In 2011, I found myself managing a brand-new team of marketers at an agency. And I quickly found myself flailing. My team members managed their workflow independently, which might seem like a dream scenario, but to me it was a nightmare: Overseeing their projects was extremely difficult for me. If a project failed, I had to reverse-engineer it to figure out what went wrong and when—and sometimes I never could identify what had gone wrong.
Perplexed, I started discussing ideas with my supervisor on how I could rectify the situation. He asked, "Have you ever heard of agile PM?" I hadn't, but after he described it, I was immediately hooked: This was the answer to overcoming my project management roadblocks!
I knew that one of our clients had been using the agile approach for the past 10 years for a range of projects, everything from their agile application development platform, to project delivery and marketing. So I got in touch with some of my contacts there and used them as a sounding board.
Based on my research and on what they told me about the agile methodology, I quickly devised a plan for managing my team. The result? A more efficient team that identifies problems before they become big problems and does a better job at time management, preventing projects from falling behind.
The agile methodology has helped us because it...
- Implements a workflow that enables us to work more cohesively as a team, rather than working on projects independently.
- Improves internal and external communication.
- Quickly identifies our strengths and weaknesses.
- Increases accountability, in turn resulting in more wins.
So how exactly did we do this? Let me take you on a quick crash course of the agile methodology and how I, as a marketer, applied it to managing my team. I hope to help you identify where you can improve your project management style.
Agile Project Management: What Is It
Let me direct you to this article from Wikipedia that describes agile software development from a programmer's perspective. If you read it and went "WTF?" let me try to break it down for you in marketers' terms.
Take the first step (it's free).
You may also like:
- Six Agile Marketing Myths That Need to Die
- Four Tips for Hiring Accountable Team Members Who Actually Get Things Done
- The Payoff of the Partnership Between Marketing and Creative [Infographic]
- Navigating Your (Marketing) Future With a Digital Map: Jeremiah Owyang on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
- Marketing Department Roles and Salaries [Infographic]