Agile. What started as way to more quickly develop software, has turned into the mantra of everyone from marketers, media professionals, to business startups. It is the way in which these industries are attempting to structure their strategies in order to keep up with a quickly and constantly changing market.
In terms of marketers, when framing your marketing strategies in the agile format, have the benefits of quicker launch times and better adaptation to problems and campaigns that aren’t showing the returns you need. Media professionals are able to break large projects and initiatives into smaller, more manageable sizes and can adapt to a changing market. And business startups can improve their success rate and increase investments by showing those growths.
Andy Beal knows a thing or two about building a business. His resume includes having been one of the most respected online reputation consultants, and most recently launching trackur, a social media metrics tool. During his career as a business builder he has started three companies with enormous success. He is also a huge proponent of agile as a business planning and management tool, and he has used agile to reach many successes. He lays out 5 reasons why being an agile business is better than being perfect.
In a world of consumption, the product or service that provides the most value is the one that will win over other products or services. The more efficiently you can provide your customers with adequate solutions and motivations to use your product, the better you can provide value. In the end, the company that adapts the fastest to the ever-changing value streams of consumers, is the company that is going to win out over their competition.
According to the book Value Proposition Design, created by the folks at Strategyzer, the way to create value is to neutralize the pains associated with your product or the problem your product solves and to optimize gains that your product provides. Seems easy right? The problem is that values are always changing. What people value today, they might not value tomorrow. Take myspace.com for example. In the early stages of the social media tech boom, myspace provided value to consumers by being able to customize their own webpages. Values changed to the point where people prefered to have an organized and clean layout rather than the messed up, html code, monstrosity that occurred when people customized their myspace pages.
And just like that, myspace was out, and facebook and twitter were in. The key to being a stalwart company in media is providing evolving value to customers. Agile is helping businesses do this. The philosophy is in contrast to the old style of business planning and management that sought to create the perfect business plan. Using market research and months of planning to fit find a market space. Then doing more market research to plan the perfect product to meet the needs of your consumers. Agile seeks to accelerate the process. Planning a business with the “quick to fail, quick to adapt” mantra is what is guiding businesses today. John Lasseter famously quoted,
“We don’t actually finish our films, we release them.”
This is indicative of the agile, never finished, mindset that has been helping businesses build and maintain good patronage. Do you agree? What other frameworks are guiding business in a market of changing values? Is Agile just a fad? Or is it the way to success and the future?
– Ethridge Netz