Historically, the agile approach has been silo’d within the development team. Now, the benefits of this methodology are being realized across the enterprise, and creative teams are beginning to adopt an agile approach. At Brown Bag, we implement an Agile Design and Build process for clients with great results.
Speaking from my technical perspective, it’s been a great experience working closely with our creative team. In order to design and build with agility, we often have the design lead sitting next to our developer while the code is being written to make changes in real-time. We’ve learned that in order to have this Agile Design and Build approach work effectively, some key components need to occur:
- Include producers in a collaborative client “Discovery”
- Allow the team to break the scope of work into smaller components
- Empower the team to figure out the size, effort, and steps it takes to get those components complete
- Let different team members take a leadership role as the components evolve
When these steps are realized, multiple iterations or “loops” happen:
One thing that we keep at heart is our one rule (and I love that we use plain English for it): Our design team cannot design anything that can not be built and our development team cannot build anything that is ugly. When this rule is kept, outstanding user experiences are born with beautifully handcrafted designs fueled by technology.
Here are a few more key benefits we’ve seen from our Agile Design and Build process:
- We find that clients enjoy being a part of the team. If a client can handle seeing the sausage being made, they will be involved early and often in our jam sessions.
- The team can discover along with the client and determine exact needs.
- Great work! Working closely and in tight iterations allows the team to pivot quickly when something is not right, and get to a great solution quickly.
- Our design, copy and development teams are empowered, consultative and collaborative.
- The creation of a strategic deliverable – a UI Dev Toolkit. This enables both Brown Bag and our clients with internal capabilities to easily continue to build.
Applying an agile approach requires a shift in the way of thinking internally for the organization. It’s been fun working with agency leadership on how to be more agile. When our designers and builders come together coupled with dynamic client interaction, it always creates impactful work!
We have had success teaching our team how to run agile. Have you implemented this type of approach in your company and what are some benefits you gained from it?