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How to Implement Agile in Your Inbound Agency with Chris Hodgson

Gray MacKenzie
Gray MacKenzie is a true operations nerd who has spent the past decade helping hundreds of agencies build more productive, profitable, and healthy teams by solving the core issues plaguing their project management.

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On this episode of Inbound Agency Journey, Chris Hodgson from We Mean Lean discusses Agile for inbound agencies.

Chris began a digital production company in London with applications and websites. As head of operations, he was in charge of software development. During this time, he implemented Agile in the business.

After years of successful implementation, he moved on to coaching and helping other companies become Agile. Chris had never applied Agile in an inbound agency until Jeremy Knight of Equinet approached him.

Chris saw how much opportunity existed and was able to improve results across the board. He discovered how Agile can help inbound agencies become more efficient and profitable.

Agile doesn’t work in the conventional assembly line approach to projects, but instead, they are broken into short “sprints.” This allows the project to be iterative.

Teams can quickly adapt to changes as the project moves ahead. Improvements are being explored to get better performance and results.

An important piece of Agile is communication. Typically teams focus on their area, but Agile makes sure each function is on the same page of what is being done. This allows teams to communicate, collaborate, and solve problems better.

The tool for this is the sprint board which you can see with tools like Trello. Everything is shared, so each member of the project sees progress on each piece as it occurs. In many agencies, there are information silos, even on small client projects.

By changing the way client work and delivery is managed, the team produces better results.

Agile also changes the mindset from task based to performance based. Rather than focusing on bits of a project that you own, you’re seeing the entire picture and focusing on results. This is a change of mindset for many in the agency world. There is still breaking down and categorizing tasks, but now based on their contribution to performance.

Agile is an all-encompassing mindset for your agency. It’s a large task to implement in any business. It requires breaking a lot of habits and changing how you work.

Chris advises that agencies be 100% serious about implementation. Agile is NOT a shiny object.

It’s a total business transformation.

Chris recommends not spending time buying and reading books either. It’s often a waste of your time and can cause problems. Improper implementation could cause lots of headaches and delay projects.

Instead, he recommends agencies interested in Agile take a course or hire a coach. This will accelerate your implementation and reduce the learning curve as well. Chris insists that companies need to be serious about investing in Agile. This includes time and money. However, Agencies that do this though will reap the benefits and build a better agency.

There is always a better way. We all consume a lot of content, always searching for what can make our business better. We especially know the importance of processes, why you need them and some of the different methodologies like EOS and Agile.

At the end of the day though, the hardest part is always the actual implementation of any new concept. Recently we’ve had a series of guests covering EOS and Agile and applying them to your business. They’ve dropped some serious golden nuggets in their interviews. You’re likely excited about what they can do for your business.

However, consuming the information is easy.

The investment of time, energy, and money is the tricky part.

Whether that’s hiring a coach, re-working your business structure or energy on documenting processes, it’s going to take an investment from you. However, to build a real business and get ou of the day today you need to do the hard work.

You need to discover how you want to do things and be sure to implement them across your business. Any initiative starts at the top. When you take on a new concept as the owner, be sure to applying it for yourself before jumping all in. You may find that it’s not a fit or align with your business goals. Don’t chase after the next new thing. Make sure before actually applying a new concept to your business; it’s an investment, not an expense.

So go ahead, consume this information, but if you want to start to transform your agency you need to take action today!

If you enjoyed this episode of Inbound Agency Journey, be sure to leave us a review on iTunes!

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