Nobody really likes change, but the ability to adapt to it is not only a necessity in life, it’s also essential in fine-tuning your work flow.
Today’s guest, Jason Knaggs, Manager Marketing Operations at BECU, shares stories from his experience that highlight the true benefits of adapting to agile principles, and turning failure into fruition.
Join us as Jason discusses:
- What exactly agile processes are and how to leverage them for marketing
- Learning a process that lends itself to maximizing the creative process
- Stars Wars references that bring not only humor, but the perspective needed to get your team on-board
Agile Processes & Marketing
The agile process was originally created to help software developers create software in a more organic way. One of its key benefits is that it allows developers to work in a way that makes it easy to adjust a project at any stage of development. Hence the name, "agile."
As the agile methodology became more popular it's being utilized by more than just software developers. Professionals from a variety of fields are starting to adopt it as their preferred project management system. Jason and his marketing team saw this as a great way to simplify some of their more complex marketing campaigns.
"When I was first introduced to Agile, I started playing around with how I could utilize it. I outlined a way that I thought it might flow and work and just went from there," Jason said.
Maximizing the Creative Process
Jason saw Agile as a way to maximize the creative process and make it a little smoother. But he says it's important not to get too bogged down in following the process exactly. It's all about doing what's going to work best for you and your team.
The best way to achieve that is to be aware of other project-management processes — and whether you have to combine them — and figure out what works best with your existing processes.
“What I would say is: Definitely learn about all those different methodologies — there's value in all of them. And instead of getting bogged down on following a specific one to the tee, incorporate the best practices of them," Jason says.
Simplicity is key. Start small and don't overdo it by combining too many methodologies at once. Jason suggests starting with your core needs and basic principles and building up from there.
It's also important to stay open. Make it clear to your team that you're still building the methodologies and they can make suggestions on how to make it better. Then, incorporate that feedback to create a methodology that works best for everyone on your team.
"After our final stand up meeting of the week, I'd take the time to check in with everybody to see what's working well, what are people struggling with, and what recommendations are out there. So we could continue to evolve," Jason said
Stars Wars & Getting Your Team On-Board
When Jason first introduced his new agile ideas to his team he used real life examples from BECU to explain the different processes. But he noticed they were getting off track worrying about how different people in the different departments were going to react. That first meeting quickly got derailed and Jason walked away from it knowing he was going to have to come up with something different.
"This meeting didn't quite go how I wanted it to, because instead of focusing on the process, we were getting really caught up with how the ultimate stakeholders were going to feel," Jason said.
The next day, he came into the meeting and explained the agile methodology again, but this time instead of real life examples, he used Star Wars references. Where a real-life stakeholder was the day before, now there was Yoda or Han Solo.
By doing this, Jason and his team were able to shift their focus from how people might react to what the process was going to look like. This gave the whole team the opportunity to really see what he was suggesting and they were far more open to it than they had been the day before.
Over time, he and his team implemented the agile methodologies.
"From there it was really exciting because it did feel like we were probably one of the first teams outside of IT that were really using these approaches," Jason said.