Do you really need technology to become Agile?
Whether or not you've already started to adopt Agile methodologies in your marketing team, the question of technology – and whether you actually need to buy new technology to be Agile – will crop up, if it hasn't already
We're taking a look at some of the common questions surrounding technology and Agile, to help you decide whether or not it's likely to be necessary in your team.
Do you need technology to be Agile?
Strictly speaking, you don’t, but there are an increasing number of Agile tools out there. If you’re starting out with Agile you certainly don’t need to think about what technology you plan to use straight away – in fact this could become a problem if you’re trying to learn Agile as well as a brand new tool. It’s important to remember that Agile isn't about the tools or technology; it’s much more important to make sure your team is signed up to its principles and ready to follow the rituals, that your organisation is open to the idea and ready to change its culture, and that everyone involved is fully bought in.
In this post, founder and chief content officer at Fox Content and Agile expert, Andrea Fryrear, explains a few key points to consider when you’re thinking about the software/tools to help you on your Agile journey. Her key points are:
- Learning Agile is hard enough already, without trying to learn new technology at the same time.
- Keep things as simple as possible for your first few Sprints, and if you’re going to use a tool, use the simplest solution you can find.
- Agile will be more intimidating if you ask the team to adopt new software as well – wait for a while before thinking about which tools, if any, will work for your team.
- Much of the existing Agile software was designed with developers in mind, meaning many may have features you don’t need.
- New tools/software will make what should be a low risk, low cost way of working into an expensive, risky one.
Wondering how Agile marketing could help your team? In this guide we remove the mystery that surrounds the practice and explain exactly what it is, whether it's right for you and your team, and how you can go about implementing an Agile approach.
What technology is out there and what does it do?
If you’re keen to use a tool to help you on your Agile marketing journey, the options are ever-increasing.
Most existing tools have been designed with Agile software development teams in mind, and aren’t specifically for marketing, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t use them (although, as Andrea advises, keep it simple, at least to begin with).
Most Agile technology solutions allow you to manage your backlog, visualise your workflow and allocate tasks to team members, create and track goals and objectives, and communicate with the team. While all of this can be done quite easily with post-its, the clear advantage of a digital solution is that it can be accessed by the team remotely at any time. Finally, you might find that other tools such as Slack help your team to be more agile too – in fact some Agile tools already provide integration with Slack and other similar apps.
What about my martech stack?
Any Agile project management technology discussed above will not be connected to your existing martech stack, as it will only be used for internal purposes. Having said that, being an effective Agile marketing team means using martech effectively, as explained by Mike Colombo, CMO of Cloudwords:
“You need the right tools and connected technologies to enable you to react quickly. B2B organisations need the ability to access information quickly enough to make decisions and change direction. The elements required for agility require consuming information and reacting very quickly, which means you need data and you need it fast.”
Agile tools and software
Here are some of the key Agile tools and software out there - although most haven't necessarily been adapted for marketing teams (and are intended for use by software development teams), many can be used by Agile marketing teams in the same way:
- Agile Bench
- Orange Scrum
- Scrum Do