adapts some of the core concepts for larger organisations – but you certainly need to focus on three key areas. team’s skillsets while increasing efficiencies.
Teams can spend a lot of time waiting for the next deliverable. This can lead to overload when a project drops and affects other projects too. Workflow processes made famous by Japanese companies such as Kanban, used in the Toyota Production System, are useful for understanding how to reduce lead times to maximise workflow.
A large portion of time spent working on projects isn’t all that useful. That’s not to say that it leads to poor work, just that there are certain elements in the processes that weren’t required. Reflective, internal feedback loops that focus on the continual elimination of waste (aka lean development) help bring project timelines down, increase output and decrease the amount of superfluous work.
Our MediaCom Blink teams follow structured processes within a lean “squad” teams (consisting of specialists with little to no reporting hierarchy) to produce work at high volumes and speed without sacrificing quality.
This is not an outcome created by doing things on the fly. It requires preparation in terms of team makeup, roles and structure, custom workflow processes, a continuous focus on KPIs and the experience to know when to deliver or close.
Famously, brands such as Specsavers, Mondelez International and Paddy Power have set live “reactionary” above-the-line campaigns in less than 24 hours using thorough, pre-planned, go-to-market processes.
MediaCom has recently run a simultaneous technology test for a large multinational using our “agile” processes in one market, with business-as-usual processes in another market – time to go live was shortened by three months and work required by 60 per cent for similar outcomes.
Google, Amazon and Facebook – three companies we often think of as agile – were all start-ups once, but by following orderly processes and procedures have maintained that attitude and approach even as they have grown into three of the largest corporations in the world.
By approaching “agility” in a considered, structured way, businesses of all sizes can uncover new opportunities and find real growth. Liam Brennan is global director of innovation programmes at MediaCom
Harvard Business Review’s Agile at Scale