What is Agile?

Spoiler alert! It’s more than just post-its

An Agile agency

We talk about Agile a lot, well, we are The Agile Communications Agency after all!
But do you know what we mean when we refer to our Agile approach?

At its core, Agile is all about open communication, collaboration, transparency and trust.

Still asking what is Agile? Then read on my friends.

Agile 101

Let’s start at the beginning. Agile is an iterative approach to project management that originated in the software industry.

In 2001, a group of expert software developers met on the ski slopes of Utah to discuss a new way of doing things. They were fed up with spending months and months on a project, only to find that the requirements changed, it ran over budget and over time and it was now no longer fit for purpose. Sound familiar?

This group of Agile OG’s (who became known as The Agile Alliance) came up with an awesome new way of working, the Agile way.

A few early adopters, ourselves included, saw the similarities in our struggles and realised how beneficial Agile would be in marketing and communications too.

Instead of relying on long roadmaps and big-bang launches, Agile allows you to deliver smaller chunks of work, helping you get value sooner and more frequently. This means you can quickly see what’s working well and what isn’t, giving you the opportunity to pivot if needed. It helps you respond quickly to the changing marketplace, get to market earlier, and start earning revenue sooner.

Agile is all about focusing on quality and creating something that actually addresses your customer’s needs.

But it’s not just about business value. It’s about the people, we’re real humans and we want to have good interactions with each other.

The Agile basics

At the start of an Agile project, requirements are identified and prioritised – then the team works to get the tasks done, in a self-organised way.

There are lots of ceremonies that people adopt, including sprint planning, stand-ups, and retrospectives. Every team doesn’t need to adopt them all, but they should be committed to short feedback cycles and working towards continuous improvement.

You may have heard us say we’re bringing Agile magic to your organisation, one post-it at a time. And post-its are at the heart of lots of Agile ceremonies.

One of the first Agile things we share with people is a retrospective, quickly followed by a Kanban board. Both of these use post-its to engage the whole team, encouraging people to share ideas with full transparency, and enthusiasm.

There are many different flavours of Agile; Scrum, Kanban, Lean, XP, and so on. But the principles remain the same.

The Agile Manifesto

The Agile Manifesto identifies the key values behind Agile adoption. These serve as a guide to help embrace this radical and revolutionary methodology.

We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.
Through this work we have come to value:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

We’ve embraced this manifesto and embodied the principles, which allow us to deliver excellent Agile communication and Agile coaching to our clients.

The Agile Principles

Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.

Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.

Working software is the primary measure of progress.

Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.

Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.

The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.

At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behaviour accordingly.

Ready to become more Agile?

Agile Communications

Traditional communications revolve around clearly outlined, long term plans working towards big goals. But we take an agile approach to strategic communications, where we deliver value in smaller, more frequent increments. This iterative approach means you get more awesomeness, more often.

Agile Coaching

Agile coaching helps your organisation embrace an Agile mindset and adopt the ethos on an organisational / team level. We’ll provide you with ongoing support throughout your journey to Agile adoption.

Agile Training

Agile training is what you need to take your leadership skills to the next level. After a few intensive sessions with us, you’ll be ready to introduce Agile awesomeness to your team.

Still asking yourself, what is Agile?

Don’t worry, we’ll be happy to talk you through it.

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