When the Agile Manifesto was written back in 2001, agile methodology was used in large corporate settings and large cross functional teams. For those developing software, using agile was an exciting new way for continual improvement and faster and better producing development cycles.
While agile has spilled from software development methodologies and software engineering into other areas like HR and marketing, agile is still mainly used by software development teams.
While freelancers don’t have their own team, they can be part of agile teams by including those they work with as their team members!
Here are 3 Ways Freelancers can start using agile to scale their business!
1 Organising Teams
As mentioned before, one-person teams often aren’t really “teams of one”. No one we know works alone in a silo!
If we look at marketing freelancers, including graphic designers, social media managers, community managers, SEO specialists, Facebook ad specialists, bloggers, copywriters ...you get where we are going, we realise they all work on teams.
Freelancers work with
- Client's internal teams
- Event organisers
- Tax experts
- Fellow freelancers
- Community members
and so many more!
To get started, we suggest organising these “team members” into groups who communicate with you the freelancer, but also with each other, through meetings and using agile methodology.
Once team members talk with each other and start work on shared projects with common goals, magic will happen!
Clear communication, frequent check-ins, a product owner (you) who understands what needs to get done but isn’t doing all the work themselves - and you can start scaling!
2 Agile Practices
In order to use agile methodology, you’ve got to start using it.
The next logical step after sorting out teams, is to start putting agile into practice. What methodology you pick is not as important as sticking to Agile principles!
If you use Scrum as your choice of methodology, you would be the Scrum master. Together with your team members you will complete Sprints to create content for shared projects.
Kanban is another option to start organising your teams. The main difference between Scrum and Kanban is that Kanban is not time-boxed, whereas Scrum is.
3 Agile Mindset
Last but not least, an agile mindset is needed to go from using tools and people to get more done aka be productive.
Instead of using agile to be productive, you need to be agile!
This is what we call an agile mindset. Using agile in everything you do, in and outside of your business, will allow you to develop an agile mindset.
If your business and you are ready for scaling, agile can and will help you move the dial! We understand that scaling takes time and practice, lots of practice - we are on this journey ourselves!
Agile Learning Glossary
In this article, we've used some agile terminology. So to help you out with their meanings we have listed them below to help you out. 🤗
✅ Agile Manifesto
The Agile Manifesto is a short document built on four values and twelve principles for agile software development. The Agile Manifesto was published in February 2001 and is the work of 17 software development practitioners. The Agile Manifesto has been adopted by software development practitioners but also by HR departments, Marketing departments and more.
✅ Agile Principle
There are 12 Agile principles created by a team of software development practitioners in 2001. The Agile Manifesto outlined a set of key principles, which are designed to ensure companies prioritise the right things including customer satisfaction, collaboration, adapting to change, and more.
Kanban is an Agile methodology which is different from Sprint and Scrum. There is less terminology, fewer rules and different team members lead the daily discussions. A daily kanban meeting is called ‘walking the board’.
✅ Product Owner
The product owner is a member of the Agile Team responsible for defining tasks and prioritising the team backlog (the ‘to do list as you will) to streamline the execution of priorities within the team.
Scrum is an agile framework that helps people, teams and organisations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems.
✅ Scrum Master
The Agile Marketing Scrum master’s main responsibility is to make sure that the team succeeds. S/he is not the manager or boss of the team. Their responsibility is to remove obstacles to make sure that the team accomplishes their tasks in the sprint.
A sprint is a defined, short period of time when a team works to complete a set amount of work. Sprints are at the very heart of scrum and agile methodologies, and getting sprints right will help your agile marketing team create better content, faster.
Time-boxing is a fixed, maximum unit of time for an activity. That unit of time is called a time box. The goal of time-boxing is to define and limit the amount of time dedicated to one activity. Scrum uses time-boxing for all scrum events.