles. It is a simple philosophy that tries to streamline processes, and ensure that outputs from the Planning Department are focused, more relevant, and developed alongside the creative rather than in isolation. It ensures strategy is more closely aligned to the specific objectives and outcomes that a client requires and that Planning is not done just for planning sake, but for a real and tangible contribution to the creative process. Above all, I think the biggest benefit of applying an Agile approach to Planning is that it ensures a Strategy is owned by the whole team, including the client.

At Lowe Sydney we have taken this one step further to embed Agile methodologies throughout our entire creative process when developing marketing communications for our clients. Internally I feel this fosters strong inter-departmental collaboration, more solid strategies, and more effective creative. We have lots of informal discussions, we focus on the core needs of the consumer and the core business drivers for our clients. Our ideas are crafted along the way rather than fixed from the start. We learn something every step of the way, and in my opinion it makes it makes working on something much more rewarding and fun.

So what are your thoughts on Agile planning or Agile creative for that matter? Is your agency using it? Is it working? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

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