Can you have Agile Marketing?

Recently, I’ve become quite intrigued with agile project management. It was developed in the software arena in an effort to replace the traditional project management methods of define, design, and build to one based on adaption. They moved away from that linear thinking to a more adaptive culture allowing continuous innovation throughout the development process.

Jim Highsmith, the author of Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products (2nd Edition) states:

“The departure from which additional phase names such as initiate, plan, define, design, build, test is significant. First, Envision replaces the more traditional initiate phase to indicate the criticality of vision. Second, a Speculate phase replaces up plan face area words convey certain meanings and visual images that arise from systematic use over time. The work plan has become associated with prediction and relative certainty. Speculate indicates that the future is uncertain. Many traditional project managers faced with uncertainty try to plan that uncertainty away. We have to learn to speculate and adapt rather than plan and build.

Third, the actual project management model replaces the common design, build, test phases with explore. Explore, with its iterative delivery style, is explicitly a nonlinear, kind current, non-waterfall model. Questions developed in the speculate phase are explored. Speculating implies the need for flexibility based on the fact he cannot fully predict the results. The APM model emphasizes execution and his exploratory rather than deterministic. A team practicing EPM keeps his side of the vision, monitors information, and adapt to current conditions therefore the adapt phase. Finally, the APM mode ends with a close phase, in which the primary objectives are knowledgeable transfer and, of course, a celebration. To sum up, the five phases of agile project management are: envision, speculate, explore, adapt, and close.”

I think this style of thinking lends itself to the marketing process very well. Traditional marketing systems resist the linear thinking approach of a traditional project management process. Agile projects develop value quickly and incrementally during the life of the project. Capturing value like this early in the process can significantly improve buy-in and utilizing iterative principles then improve on the process during delivery. U-shape

I have constructed an agile marketing development diagram that probably goes against many of the agile principles since I am incorporating the DMADV process of Six Sigma. But this is actually my intermediate step in applying agile to marketing. Since my roots are in the Six Sigma process and in linear thinking that jump to collaboration and iterative principles is quite a chasm to cross. DMADV is my bridge for the present as I learn and apply Agile Project Management thinking to the marketing process. It is also interesting to note that many of the principles have developed from the Lean thinking process. It kind of reminds you of a U-shaped work cell doesn’t?

Photo Credit: by rAmmoRRison

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6 thoughts on “Can you have Agile Marketing?”

  1. Great content. We are also embarking on the Agile Marketing experiment both from a process and product perspective (we do Marketing Automation software). I look forward to reading more!

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