Thinking of applying the Agile for Marketing approach, what we call A4M™, in your marketing organization? In our research and our work with companies adopting A4M, we have seen the same elements highlighted as either obstacles to or reasons for success. Change is hard, and it makes people uncomfortable. As such, the adoption of Agile for Marketing requires a holistic and whole-hearted approach. One VP at a software provider explained, “Because agile is not just ‘let’s do what we were doing before and do it faster,’ you need individuals to adapt to the new roles that are required in an agile process.”
There are three keys to success that you really need to be thinking about to make a successful transition in the way you operate, and it all starts with the people.
Working in an A4M fashion requires some big changes. Executives will need to give up some control and empower their staff. Team members will have to step up and take some risks. And everyone will be more accountable for accomplishing work. With such a change in day-to-day operations, it’s critical that you not only have buy-in across key leadership in the organization, but also that leadership show their enthusiasm and commitment to making A4M work. This includes clearly setting the vision of what you are trying to achieve and why, but also making sure people have the time and freedom to make the process work.
In our research we talked with agile marketers who have experienced the value of commitment. Two-thirds of the agile marketers in our CMO’s Agenda™ study reported that adopting A4M led to a more motivated team, one even described it as a “kinetic energy that’s occurring with the teams.” Jim Ewel, CEO of InDemand Interpreting emphasizes the persistence required, “Commitment – it’s a little bit like working out, you’re not going to suddenly have that beach body the first day that you work out.” Working out how A4M will fit your teams and your company is a process that takes patience and open communication.