Agile Approach

What is Agile?

You’ve probably heard of following an “agile” process for software or product development, however an agile approach is increasingly being used for marketing campaigns and initiatives. We often recommend implementing an agile design and development process for complex digital projects with a wide scope and long duration.

While the level of formality for agile projects may vary, the methodology is designed to provide more immediate results than a traditional waterfall development process. The essence of agile is simple: get your work into the hands of your customers and end users as early and often as possible to ensure the final product is exactly what they need.

All features for the project are collected in a “product backlog”, then prioritized and divided among short, typically 3-4 week, sprints. At the end of each sprint, specific deliverables are completed and shared with your internal stakeholders and typically a group of your customers to obtain their feedback. User feedback will shape deliverables and prioritize work for each subsequent sprint.

Read more about how Signal works within the agile methodology here: https://signalinc.com/agile-dont-know/


Getting Started

Initial Planning

When the project is initiated, Signal will work with you to gather and/or create the project vision, goals, objectives and stakeholders. The steps we take include:

  • Define the audience and develop user personas
  • Document the ideal user journey or experience
  • Develop a product backlog to capture all desired features
  • Determine how success will be measured
  • Assemble the project team, including customers to provide ongoing feedback

 


User Personas

Customer Journey Map and Measurement Plan

Sprint Planning

From there, we divide the full project scope into short sprints. At the end of each sprint, deliverables will be shared with your internal stakeholders and your customers to obtain their feedback. Feedback will shape deliverables and prioritize work for each subsequent sprint.

The actual number of sprints and key project milestones/deliverables is determined after your project is further defined.


Sprint Plan Summary

Backlog Tracking

Working Rhythm

With the initial planning complete, our ongoing work can consist of many different facets, including:

  • Content development
  • UX/UI design and development
  • Systems administration (Configuring server environment)
  • Application & database development, CMS implementation
  • System integrations (User Authentication, Marketing Automation, Analytics, CRM, etc.)
  • Analytics planning and implementation

Along the way, we use agile’s Scrum framework to maintain a work and communication rhythm with you that ensures tight collaboration.

 


Scrum Framework

Daily Stand-ups

We facilitate daily,15-min, “stand-up meetings” (a.k.a “Scrum meetings”) to allow the team to share what was achieved yesterday, what will be achieved today, and define any areas where help is needed. We watch for issues and help remove any roadblocks.

Weekly Work Sessions

In addition to the daily stand-up meetings, we like to have a weekly collaborative work session with you, where we have more time to go into depth about a particular topic.

Sprint Review

After each sprint, we review all features of what has been delivered to confirm the deliverables work as expected and validate business benefits. The team brainstorms ideas to resolve any issues and reprioritize, add/remove features, etc.

Sprint Retrospective

As the name implies, the Sprint Retrospective is an opportunity for our collaborative project team to look back and discuss what went well, what could improve, and make any commitments to improve during the following sprint.

Customer Demos and User Feedback

Perhaps the most important aspect of our approach is making sure we show our progress (usually in the form of wireframe prototypes or functional webpages) to your customers. Early on, we work with you to identify select customers who can help in our collaborative design process. Depending on the project and where we are in the development process, we either walk the end customer through a demo, or we let the customer use the product on their own while we observe.

The prototypes we share with customers can be low- or high-fidelity to illustrate the final layout and functionality of key screen views.

 


Low/High-Fidelity Prototypes

User Testing

Wrapping Up

The project will close when all features are completed or when no time or budget remains. We ensure all deliverables are completed and capture lessons learned.


Timelines and Costs

Depending on the project and where we are in the development process, we either walk the end customer through a demo, or we let the customer use the product on their own while we observe. This can be done in person, or utilizing screen recordings from online user testing platforms.

The cost for agile projects may vary as well, however generally start in the $15,000-$25,000 per sprint range.

Have a project that may be a fit for agile? Let us know…

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