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Project scheduling and management, project management software & others
The word agile means flexible or to move quickly. The Agile teams are formed as a part of project management, especially for the software development in which the whole project is divided into different modules or phases, and continuous assessments of the project after completion of every module or phase and the solution is achieved through the collaboration between the different cross-functional agile teams working on the project.Broad Classification of the Agile Roles Based on the Project Hierarchy
Below is some classification of agile roles, which are as follows:1. Project Level Roles
The project-level teams include the following profiles/roles:
Project Level roles are the project steering roles that take the entire governance decision of the project. The project managers are the ones responsible for the budget analysis of the project. The project management level professionals provide strategic control and decisions related to project execution and implementation.2. Solution Level Roles
The Solution Development Team roles include:
These are the roles related to product/software/service development. These professionals are the developers, programmers, testers, etc., who develop and test every technical aspect of the product/software/service.3. Other Supporting Roles
Workshop FacilitatorRoles of an Agile Team
The roles of an Agile Team are as described below.1. Stakeholder/Owner
The product owner is the stakeholder or the client, and the product owner is the most crucial role as the client has the vision and shares that vision of the end product with the team. The stakeholders are constantly updated with the project’s progress so that the product can be reviewed at the end of every phase. The stakeholder and the scrum master together prioritize the work.2. A Scrum Master/Project manager
A scrum master is the top dog of any organization. A scrum master is the project manager who outlines the entire project and guides the agile team. They supervise the daily activities of the project, mentor the team, and track and monitor the project’s progress. A scrum master is the one who decides the project deadline and eradicates any obstruction in the way of project implementation.3. Agile Team Members 4. Development Team Members
The development team members, often called “techies,” are those involved in the project responsible for creating the product, service, or software. Development team members comprise the programmers, testers, engineers, etc., who play key roles in the product or software development. The development team members are expected to be multi-taskers and multi-skilled professionals to utilize their skills for the project implementation.5. Agile Coach
An Agile coach or mentor is a highly experienced professional who has implemented and executed Agile projects. An Agile coach or mentor shares his experience and expert opinion with the Agile team members. The Agile mentor is the one who studies the project thoroughly and shares the feedback for the enhancement of the project. The Agile mentors apply agile principles and knowledge while executing the project while not involved in product/software development.6. System Architect Roles
The Agile architect is the cornerstone for any successful project as the architects define and design the overall architecture. The role and involvement of the architect depend on the type of project. The system architect can be an individual or a small team that works closely with the Scrum Team and the product owner or the stakeholders for the project’s success. The Architects define the major and minor elements of the project and design the interface among the different subsystems of the project. They actively participate in stand-up meetings with the client/stakeholder, seeking to comprehend and articulate the project’s progress and any challenges encountered.7. Product Management
The Product Management team works with the customer, and their role is to collect and understand the customer’s needs and requirements. Also, the product management team communicates with the product owner to establish peace and balance between the product owner and the customer to define and understand the system feature.Recommended Articles
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Introduction to Agile Testing
Project scheduling and management, project management software & othersPrinciples of Agile Testing
The mentioned principles are as follows:
1. Continuous: It provides feedback continuously, on an ongoing basis, so the products meet the needs of the business.
2. Teamwork: In other software, the test team is responsible for testing, but in agile testing, along with the test team, the developers and the business analysts are equally involved in the testing.
3. Time of Feedback Response: Since the business team is involved in agile testing, the feedback is fast and continuous, so the feedback response time is short.
4. Clean and Simplified Code: The defects found by the agile team are corrected within the same iteration, and thus the code is kept clean and simplified.
5. Undertaking Tests: Here, testing is done during implementation, whereas in other processes, testing is performed after implementation.
6. Lightweight Documents: Agile testers use reusable checklists to decide on tests to be taken. The documents can be used for several purposes, and the tools are also light.Values of Agile Testing
Agile testing prioritizes individuals and communication over rigid processes and tools. Agile testing does not overlook procedures and tools but builds upon robust and reasonable processes and tools, leveraging their strengths. The rule here is that testers drive the tools, and the output depends on the testers, not vice versa.
The choice made in agile testing is functional and usable software over unusable and comprehensive documentation. The main goal here is the actual testing rather than elaborate documents whose only objective is pointing towards the goal. The documents are present if a member decides to leave.
Customer participation is the secret here. The project ensures continuous involvement of the client, keeping them informed about the progress. It implies that the client should have regular meetings throughout the project instead of receiving the project directly upon completion. This is extra work but better than working in the wrong direction.
The team accepts and implements any necessary changes. While the project maintains a plan, it remains flexible to accommodate changes in the situation. So one does not have to wait until the end to find out about the changed scenario and have the project dismissed because of the changed requirement.Agile Testing Methods
There are various agile testing methods:1. Behavior Driven Development (BDD)
Behavior-driven development improves communication so all members understand each feature before the process starts. Developers, analysts, and testers are in continuous communication.2. Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD)
The main object here is to involve all the team members, i.e., the customer, tester, and developer, as all three have different perspectives. The customer focuses on solving the problem, the developer focuses on determining how to solve it, and the tester’s objective is to identify potential issues. These tests, known as Acceptance tests, incorporate all three perspectives and describe how the system will function.3. Exploratory Testing Test Plan
In agile testing, the team writes and updates a test plan for each iteration or as required.
Scope of testing
The newly implemented functionalities are undergoing testing.
Level or types of testing
Performance and load testing
Considering the infrastructure
Deliverables and milestonesPhases of Agile Testing Lifecycle
There are 5 phases of the Agile Testing Lifecycle:
Impact assessment means gathering inputs from stakeholders and users, which will act as feedback for the next development cycle.
Agile test planning involves the collaboration of all stakeholders to plan the testing process, meetings, and deliverables.
In the stage of release readiness, the team decides whether the developed features are ready to go live or not.
Daily scrums include a regular standing morning meeting to catch up on the testing status and set goals for the day.
Agility review involves holding weekly meetings with stakeholders to assess the progress made.Benefits
Agile testing has its benefits. It is both time and money-saving software as it reduces documentation and is very flexible and adaptable to the continuous changes in the business. The final stage of the process incorporates regular feedback from actual users, ensuring they may not be fully aware of the ongoing process.
Agile testing is the perfect software for the early detection of defects, and as the problems are fixed early, the cost of fixing is also reduced. The final product is customer-centric and of high quality. Continuous communication between the teams makes agile testing a success.Recommended Articles
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In this article, we will compare the properties of the agile paradigm with those of other models.Waterfall Model vs. the Agile Model
What is Waterfall methodology, and how does it work?
The Waterfall Model is also known as the Liner Sequential Life Cycle Model. Because the Waterfall Model is followed in a sequential sequence, the project development team will only go on to the next phase of development or testing if the previous step has been successfully completed.What is the Agile approach, and how does it work?
Agile methodology is a concept that aids in the software development process by allowing for continuous iteration of development and testing. Unlike the Waterfall paradigm, development and testing are done simultaneously under this methodology. This method helps clients, developers, managers, and testers to communicate more effectively.The Key Difference Between Waterfall and Agile
Agile is a continuous iteration of development and testing in the software development process, while Waterfall is a linear sequential life cycle model.
The Agile technique is noted for its flexibility, while the Waterfall methodology is a regimented software development process.
When comparing the Waterfall and Agile methodologies, the Agile approach is incremental, while the Waterfall is a sequential design process.
Testing is done simultaneously with software development in Agile, while testing is done after the “Build” step in the Waterfall technique.
Agile allows for modifications in project development needs, while Waterfall does not allow for changes once the project is underway.Benefits of the Waterfall Model
It’s one of the simplest models to work with. Each phase has particular deliverables and a review procedure according to its nature.
It works effectively for little projects with simple needs.
Project completion in a shorter amount of time
Both the process and the outcomes are thoroughly recorded.
Method for reorganizing teams that is easily adaptable
When it comes to managing dependencies, this project management style comes in handy.Benefits of the Agile Model
It is a client-focused procedure. As a result, it ensures that the customer is kept informed at all times.
Agile teams are highly motivated and self-organized, therefore development projects are more likely to provide superior results.
The agile software development technique ensures that development quality is maintained.
The whole procedure is predicated on gradual development. As a result, both the customer and the team are aware of what is and is not complete. As a result, the risk of the development process is reduced.Waterfall Model Limitations
It isn’t the best model for a major project.
It is a less effective strategy if the requirement is not apparent from the start.
It’s really tough to return to prior stages and make modifications.
After the development phase is completed, the testing phase begins. As a result, there’s a good likelihood that flaws will be discovered later in development when they’ll be more costly to correct.Agile Model Limitations
For modest development initiatives, this strategy is ineffective.
In order to make crucial choices in a meeting, an expert is required.
When compared to other development approaches, the cost of adopting an agile process is somewhat higher.
If the project manager does not know what result he or she wants, the project might quickly go off course.Differences between the Agile and Waterfall Models
The following is a comparison between Agile and Waterfall methodologies −
AgileWaterfallThe project development lifecycle is divided into sprints.There are many stages to the software development chúng tôi takes a step-by-step chúng tôi waterfall technique is a way of designing in a progressive order.Agile methodologies are noted for their adaptabilityBecause waterfall is a structured software development technique, it may be extremely strict at times.Agile may be thought of as a collection of many chúng tôi development of software will be done as a single project.Agile is a flexible strategy that enables modifications to project development that needs to be made even after the original planning is complete.Once the project development begins, there is no way to change the specifications.Because Agile methodology uses an iterative development approach, planning, development, prototyping, and other software development stages may occur several chúng tôi the Waterfall approach, all project development stages, such as design, development, and testing, are completed once.After each sprint, the test plan is evaluated.During the testing phase, the test strategy is seldom communicated.Agile development is a method of software development in which needs are anticipated to change and evolve over chúng tôi technique is excellent for projects with specific needs and unanticipated modifications.Testing is done simultaneously with software development in the Agile process.The “Testing” step follows the “Build” phase in this technique.Agile presents a product mentality in which the software product meets the requirements of its end users and adapts to their chúng tôi approach demonstrates a project mentality and focuses only on completing the chúng tôi Time & Materials or non-fixed financing, the Agile approach performs incredibly effectively. In fixed-price circumstances, it may create chúng tôi obtaining a risk agreement at the start of the process, it is possible to reduce risk in firm-fixedprice contracts.Small, focused teams with a high level of coordination and synchronization are chúng tôi ability of a team to coordinate and synchronize is severely hampered.Almost every day of a project, the product owner and his team create requirements.Prior to the start of a project, business analysts establish requirements.The test team may easily participate in requirement chúng tôi change in requirements is tough for the test to commence.During the SDLC process, the description of project specifics may be changed at any chúng tôi use the waterfall software development technique, a detailed description is chúng tôi a consequence of the Agile Team’s interchangeability, they work more quickly. Project managers are also unnecessary since the projects are controlled by the whole team.Because the process is usually easy under the waterfall technique, the project manager is needed at every level of the SDLC.Exploratory Programming vs. Agile Model
Agile ModelExploratory ProgrammingEach incrementally delivered portion is built via an iteration following each timebox in an agile paradigm.Exploratory programming is a method for developing unstructured programs.Agile teams, on the other hand, adhere to well-defined and disciplined methods that include systematic requirements gathering and thorough design.Exploratory programming defies software engineering conventions, allowing for unstructured code to be created and evaluated.After each iteration, the Agile model’s primary principle is to provide an incremental version to the client.After development, the program is tested and any defects detected are repaired. This cycle of testing and problem repair continues until the program meets the customer’s expectations.Agile vs. RAD: Which is Better?
Agile ModelRAD ModelThe Agile paradigm discourages the creation of prototypes, preferring instead to focus on the methodical development of each incremental feature at the conclusion of each chúng tôi core concept of RAD is to create rapid and dirty prototypes that are later developed into production-quality code.Agile initiatives logically split the solution down into features that are created and delivered in chúng tôi RAD paradigm focuses on building all of an application’s functionality by doing it poorly at first and then gradually improving the code over time.After each iteration, the Agile team only shows the client finished work.Customers may be shown screen mockups and prototypes by RAD teams, although these may be based on simplifications such as database lookup rather than real calculations.Tiny projects are not ideal for the agile approach since it is difficult to break the project into small components that may be produced progressively.When a corporation hasn’t worked on a project that’s nearly identical, it’s difficult to employ the RAD paradigm since previous code can’t be reused.Incremental Development vs. Agile Development
Agile developmentIncremental developmentEach incrementally delivered portion is built via an iteration following each time box in the Agile paradigm. The Agile model’s core idea is to create agility by eliminating tasks that waste time and chúng tôi software’s requirements are broken down into various modules that may be built and supplied in stages. The basic features are created initially, then additional features are added to the program in consecutive chúng tôi the Agile paradigm, an iteration’s end date is set and cannot be amended. To finish that iteration on schedule, the development team may have to opt to minimize the supplied functionality.There is no set deadline for completing the next iteration in the incremental development methodology.Spiral Model vs. Agile Model
Agile modelSpiral modelThe Agile model’s core idea is to create agility by eliminating tasks that waste time and chúng tôi Spiral model’s fundamental concept is risk chúng tôi Agile strategy emphasizes delivering an increment to the client after each Time-box, resulting in more frequent customer involvement.The spiral model primarily deals with many types of unplanned hazards, however, there is minimal client chúng tôi agile paradigm is best suited for huge projects that can be broken down into tiny chunks and developed progressively over chúng tôi Spiral model is appropriate for projects that are vulnerable to a variety of hazards that are difficult to predict at the outset.Documentation is not used in the agile chúng tôi the Spiral model, proper documentation is essential.
Project managers must coordinate teams, monitor progress, and ensure that the project’s objectives are aligned with those of the organization in order to successfully implement Agile practices. This article delves into various aspects of Agile project management, such as popular frameworks such as Scrum, Kanban, and XP, project managers’ roles in Agile software development, planning and estimation techniques, collaboration and communication strategies, risk management, and success measurement.The Agile Manifesto and Project Management
The Agile Manifesto is a set of principles for developing software that places an emphasis on adaptability and teamwork. It places an emphasis on adapting to new circumstances and developing products that customers truly value through close collaboration. In order to successfully implement Agile practices, project management must coordinate teams, monitor progress, and ensure that the project’s objectives are in line with those of the organization.
The Project Management Institute found that companies that employ Agile methodologies on software development projects have a 62% success rate, while those that don’t have a 49% success rate. This demonstrates that software development projects can have a greater chance of success when using an Agile methodology. Project managers can gain a lot from adopting Agile practices, but only if they know how to do so properly.Agile Project Management Frameworks: Scrum, Kanban, and XP
Scrum, one of the most well-known Agile frameworks, centers on this concept of incremental improvement. Projects are broken down into manageable chunks of time, or “sprints,” that typically last between two and four weeks. The team produces a testable, reviewable increment of the product at the end of each sprint. Scrum is an Agile project management framework, and 58 percent of survey respondents said they use Scrum.
Kanban is another Agile framework that uses boards to track tasks. A Kanban board is used to monitor the progression of individual tasks as they are worked on. For teams with a lot on their plates who need to prioritize tasks in order of importance, Kanban is an excellent tool. LeanKit found that among Agile project managers, 61% of respondents were using Kanban.
Extreme Programming, or XP, is an Agile framework that stresses the importance of pair programming, test-driven development, and continuous integration among other software engineering practices. It is intended to facilitate the efficient and rapid delivery of high-quality software by teams. VersionOne found that among Agile project managers, 20% of respondents were using XP.The Role of a Project Manager in Agile Software Development
In agile software development, a project manager’s job is to see that the project is finished successfully. The project manager’s role in agile development is to collaborate closely with the team throughout the duration of the project.
The project manager is responsible for coordinating the team’s efforts, keeping everyone informed, and keeping things on track. They also aid the team in finding and fixing any problems that crop up during the course of the project.
Project managers also routinely request and incorporate customer feedback to guarantee that their work is satisfying those customers. In addition, they make sure the team is working efficiently and effectively by setting priorities based on the project’s goals.Agile Project Planning and Estimation Techniques
Agile project planning and estimation techniques are critical components of agile software development project management. In layman’s terms, these techniques are used to plan and estimate the time, effort, and resources needed to complete an agile project.
Agile project planning entails breaking the project down into smaller, more manageable tasks known as user stories. The team then prioritizes these stories based on their importance to the overall project goal. This allows the team to prioritize the most important tasks and avoid wasting time on less important ones.
Estimation techniques are employed to determine the amount of time and effort required to complete each user story. To name a few, agile teams employ a variety of estimation techniques, such as relative sizing, planning poker, and affinity grouping. The goal is to arrive at a reasonable estimate that the team can use to plan and track their work.Collaboration and Communication in Agile Project Management
Agile Project Management relies heavily on collaboration and communication. The project team in an Agile software development project collaborates closely and communicates constantly to achieve the project goals.
The Agile methodology promotes daily team meetings to discuss progress, identify any challenges or issues, and make any necessary changes to the project plan. This method ensures that everyone on the team is aware of the project’s status and can effectively collaborate to resolve any issues that arise.
Working with customers or stakeholders requires effective communication as well. Agile project management encourages frequent customer feedback throughout the project, allowing the team to adjust the project’s direction and priorities to better meet the needs of the customers.Agile Risk Management Strategies
One common strategy is to prioritize and address the most important risks first. This enables the team to concentrate its efforts on the risks with the greatest potential impact on the project’s success.
Another strategy is to monitor and evaluate risks continuously throughout the project, rather than just at the start. This enables the team to adjust their risk management strategies in response to changing circumstances.
Agile risk management also emphasizes team members’ open communication and collaboration. By encouraging everyone to share their concerns and ideas, the team can more effectively identify and address risks.Measuring Success in Agile Project Management
Measuring success in agile project management entails determining whether or not the agile software development project met its goals and objectives. The ability to deliver value to the customer in a timely and efficient manner determines success in agile project management.
The timely delivery of working software, meeting customer requirements, and maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction are key indicators of success in agile project management. To assess success, agile project teams employ a variety of metrics such as velocity, burn-down charts, and customer feedback.
The amount of work completed by the team during each iteration is measured by velocity. Burn-down charts show how much work is left to do in each iteration. Customer feedback is collected throughout the project to ensure that the team is meeting the needs and expectations of the customer.Managing Change and Continuous Improvement in Agile Projects
In agile projects, managing change and continuous improvement refers to the process of adapting to changing requirements and improving the project as it progresses. Change is viewed as a natural part of the development process in agile project management, and it is welcomed rather than resisted.
Project teams use techniques such as backlog prioritization, iterative development, and frequent communication with stakeholders to effectively manage change in agile projects. Backlog prioritization entails reassessing project priorities on a regular basis and adjusting the project backlog accordingly. Iterative development entails breaking the project down into small, manageable pieces and delivering working software on a regular basis.
Marketers can no longer afford to make 12-month marketing plans and review them annually. The agile approach of marketing enables them to review the performance of their campaigns every 2 weeks, recalibrate the process and iterate accordingly
There was a time when marketing was fairly simple. If you covered print, radio and television, your marketing campaign was in good shape. Marketing plans were made annually and were rarely changed.
With those simpler days gone, marketing is evolving at a supersonic pace. Most marketers still work on quarterly plans. However, in this digital world, a lot of change happens in 90 days. Marketing teams need to respond accordingly.
For example, team one measures, iterates and recalibrates their process every two weeks instead of a quarter.
Team two only adjusts their plan every quarter.
Team one is 543% faster and delivers 6x more often.
Sounds efficient, right?
While agile methods deliver at this rate, traditional marketing won’t allow you to reach this level. You will have to adopt an agile marketing methodology.
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Inspired by the agile software development methodology, an agile approach to marketing allows online businesses to adjust their marketing strategy according to the latest changes in the market to reach potential customers quickly.
This approach involves planning, executing, measuring, and reiterating your marketing strategy with the focus on frequent releases, deliberate experimentation, and unending commitment towards customers’ satisfaction.
If you’re a marketer who wants to know how exactly the agile approach can play out in your marketing department, this short guide will give you everything there is to know about agile marketing including benefits, examples, key elements, common Q&As, and mistakes to avoid while implementing this approach.Grow your business and professional marketing skills
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Find My PlanBenefits of Agile Marketing over Traditional Marketing
In simple terms, an agile approach helps marketing teams to work smartly and more effectively to produce better and clearer results than traditional marketing methods.1. Increased productivity
The benefits of the agile approach over traditional marketing are:
Agile marketing teams get between 30% and 40% more done compared to traditional marketing teams. The two reasons attributed to this are the fact that they do less reworking and that they are working on the right priorities.2. Transparency
The agile approach achieves transparency in two separate ways. Firstly, it allows sales, operations, and management to clearly see what the marketing team is working on.
Secondly, it encourages the marketing team to engage closely with customers and create a high degree of honesty to satisfy those customers.3. Measurability
The marketing teams run small experiments, measure results and then focus on the strategies that have worked. This way, the team can better manage content creation, distribution and promotion to yield better results.
This image shows a detailed statistical breakdown of the benefits of adopting an agile marketing approach.Case studies of successful agile marketing implementation 1. SEMrush
The online visibility management and content marketing SaaS platform encourages its marketing department to be agile at all levels. With a flat structure, SEMrush empowers the teams to control over how to do the jobs that management deems necessary.
Daily standup meetings ensure that people are staying on track and the trust placed in each team member encourages involvement from everyone. Sprints enable the teams to experiment rapidly, measure the results and learn on a continuous basis. Simultaneously, the teams are at liberty to remove people who aren’t contributing.
The result: As mentioned by Olga Adrinko, SEMrush’s Global Head of Marketing on a podcast, the average revenue growth year over year from new markets was greater than 90%. The company gained 500,000 new users in eight months.2. Santander
The UK based Santander, a consumer finance brand realized that the traditional marketing cycles of lengthy review cycles weren’t working for them anymore. They adopted an agile approach by releasing low-risk campaigns in two-week sprints. The successful campaigns got more budget while the unsuccessful ones were abandoned.
The takeaways, in terms of statistics reported by MarketingWeek, were:
Loyalty to the brand increased by 12%.
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) was at an all-time high in 17 years.
Positive sentiment was 90%, the highest they ever received.3. Northern Arizona University
The university had a traditional four-member team creating an annual budget based on the goals and designing specific marketing projects. With the help of agencies, they would create around 50 pieces of collaterals every year.
Then, the digital wave started. Despite multiple rejigs, they were unable to keep up with client demands. Their Director of Strategic Marketing, Ann Marie deWees discovered agile marketing. They structured two-week sprints instead of having individuals take up entire projects.
They collaborated with the IT team to create a designer group instead of relying on external contractors. With this approach, they would break down projects into smaller pieces and distribute them among members based on their skills and availability. This way, they would get projects done within two weeks rather than having to wait for the collaterals to come back, get edited, revised, and finally go live.
The takeaways, as published by UniversityBusiness include:
Content production increased from 50 pieces to 200 pieces (400%) in the first year.
Completion rate of sprint tasks was 95%.
20% cost saving.
Client satisfaction increased by 30% in six months.4 key elements of agile marketing
These four key elements will help you take a deep dive into agile marketing:1. Having a strategic vision
Crucial to a business, a strategic vision allows you to break down a long-term plan into yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly (and sometimes daily) plans to meet your major business goals.
In simple words, don’t be married to your long-term plans. Instead, pivot and adjust as and when necessary to identify the best way to serve your customers.
Your marketing strategy must be flexible and adaptive.2. Experiment deliberately
In agile marketing, strategies are adopted based on experiments done by making small changes, testing them over a small period of time and analyzing the results.
This cycle runs on loop until you have a well-defined marketing strategy that generates the desired results.
Agile marketing means always testing, iterating and improving.3. Data-based action aligned with business goals
Data helps marketers to decide on the next experiment. But the problem with marketing is, there are so many different kinds of data, such as traffic, social media shares, email campaigns, and so on.
So, how does a business ensure that its marketing team is not focusing on the wrong type of data?
Choose the right Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) based on your business goals and measure the progress towards those goals.4. Fast approval process
Agile marketing is a fast-paced approach to content creation, distribution, lead generation, and conversion. But, when businesses adopt agile for the first time, they often always hit one of the biggest roadblocks to fast implementation, a complicated approval process.
I’ve personally witnessed how agile strategy has failed for many businesses due to their long & complicated approval processes.
McKinsey shared a perfect example of an international bank that wanted to experiment with a new email offer through an agile approach. Their marketing team put together a mailing list, wrote the copy, designed the template and send it to their legal team to get the required approvals.
After eight weeks, they got the approval and they sent out the email.
Result? – The whole test became irrelevant due to the eight week wait time.
Set clear expectations by conveying the deadlines whenever you need approvals.
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Get your free templateCommon mistakes to avoid while adopting an agile approach
The agile approach will definitely make a huge impact on your marketing results. However, be careful of some of the old habits that might ruin the effectiveness of the agile approach. Here are the three common mistakes you must avoid while implementing agile marketing.1. Don’t make large bets
The traditional marketing approach is about coming up with a big plan and working towards it with the hope of yielding good results one day. In agile marketing, you can still achieve a plan like this with a focus on small wins and iterate based on data to reach the big goal.2. Never stick to a specific plan
Agile marketing brings results when you keep your strategy flexible. In fact, 54.8% of surveyed marketers have reported that changing gears quickly has been the biggest benefit of going agile.
Be open to new ideas and experiment with them, even if it means rewriting the milestones or reassigning the tasks to other team members.3. Don’t let your “gut-feeling” guide your marketing strategy
Old-school marketers often ran campaigns based on instincts. But in agile marketing, the idea is validated on the basis of data, not gut-feeling.Conclusion
While traditional marketing is predictive, sequential and rigid, the agile approach is adaptive, iterative and flexible. Agile is well-suited for the marketing domain, which is fast-paced and dynamic.
Can an organization really cut development time more than 70 percent by embracing the agile philosophy and open architecture? The intelligence-gathering arm of the U.S. Air Force says it’s done just that.
But the cost savings aren’t the only numbers that stand out. Under the DCGS’s old proprietary architecture, the IT team took an average of 84 months to bring new capabilities to the surveillance and information-analytics system, Haga said.
The team has now cut the rollout of new capabilities to under six months. “We’re looking to be able to collapse it further than that,” he said recently.
The move to open architecture, cloud-based IaaS, and the agile cooperative development model began in 2014, with pilot programs rolling out last year. After training more than 350 civilian workers, military members, and contractors on the new processes, DCGS is now moving to full implementation, Haga said.New capabilities
DCGS, which collects data with surveillance planes and drones, has already added several new capabilities, including full-motion video capture and high-altitude exploration, that would have taken years under the previous model.
One of the biggest IT problems across the U.S. Department of Defense “is we have all these closed architectures,” said Haga, one of the team members who pushed for more open systems. Workers were also stuck in “bad processes,” including excessive requirements to create documents that were never read again after they were written, he said.Avoiding $100 million mistakes
One of Haga’s goals was to reduce the cost of decision-making for people who were making the final call on projects. In some cases, adding new functionality to the DCGS meant making “$100 million decisions” that didn’t always work as intended, he said.
But with open architecture and IaaS, the DCGS can now focus on purchasing individual components instead of an entire system, Haga said.New flexibility
One of the core pieces of the new open infrastructure is an IaaS model, with the Air Force leading a team of multiple vendors to implement an IaaS private cloud as a platform for other technologies, Haga said. IaaS has given the organization new flexibility, Haga said.
“Tomorrow, if there’s a better widget coming out of HP, or coming out of NetApp or Brocade, we can pull that component out, because it’s isolated; we can stick a different component in, and then we just map the interfaces,” he said.
The move to agile methodology and an open architecture has taken work, with people at DCGS and outside contractors having to embrace a new development model, Haga said.
But under the cooperative agile development model, the end customer is constantly involved in the process. Developers meet weekly with the group that asked for the changes to the IT systems, and once a month, the end customer spends two days working with the developers and program managers “to architect what they want,” Haga said.
Part of the move to agile development is a shift in thinking that embraces change as a constant, he added.
“Under our old process … the program manager would get the requirements from the user, get ready to put something on contract, and if the customer came in and said, ‘Hey, I want this instead,’ then that was looked at by the program manager as a frustration,” he said. “In agile, it’s looked at as, ‘Thank God for telling me, so I didn’t go any further.’”
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