I manage various creative projects for Brilliant Ink. I touch everything from benefit guides to Employee Value Propositions (EVPs) to intranet rollouts and everything in between. I bridge the gap between right and left brains, designers and lawyers, and content experts and tech gurus.
One way that I like to bring different groups of people together coherently is by using Agile Methodologies. Although Agile was first created to deliver software to customers faster, its principles can be applied for creative projects, too. Agile has four key values and twelve principles within its Manifesto. Here are my favorites.
Get a Customer Reaction Early
Agile places an emphasis on collecting feedback from the client as early and often as possible. They suggest that teams deliver iterations of the project and collect ample feedback prior to the “due date.” Does the product work? Sure. Is it perfect? No – and that’s the point. Agile suggests getting input and feedback before you’ve spent too much time going down the wrong path.
Maintain a Pace That’s Repeatable
Teams that follow Agile Methodologies work at a set pace that they are able to maintain and repeat. This is known as a “sprint” in the biz. The length of the sprint is less important than the team’s ability to maintain and repeat the pace. Sprints set a specific expectation for team members and keep everyone accountable.
Reflect as a Team
Agile teams make time to look back at their performance. It is a retrospective or self-help group discussion. Teams use this time to reflect on how the collective team performed and acknowledge what worked well and what could be improved for next time. Teams are able to discuss openly about how to work more efficiently in the future. The team can then change its behavior to incorporate the improvements.
Creative Examples in Real Life
- Share your video or visual storyboard with the client early and get feedback before moving into production.
- Gather feedback while revamping your EVP. Remember to keep track of your team’s pace to set your sprints.
- Spend time with your design team reflecting post pitch or launch. Talk about any curve balls that came up and decide on how to handle them next time.
These lessons apply to technical projects, to creative projects, and even to personal relationships. Agile teaches us to share our work early and often, to iterate, and to continually improve upon reflection. Do that once, repeat – now you’re agile.