Agility vs. Speed: How Agile Marketing Can Manage Volatile Times

What words come to mind when you imagine an agile marketing team? You probably imagine marketers to be fast, flexible, and perhaps even agitated.

We tend to associate agility with speed, but agility does not mean that we are the quickest to chase the shiny object of the week. Truly agile teams are very disciplined in their work.

Agile systems force marketers to make choices and take action. This prevents us from tackling every conceivable tactic at once: they require us to stop starting and start the important work instead.

Disciplined delivery allows agile marketing teams to be the first to learn, iterate and improve, not just the first to fight.

Being focused is better than being fast

The list of all the marketing work we can do now is endless. We have new channels to explore, new posts to test, and new campaigns to launch, not to mention the different stakeholders to please and the literature on recurring activities every day/weeks/months/quarters.

But the hard truth is that if we try to do everything, we will achieve almost nothing.

Jumping from one project to another depending on who is shouting louder makes the day very hectic and unproductive.

This is because we will spend a lot of our productive time introducing contextual engagement. This is the waiting period for the human brain. Our brains do not immediately jump from one activity to another; they need time to slow one down and transform the next.

Stop starting, start finishing

It seems good to limit the number of things you work on, but what about all the people who bring in marketing work to do that?

As a bridge between the customer and the company, marketing has many groups to respond to.

If everyone needs marketing NOW, how can our marketers focus?

Disciplined Agile teams have a simple tool known as a backlog that acts as a guide for future work. You can also view it as a list of priority tasks.

If there are job requests, this is where they go. It does not start automatically immediately.

The backlog is a filtering mechanism that allows the Agile team leader to review a new request about all the work that the team can do and decide where the new element fits.

Speed   is optional, disciplined agility is not

Agility is no longer an option. In the uncertain world, we all live in, we need to be responsive and flexible.

But the option is an obsession with speed.

We don’t have to go any faster, we have to continue to discipline and deliberate. That’s where true agility and effective marketing come from.