Agile is for branding, not just for techies

BY Julian Gorham

Wikipedia defines agile project management as ‘an iterative, incremental method of managing the design and build activities for engineering and information technology’. The approach requires projects to be managed in a highly flexible and iterative manner – characteristics we deploy in all our projects.

So why should this methodology be limited to technology driven projects? At Gather we don’t think it should be so we’ve been developing an agile project management process for brand.

Why do we think this is important?

Millennials are now CEOs. They are key decision makers in the creative process. This generation, are multi-taskers, progressive, confident and adventurous. They are open to new, more agile ways of working and get frustrated with slow, drawn out brand programmes. And it’s not just the Millennials as a demographic we’re talking about. Their influence is so vast that people of all ages are starting to act like them. It’s become a mindset – affecting everyone.

So what is required for this approach to be successful?

  • A nimble and open culture – Ad agencies in particular have a tendency to go off and present a ‘grand reveal’ of their work once they’ve cracked it. Digital agencies are, by their very nature, more collaborative. Brand agencies, too, have a culture of ‘working with’ but the process can be streamlined, without weakening the robustness of the outcome
  • A relationship based on trust – By showing designs frequently the work will be very raw and conceptual in the early stages. This approach requires the client to be open and responsive to ideas
  • Consistent client input – The client must be sufficiently resourced on their side to ensure the project moves through with pace. Access to the right people at the right time is critical
  • A lean, senior team – Flat organisations get to the core idea quicker by being experienced and without multiple layers to get through

One of our values at Gather is Agile and (being agile about agile), we know that an agile pm process won’t be for everyone. But increasingly we are hearing from organisations that they must respond faster – because the world is changing faster. And for some that means an agile process. Agile is for branding, not just for techies.