Whether you see it as a way of working or simply a mindset, agile is a concept discussed by marketers the world over. With its roots in software development, agile working in its purest form is based on the principle of collaborative teams prioritising individuals over processes, customers over contracts and responding to change rather than following a restrictive plan.
Far from being daunted by the notion of scrums, squads and sprints, marketers are making significant gains by adopting agile ways of working that go well beyond just speed and efficiency.
Rather than working frantically without a purpose, successful agile working requires a clear goal and framework, set against the backdrop of regular ‘retrospectives’ to assess progress and pivot if necessary.
Focusing as it does on non-hierarchical teams with clearly defined roles, agile working enables marketers to work with far greater autonomy, explains senior director of the global production ecosystem within GSK Consumer Healthcare’s marketing EDGE division, Sandra McDill.
“Putting those basic foundations in place allows you to be much more agile from the mindset perspective in that it speeds things up and creates those efficiencies. It gives you the ability to test and learn quickly, because you’re doing it within a framework,” she states.
“Whereas, if you approach it from the perspective of ‘We’re just going to do things faster’, unless you’ve got some roles in place you won’t be able to measure it and it will all fall down. It contradicts itself in that sense, so you need some foundations in order to really get this moving.”