Morning Fuel Episode 1: Navigating Crisis with Agile Methodology

Recommendation: Review the post, then watch the video.
Morning Fuel Episode 1:
Navigating Crisis with Agile Methodology
with Jason Bane (34:15)
With the current health and economic crisis firmly planted for the moment, the need to be nimble and efficient is more critical than ever.
 
Since The Rocket Factory takes a financial, performance-based approach to strategy, the recommendation would not be to spend money as you have been doing and expect the same outcomes.
 
Given the current volatility, making investments wisely and evaluating performance though a different lens requires regular evaluation as conditions change.
 
Oh, and things will be different as we come through this.
 
Count on it.
 
For many companies, they may not have the teams that they had even as recently as a month ago.
 
It’s really hard to think about what’s next as you navigate daily challenges.
We get it! (and we’re living it, too)
Now some tough love.
 
It’s time to start doing hard evaluations on plans that could yield very exciting outcomes for your company as we come through the other side of this crisis.
 
That’s where the right planning executed with the right methodology comes in.
 
Taking an Agile approach (what’s Agile?) to your overall business planning could yield very productive sprints that help you navigate the remainder of the year and into 2021. 
 
The Rocket Factory staffing model is to bring the very best people to projects for the customers we serve.
 
With that in mind, I recently made contact with my colleague Jason Bane who is a world class Technology Executive and Agile Coach.
 
We got into a spirited discussion about the applicability of leveraging Agile to business operations and how to effectively navigate the next several months as we continue through the height of the crisis and come out on the other side.
 
We believe things could remain somewhat volatile for the next 12-18 months.
 
As you think about your business operations, consider FP&A, Marketing & Sales Integration, Organizational Development, and Customer Service to all be internal products that need product owners to drive improvements.
 
As the market continues to evolve, your ability to rapidly gain feedback and incorporate that into your products as well as your business practices will become essential to success, and in many cases survival.
 
I asked Jason for his expertise in applying Agile to business operations.
 
Here’s what he said.
“Imagine taking each of these areas, building out a prioritized backlog and applying an iterative development process like Scrum in order to rapidly delivery value and gain valuable insights during this period of uncertainty.   
Agile Marketing
Diagram 1.1 (Adapted from Marketing Insider)
As you release those first few blocks of work into your business you will gain essential insights.
 
Those insights will feed back into your backlog and the flexibility of Agile practices will allow you to re-prioritize to respond to changes as they emerge. 
 
For example in the Diagram 1.1, the releasable work blocks 1, 2, 3 and 4 were the first items you as a business owner or team determined were most important. 
 
As those items were “released into production” you realized 1 and 3 were winners and 2 and 4 not so much. 
 
Item 1 was a precursor to the 7th item in your backlog and item 3 was a precursor to the 12th. 
 
Applying Agile practices you can quickly adjust on the fly to re-prioritize item 7 and 12 to become the 5th and 6th items that you and your team deliver. 
 
This works for product development and it works for re-engineering your business.” 
Now more than ever it is critical that you step back from the way you have been working and determine what incremental changes you are going to have to make in response to the current situation.
 
WATCH: In Episode 1 of ‘Morning Fuel,’ Jason and I will clarify this post by taking a look at Marketing and Sales Integration as an example.
 
And as always, I’m available for more questions by scheduling a complimentary call.
Todd Feldman
Founder, The Rocket Factory