One month in, I’ve gotten a lot of satisfaction out of this new way of doing things as a team. There have been a lot of lessons learned both on my own and as a group, and I’ve noticed a difference in the way I work that has made me a better team member and improved my projects.
First of all, I think one of the greatest things being an Agile team has given me is perspective on the work we do and what our long term goals are. That’s really helpful as I map out my own priorities, and also gives me the opportunity to jump into projects I may not have before. I also feel like we’re better equipped to produce more complete and cohesive campaigns, since we sit down as a group weekly to discuss what everyone is working on. That chance to brainstorm often leads to new ideas for how to strengthen our efforts and tap into each person’s skill set so everyone can contribute.
With the freedom to think bigger and be more elaborate, I’ve also learned that not everything needs to be a huge ordeal. In some cases, it’s okay to just get something out the door and optimize it later on. Obviously this isn’t always the case, but in the past I was constantly concerned with making sure everything I executed was perfect; this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it slowed me down a lot and definitely affected my output of content. Sitting down with everyone and getting reassurance that it’s okay if something isn’t perfect has really helped me relax and focus more on producing and letting my team help me improve it.
If there’s one thing I hate about Agile so far, it’s the mixture of flexibility and inflexibility that it requires from everything to make it work. On one hand, a one-week sprint cycle calls for real commitment to your assigned tasks and hard work to ensure you’re completing everything before the sprint demo. But on the other hand, a lot of our projects have stakeholders outside of our team, which means we’re dealing with their priorities being elsewhere and the delays that come with that. That means that there are times when things just aren’t going to get done, and there’s no “fault” to be had by anyone, marketing team or not. The only course of action is to adjust however possible to make the best of the rest of the sprint time and get at least part of the project done, and accept that it’s out of our control. It can be difficult to stay so focused to get everything done, and still not have something to show for it at the demo.