Using the agile method in implementation of a new marketing campaign management system in an organization is always a big thing, with new procedures, user interfaces, a change in IT systems and a new way of thinking about marketing campaigns. Sometimes such an implementation is part of an organisation’s wider technology modernisation.
Personally, I have been involved in 10 implementations of a marketing campaign management system in various roles; client side, main user, consulting team member, change leader and project manager. Each project was different, however, one thing remained the same – at the very beginning, the software’s functionality appears vast, and most end users are not familiar with its capabilities and how to maximise it’s potential.
Recently I have been part of an Agile implementation and this made me a fan of the method. This was a journey for a team that was previously non-Agile, so along the way everyone was learning how to work, behave and think in a more Agile way.
The more Agile the project became…
The difference between the vendor and client disappeared as we were working on the same team, with a common goal, helping each other, listening to each and adjusting to the team’s needs.
We detailed the tasks required, which were then discussed with everyone involved, which enabled us to move the project forward from one stage to another more effectively. We were very hands-on, operating in a way that required mutual respect and trust from our team members. Working with end-users’ hand in hand we had a clear understanding of requirements and expectations. We did exactly what they needed.
Working closely with the team and including them in the project and decisions, makes for a closer working relationship, opening up discussion and empowering end users. End users could own tasks and take responsibility for elements of the implementation, making final user’s adoption of the software easier.
It is always important when initially deciding on marketing software that you understand what the technology is capable of and what it is not, you need to make sure you advise the vendor of all your needs and how you would like to use the software. Including the end users is always a key step, as they may have different requirements to other stakeholders in the business who will not be using the software on a day to day basis.
As per the Agile method, we asked the team what their challenges and needs were. And we solved them, one by one. Engaged in requirements and approvals – end-users became ambassadors of the change. They liked the new systems and adapted to them easily.
Deadlines were not deadly anymore. We had time to develop, correct issues and ensure the system we were implementing was truly fit for purpose.
A campaign management tool is used every day. Usually with an out of the box system or a cloud solution, an organisation has endless options for customisation. A good implementation leaves marketer’s happy with their new tool, which is fully adjusted to their needs, with a fast, effectively managed DataMart and integrated channels.
I believe the Agile way of leading such a project is more effective than a standard project management process and leaves everybody involved much happier. My experience is that this way of working really sets up the project and the long term success of the new tool, for a win.
For more information on how your marketing automation implementation could be made easier get in touch with Purple Square.
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