Insights | June 21, 2018

Agile Ideation

It’s 6pm on a Thursday and you have a huge creative presentation on Friday. You’re scrambling to put the final touches on the deck, summarize all the ideas, and put creative into context. At around 11:18 pm your team puts a bow on the presentation and decides to regroup in the morning, just before the meeting.

By Josh Cairns

By Friday afternoon you come out of the creative presentation feeling exhausted. While some of the ideas were well received, the overall creative direction didn’t quite hit the mark. The client feels the best course of action is to create a new concept altogether.

Your budgets are maxed out and your capacity for the project feels drained. How did it get to this point? You begin asking yourself questions like, “Is the client out to lunch? Maybe they just don’t get it? Did we miss the mark on strategy and recommendations? Did we present the creative so poorly that they really didn’t grasp the idea?” As you circle through these questions and more, you’re still left wondering what went wrong.

We’ve all been in this situation, and some of us bounce back quickly while others bang our heads against the wall repeatedly as if the past can be changed by doing so. In my experience, the pressure mounts because expectations on both sides are unclear and unmet. So how do we combat this scenario and develop a winning formula? That’s where agile ideation comes into play.

Agile ideation is the combination of gaining quick rounds of feedback throughout the creative process to ensure client buy-in on both creative and strategy. It’s about iterating more frequently instead of building anticipation for the big unveil (or sometimes the big flop). Agile ideation maintains the integrity of great creative built on a great strategy. It also includes a third key element: client buy-in through frequent engagement in the process.

The common mistake in the situation described above is preparing and presenting the finished plan without first getting any feedback to ensure it’s on the right track. Here’s how agile ideation could approach that project differently.

While this process may seem long, it actually moves just as quickly as landing “the big baked plan” after the first meeting. However, there is greater assurance that you are closer to the strategy, have finalized creative, and have a solid execution plan at the end of it. While I love the creative ideation and process, we need to take a step back and question how we can make the ‘process’ better. Take a stab at testing out agile ideation, I guarantee it will land you closer to strategy and creative at the end of the process – without the guesswork.



Want to try out agile ideation together?