Agile for creative teams

These days, creative teams are under pressure to do more with less. A recent survey conducted by independent global research agency Millward Brown looked at the opportunities and aspirations of today’s digital marketing agency. According to the survey, success is largely determined by people — things progress when clients communicate what they need clearly, employees understand the task at hand and clients are willing and able to cooperate. The recipe for success sounds easy, but we all know that in reality it’s not. We’ve got you covered! To solve pressing digital marketing challenges and lead your team towards success, read on for a case study by Nuworks, who shared their sure- fire approach to making it happen by adopting agile for creative teams.

NuWorks Interactive Labs is a full cycle creative interactive solutions agency developing exciting and creative technology for the brands. They work with some of the biggest brands in the country such as Nestle Ice Cream Philippines, Acer Philippines, Canon Philippines, Monde Nissin Corp, Goldilocks Corporation, Bounty Fresh, and many more. The agency’s offerings are vast — from the marketing and business strategy, media planning, and strategy, digital execution on both creative works and software engineering to social community management and public relations.

Michael Ng’s role is the Research and Development Director, which is all about innovating the agency’s process and product offerings to find better ways to address their clients’ needs. His department has extensive experience in offering Augmented Reality applications, Kinect-based Applications, Cross platform games and mobile applications, web applications, database management, and recently, Virtual Reality solutions.

Adopt Agile

If you’re determined to improve the very way your company approaches projects you need to talk to people. It’s a given that in order to establish new practices and effect organisational change, existing structures need shaking up. Not in one day and involving all departments at a time, go with a safe option of step-by-step transformation. Michael speaks about the NuWorks team’s experience:

“We use Agile Management for our R&D and IT teams. In our organization, these two departments work with a lot of uncertainty and ever-changing requirements. In an organization like ours with an annual 30 to 50% growth rate in manpower, we have to reduce the layers in approval for particular processes such as tool acquisition for task management, IT service tracking, purchasing. This led us to abandon the waterfall process, and we needed tools for agile.”

Well, we all have to admit IT team is important. Hands down. These guys are the ones that will make sure that all of the great strategy, design, and creative thinking can come to fruition. That’s why it’s crucial to provide them with a utility and a clear transparent process to rely on. Michael reveals:

“For our software development, we define our user stories and sub-tasks in Kanbanchi. Our software developers assign stories to themselves then once a feature is tested, they move it to the Quality Assurance List. Then our testers do the various testing procedures, then they move it to the ‘done’ list. It is a straightforward process that was easily picked up by our team for its simplicity.”

Research and development today is the whole new ball game in the digital field. The top creative agencies reject the idea of being just executors of communication campaigns, but instead become inventors, architects, and conductors, providing solutions injected with marketing invention. These firms are willing to place series of bets on themselves and literally invest in their future. Of course, it won’t be possible without establishing an R&D budget and forming “labs” focused on innovation and experimentation. NuWorks belongs to this type of agencies. Michael shares how it’s organised in NuWorks’ team:

“For R&D we use Kanbanchi during product planning, it is also a simple process where we plot our internal capabilities, client needs, trending technologies, ultimately with the goal of identifying opportunities for new business and creative solutions to problems.”

Use agile tools

It’s impossible to become agile without adopting a tool for project and workflow management. The right tool will help marketing teams solve creative work chaos by providing real-time visibility and insight into work and resources.

There are plenty of apps on the market available for you to test and try. But it’s important to choose the right one. Of course, features play an important role, but that’s not all. The system has to be easy to use and integrated with your internal systems. Michael told us how it happened in NuWorks:

“I was looking for something deeply integrated to Google Docs and something simple that everyone in the team could get into with little to almost no learning curve. Kanbanchi and its integration with Google apps for work made it easy for the team to adopt. We did not have to maintain new accounts and manage different licenses. It is very simple to use and lightweight. This also inspired the team to be self-disciplined in monitoring the progress and correctness of the tasks assigned to them. Kanbanchi also replaced our IT ticketing and traffic monitoring system for same reasons.”

Commit to be agile

The client of the future will look for an agency to be tailor-made for contemporary world — an agile strategic and creative consultancy with a multi-skilled team to solve brand and business challenges. NuWorks team understands and proactively achieves:

“We were able to achieve agility with the aid of Kanbanchi as the agile process is still relatively new to our country. We believe that as a start-up competing in the digital advertising space, agility is a clear advantage because we can move things quicker like studying and creating new services to address an opportunity in the rapidly changing industry of digital advertising.”

No matter how you establish your new agile approach, get ready for the boost in client satisfaction and team morale. When you collaborate with your clients to ensure clear communication at each stage, when everyone prioritises frequent delivery, reflection and iteration over gruelling reviewing and planning, you’ll most certainly experience a noticeable difference.

You never know what will work for your team until finding out by trial and error, so follow the lead of Nuworks and give Kanbanchi a try today to take the first step towards agility and pave your way to digital marketing success.

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