Agile Use Case: Collaboration and Brand-Building from Scratch
Feb 25, 2019Entering 2019, Claro Enterprise Solutions faced the task of building a website that articulated our value proposition within the telecom and digital services space. We knew we faced two challenges. First, while we enjoy the backing of a major global telecom provider, we’re a newcomer to the U.S. market and an unknown entity. Second, our leadership team set an extremely aggressive timeframe for delivery, and made it clear that neither delays nor excuses were options.
After five intense weeks of brainstorming, breakthroughs and setbacks, long nights and short weekends, we went live on February 12th.
The major takeaway and lesson learned from this initiative was the importance of collaboration between marketing and IT. Quite simply, if not for teamwork, we could not have completed the project on time. Within the marketing group, web designers and graphic artists, digital campaign managers and content developers had to be in sync from day one. The IT team, meanwhile, comprised the scrum master, the technical lead and the technical team.
In addition, product and service managers across our entire portfolio of offerings were involved to ensure that the specific value proposition of each offering was clearly communicated. At the same time, all of the messaging had to support and align with the core strategic theme of “Evolve Together.” Finally, we all had to work closely with our corporate partners to ensure consistency with group standards and strategy.
Ultimately, alignment and collaboration between the creators and the implementers of the website experience was most essential. On the one hand, our marketers were tasked with designing the look and feel of the site, crafting the messaging and defining the navigational structure. On the other hand, the IT team was responsible for executing the vision.
On the surface, those seem like pretty straightforward sets of roles and responsibilities. In practice, however, a whole lot can very easily and very quickly go wrong when translating a creative vision into an engineered solution. Put differently, there can be a significant gap between what a marketer considers a seamless user journey and what a programmer considers a viable technical solution.
To avoid these gaps, we adopted Agile Methodology principles, which emphasize ongoing collaboration and communication between business and IT teams. The methodology is characterized by the division of final deliverables into different sprints and daily “stand-up” meetings to ensure that each side is aware of the other’s priorities and limitations. Sprints help address the major challenge that every technology company faces today – that of constantly shifting priorities. Structuring daily contact is also critical because the mindsets of marketing and IT are so different. As a result, some discipline is needed to ensure a “walk a mile in each other’s shoes” perspective.
In our case, the stand-ups helped prevent situations where the IT team’s deliverables didn’t align with marketing expectations. In other words, we were able to avoid significant re-works that would have resulted in delays and missed deadlines.
Our experience with the Agile model reflects that broader trend of collaboration between marketing and IT teams. As businesses increasingly focus on digital transformation, creating and delivering an efficient and engaging customer experience is imperative. Whether it’s a new website, e-commerce platform or mobile app, success is measured by the user’s perception. That perception, in turn, is defined by how closely the marketer’s insight into what a customer wants is aligned with what technologically can be delivered.