Agile Development: Using Scrum For Brand Development
Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
– Albert Einstein
How does your business build and maintain a competitive advantage in a marketplace that is constantly shifting due to technological innovation and the widespread access to knowledge?
The answer, by staying agile. By utilizing agile development practices, we will show you how to decrease the capital and time your company invests in lofty brand building projects and improve the ROI.
Our company has recently adopted a more formal approach to the agile development process utilizing a commonly known practice called scrum. Scrum and agile thinking provide a flexible framework for developing any project that requires feedback and involves the collaboration of a cross-functional team.
In this article, we will dive into the philosophy of Scrum as we see it, and the four pillars that will help your business become agile development masters and see an increase in performance across all divisions while creating team unity and improved culture.
It sounds like a pretty great deal doesn’t it?
AGILE DEVELOPMENT: WHAT IS AGILE DEVELOPMENT AND WHERE DOES SCRUM COME FROM?
The agile development framework and scrum more specifically came from a need within the software development industry to minimize the time and investment spent building robust programs.
These large projects were broken down into incremental, iterative steps that can be prioritized based on value and effort to drive results early on while clarifying what they call the definition of done.
Teams of cross-functional members would work as a single unit to create finished products that could be utilized by the end user in a series of time boxes called sprints.
It is founded on the philosophy that most projects are pushed to the back burner until it is crunch time and then everyone unifies to meet a deadline. So why not incorporate this way of thinking into everyday life?
The applications of this process are reaching far beyond the world of software, now that we have access to powerful analytics tools that can measure behavior in minutes instead of months.
Above and beyond software, we utilized the agile development framework and scrum to create cultural impact within an organization and its brand perception in the marketplace.
Here are the four main pillars of Agile Development.
AGILE DEVELOPMENT: INDIVIDUALS AND INTERACTIONS OVER PROCESSES AND TOOLS
Often businesses forget about the fact that they are comprised of people, their relationships with one another, and the customer. Management focuses on creating processes and bringing on tools without taking much consideration into the actual people within their company.
This is an excellent way of looking at computers and technology because they operate based on 1’s and 0’s. However, people are a little more complicated.
If we can encourage business owners and managers to focus on how the relationship between people should look, in a healthy productive way, we can document what is successful and build processes and tools to support them.
AGILE DEVELOPMENT: WORKING SOFTWARE OVER COMPREHENSIVE DOCUMENTATION
Our instructor for our scrum training had an interesting point on this. If you give a teenager a piece of software, they are not going to dig through pages of documentation to understand how to use it.
They will play around with it for a few minutes, and if they find it intuitive, then they might continue using it. There is no chance you will capture their attention long enough to educate them on complicated software.
When it comes to brand development, we can utilize the agile development philosophy to simplify our brand messages and engage in practices that focus on intuitive adoption.
Stop trying to jam every aspect of your companies philosophy down their throat on your one-pagers, what is the central message that you need to focus (that you can measure) to see how it influences your customers?
AGILE DEVELOPMENT: CUSTOMER COLLABORATION OVER CONTRACT NEGOTIATION
This has been a topic that we have been wrestling with, and how we can work with our clients in a way that is flexible enough to take user feedback into our development process in a way that fulfills the agreement.
The answer was sitting right in front of us. The concept of working in two week and four week sprints helped us create a framework for tackling the largest issues our client was facing while bringing their user into the equation.
What is the point of sticking to a contract, if the end user is not satisfied?
This flexible framework has resulted in everyone finding balance and the end customer winning, which creates success for ourselves and the client.
AGILE DEVELOPMENT: RESPONDING TO CHANGE OVER FOLLOWING A PLAN
As noted above, we need to understand that change is inevitable and not get too attached to our own ideas. What we think, may not be what the customer thinks, and that’s okay. Our goal is to satisfy their wants and needs, and as a result, we will fulfill our own.
Adopting this thinking into an organization is going to clear up a lot of drama in the workplace. Knowing that ideas are subject to stress testing, and the end user is the focus will benefit everyone.
Anyway, this is how we are moving forward with our organization, and our clients are already benefiting as a result of their customers and employees seeing tangible results.
We encourage you to as well. If you have any questions about the agile development process, feel free to reach out, and we will spend some time walking you through it.