Lights, Camera…Agile – Agile Innovation Case Study

Case study

Ag_Inov_Logo_TMA globally recognised business improvement methodology that originated in the IT sector has been adapted to fit high growth firms across Cornwall. Agile enables businesses to improve their own systems and procedures and in so doing deliver a better quality of service to customers. The UK’s leading business coaching specialist, Oxford Innovation, has developed the principles of Agile to deliver Agile Innovation to its own clients under the Grow Cornwall programme, supported by ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).

Falmouth based film production company DOGBITE is one of the Oxford Innovation high growth clients to have applied Agile and is now set to play a key role in the UK’s film and TV industry.

DOGBITE is a team of experienced and creative film makers. Since the company was formed in 2012 with start-up coaching support from Oxford Innovation, DOGBITE has doubled its turnover year on year producing high quality commercials, documentaries and music videos. Clients include 20th Century Fox, National Geographic, Mind Candy and Carte Blanche Group.

Company manager Michelle Taylor explained the benefits she and the team have seen from working with Agile Innovation: “In many ways we’re a group of very typical creatively minded people in that we are passionate about what we do, we share very high production values and we aim to deliver outstanding films to our clients. However film-making isn’t all glamour and exotic location; it’s extremely hard work and demands organisational excellence to project manage multiple high-end projects and ensure the right people with the right kit are where they need to be at all times.

“Agile has made a huge difference to how we run the business especially the effectiveness of our project planning and that in turn makes us even better at what we do.”

Michelle and her colleagues use various Agile tools and principles to track projects, schedule work and prioritise tasks. The team also have an ‘ideas cloud’ which enables them to flag up and share new concepts. “As well as changing how we operate, Agile has also brought our group even closer together as it’s great for team building and improving communication,” said Michelle. “Having worked with Agile Innovation I can see how the methodology could be applied to fit almost any business so I would really encourage people to look into it.”

Belinda Waldock is the Oxford Innovation business coach leading on Agile Innovation and she paid tribute to the DOGBITE team’s enthusiasm for Agile: “It’s been wonderful to see how this hugely talented group of people have improved how they run their business. By the team embracing the principles of Agile so keenly DOGBITE is well placed to build on the high levels of growth already achieved and I am very confident this business will play a starring role in Cornwall’s economy for many years to come.”

To find out more about Agile Innovation, please visit www.agile.oxin.co.uk

To read more about DOGBITE, please visit www.dogbitefilmcrew.com

Creating Growth The Agile Way – Agile Innovation

Ag_Inov_Logo_TMCase Study

A growing number of Cornwall’s most successful small to medium sized enterprises are turning to Agile Innovation to support their ongoing business development. Based on the principles of a globally recognised methodology, Agile Innovation is delivered by the UK’s leading business coaching specialist Oxford Innovation under its Coaching for High Growth programme, supported by ERDF (European Regional Development Fund).

Truro-based creative agency MPAD, which last year recorded 10 percent growth in turnover, is one of the businesses to have embarked on the programme and was one of the first in Cornwall to do so from outside of the software sector where Agile has its origins.

Established in 1999, MPAD relaunched earlier this year with a focus towards working with ethical and socially responsible brands and organisations throughout the UK providing public relations, design and digital content management. The firm now employs six people, led by managing director Rachel Picken and her husband Mark, MPAD’s creative director.

Rachel explained why her business has adopted Agile Innovation: “In our first few years of trading MPAD was consistently achieving a healthy rate of growth. Then in 2008 we, like almost every other agency in our sector, were hit hard by the global economic downturn as clients tightened their belts and drastically cut their spending on consultancy work. It was an extremely difficult time but we kept the business alive by focusing on what we knew and did best which was providing our remaining clients with great quality creative work.”

As the economic recovery got underway, Rachel and Mark wanted to secure the long-term future of the business to guard against any future downturn. “We’d traded our way through the recession so we set out to trade our way to sustainable growth,” said Rachel.

“Mark and I were already both receiving one-to-one business coaching from Oxford Innovation,” said Rachel. “It was at this stage that we were introduced to the concept of Agile through the Agile Innovation programme and it quickly became apparent how beneficial this could be to our business.”

Rachel developed her knowledge of Agile while studying for her Diploma with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (PR). “Planning is as important in PR as it is in any other profession but with the changing nature of events, practitioners need to show agility. At the heart of Agile is the theory of ‘responding to change over following a plan.’ I was really enlightened by this innovative approach to PR planning as it reminded me of how we worked in the early years of the business when growth was strong. It provides an environment that encourages continuous learning and improvement and it is something we now share with clients who are equally impressed.”

Agile Innovation has not only influenced what MPAD delivers to clients but also how Rachel and Mark run their own business.

“Agile provides important business development tools that can be adapted to suit and applied at all levels of the organisation,” said Rachel. “For example, I encourage the whole team to use an Agile board to visually track our effectiveness in converting enquiries into new business. We’ve also benefited greatly from the Agile concept of ‘customer collaboration over contract negotiation.’ We aim to initiate a bite-size piece of work at the start of the consultancy, such as a workshop or a collaborative strategy session. It has enabled us to align even more closely with prospective clients, laying the foundations for mutually beneficial, long-term relationships.”

Oxford Innovation business coach Belinda Waldock leads on Agile Innovation and she is delighted with how it is benefitting MPAD, commenting: “The creative sector is one of the most competitive and dynamic in the economy so Agile is a perfect complement. Rachel, Mark and their team have fully embraced the tools and principles and I am confident that having done so, their business is well set for further growth and job creation.

“MPAD’s successful adoption of the methodology for PR breaks new ground in the Agile community and sets Rachel apart as a thought leader in her sector. This September, Rachel will speak about her experience at Agile on the Beach 2014 in Falmouth where she will be joined by a host of other expert practitioners.”

mpadnewTo find out more about MPAD, please visit www.mpad.co.uk

Read more about Agile Innovation

Agile on the Beach 2014 for the Business Professional

2014-04-24 10.25.54The conference is 3 weeks away, we have sold out and it is set to be a great event!

Full details of the sessions and biographies of the speakers are available on the website. www.agileonthebeach.com.

Following last years request I have listed below the sessions in Business, Teams and Product Design below, of which those in Bold are the sessions that I feel are most relevant and applicable for any business interested in becoming a more agile organisation or individual.

While the sessions are often in a software context there are many elements that are relevant to any business and transferable for adoption in a wide array of situations in all of the below sessions.

Keynotes

• Business Keynote : Bjarte Bogsnes : Beyond Budgeting – an agile management model for new business and people realities http://agileonthebeach.com/2014-2/bjarte-bogsnes-keynote/
• J. B. (Joe) Rainsberger, Canadian software development consultant and technology writer will be joining us at Agile on the Beach 2014 to deliver our Software Craftmanship Keynote

Business http://agileonthebeach.com/business-2014/

• Adventures with Agile and Lean – Rachel Picken (MPAD)
• Agile – beyond software? – Allan Kelly
• Agile Innovation – Belinda Waldock
• Doing Even Better Next Time: a retrospective on implementing Scrum in a non-engineering team – Frances Bonnington
• TFDD For Business Strategy: Developing Agile Business Strategies using Test-First – Tom Sedge
• Contracted to deliver outcomes not features – Kris Lander
• Stop Throwing Money Out the Window – Flavius Stef
How Agile helped RDT rediscover its Innovation Mojo – Bazil Arden
Sander Hoogendoorn (Capgemini)    Agile anti-patterns! Yes your agile project can and will fail too
• Putting the BA into BAcklog : Agile in the business context – Lynda Girvan

 

Teams http://agileonthebeach.com/2014-2/agile-teams-2014/

• Open communication wins! – Judith Andresen
• Awesome People Management with Agile – Meri Williams
• Agile HR and Agile leadership in a nutshell – Pia-Maria Thoren
• Pairing isn’t just for developers – Georgiana Mannion & Kev McCabe
• #NoLearning – Marcin Floryan (comparethemarket.com)
• Design Collaboration – Darci Dutcher
• Hiring well – how to grow and maintain effective agile teams – Lyndsay Prewer
• How big is it? A guide to agile estimation practices – Mike Pearce
• The String Game – Sean Moir
• Introduction to Visual Management – Egor Sviridenko
• Agile on the Beach invites you to: Design a Degree
• There Is No Agile – Nick McKenna
• An Agile Journey – Making The Elephant Dance – Jon Tilt (IBM)

Product Design (day 1 only) http://agileonthebeach.com/2014-2/product-design-bonus-track/

• Lean Product Management – Melissa Perri (ProdUX Labs – New York)
• Fundamentals of Lean UX (User eXperience) – Adrian Howard
• Beyond Pretty : Creating Better Products with Measurable Design – Melissa Perri
• Integrating smoothly the UX designer in your team – Sophie Freiermuth

Key sharing channels for the conference are via twitter https://twitter.com/agileonthebeach and on the website www.agileonthebeach.com