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Lean & Agile Methodologies

February 26th, 2010 No comments

This article was written in collaboration with our primary Lean & Agile consultant, PhD Carlos Mondragon.

As a company with a culture focused on continuous improvement, we are constantly looking for ways to better serve our clients and our employees. With Lean & Agile Methodologies we have been able to better serve both, through collaborative partnerships that instill and promote communication, efficiency, and empowerment.

Lean and Agile practices are helping the software development industry address problems of changes in requirements, timing and efficiency, and they can be applied to general practices as well. One of the several reasons why agile techniques are so effective, is that they reduce the feedback cycle between the generation of an idea and the realization of that idea.  This not only minimizes the risk of misunderstanding, it also reduces the cost of addressing any mistakes.

The basic principles for effective lean practices include:

  • Eliminate waste: Everything not adding value to the customer is considered to be waste.
  • Amplify learning: The best approach for improving an idea-generation environment is to amplify learning. The learning process is sped up by usage of short iteration cycles.
  • Decide as late as possible: As design is always associated with some uncertainty, better results should be achieved with an options-based approach, delaying decisions as much as possible until they can be made based on facts and not on uncertain assumptions and predictions.
  • Empower the team: There has been a traditional belief that managers tell the workers how to do their own job. Most experienced project managers have simply stated the key for a successful project – “Find good people and let them do their own job.”

Agile Project Management is growing in popularity as a method to more tightly involve the customer in the process of delivering a product. Customer involvement is key to Agile. Without frequent customer interaction, the value gained by constant customer inspection and validation is lost. An important agile process is short development cycles; it is much easier to change a three-week cycle than a nine-month design effort.

The agile manifesto states that it is more valuable to focus on individuals and interactions over processes and tools, customer collaboration over contract negotiation and responding to change over following a plan.

Applying these principles effectively result in the following benefits:

  • Rapid Learning
  • Early Return on Investment
  • Satisfied Stakeholders
  • Increased Control
  • Responsiveness to Change

Lean and agile methods have proven to be advantageous to organizations as a result to increased productivity, higher quality, and responding more rapidly to market demands.

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Lets Stick Together

February 26th, 2010 No comments
Stick Together Now

Stick Together

With the heartbreak caused by the devastation in Haiti, came an outpouring of worldwide support. In an effort to further drive this support, Leo Burnett and our parent company, IA Interactive, partnered up early this year and created a site that enables donors to personalize their donations with messages of encouragement. This effort has been updated to also include support for Chile with their recent tragedy.

In difficult times, it is always good to hear someone cheering you on. Donate today and send YOUR message of hope by visiting Stick-TogetherNow.org

Pepsi’s New Ways

January 12th, 2010 No comments

For the last two years people in the advertising industry have been forecasting a switch in marketing dollars from TV, radio and newspaper towards Internet campaigns, but the following is probably the most visible case so far.

For the first time in 23 years, Pepsi will not run any kind of advertisement during the Super Bowl. This represents a huge switch of around $15 million dollars in marketing spending from TV to an online campaign based on social media.

Ok, a marketing spending switch from TV to online and social media is not news, but what about costumer centric marketing communications as opposed to company/product centric? Pepsi is aiming to help people help their communities. Those individuals that register a project and receive the most votes will receive funding.

To be more specific, Pepsi’s online campaign will be powered by social media and social participation. It’s going to be about communities – online and offline – interacting to create something new.

Find more about it at: refresheverything.com