April 4, 2012 - FILED UNDER Agile Business
Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Social Media & Agile
Ok so maybe it’s not an intuitive headline, but it turns out the three have a lot in common. Whenever I think of Reeses, I can’t help but flashing back to those super cheesy 80s Reeses ads. You know the ones where they famously quote, “you got peanut butter in my chocolate! No, you got chocolate in my peanut butter!” (in case you have no clue what I’m talking about, here’s a quick refresher)
We all can agree that while peanut butter and chocolate are individual elements, combining the two creates an unparalleled awesomeness. Much like the case with the candy, social media and agile methodologies are great as stand-alone methods, but just like the unlikely combination of peanut butter and chocolate the two get together surprisingly well.
Over the past ten years, agile has been herald as probably the single largest transformative force in the software engineering landscape. Agile development methodologies really took traditional software development and stood it on its head. Much like peanut butter, agile alone is great. We have witnessed how it has helped corporations develop more competitive software, and now we’re witnessing it spread beyond the realm of engineering to other departments like Marketing. Agile methodologies helps organizations stay on top of the ever-changing competitive landscape. It increases transparency by placing an emphasis on establishing close contact with customers. This provides teams with a better idea of what customer expectations are for the next version. Agile methodologies also stress short sprints, making departments more flexible. This way in the event where strategies change or new problems emerge departments can take those changes in stride. As you can see, implementing agile alone brings a lot of great things to the table.
In addition to authoring these awesome blog posts, I’m Mindjet’s Social Media Specialist. I’ve noticed that as Mindjet has begun to embrace agile more and more, I’m continually seeing similarities between agile and social media. Turns out, social media has a lot in common with agile. Let’s call social media the chocolate in the Reeses, because like chocolate, everyone wants a piece of the social pie. Firstly, because social media, by its very nature, is such a fluid field, your approach to it has to be flexible. You have to be willing to test ideas, projects, and campaigns on a small scale and alter them according to feedback. Sound strangely familiar? Social media also helps increase transparency by putting organizations in direct contact with customers. Customers can ask questions, make suggestions, generally get in touch with employees in a way they have before never been able. This two-way conversation provides organizations a great feedback mechanism so they can get a better idea of how they are doing.
Combine the two and BAM! Awesome sauce! It shouldn’t come as a large surprise that the two are so complementary. Implement both together and you’ll see an increase in transparency, team building, cross-department conversations and flexibility. It is plain to see, agile and social media share a lot of the same characteristics. So while excellent alone, if implemented together much like a Reeses, the results will be far superior.
Think the two aren’t that complementary? Or have some other comparison you think makes more sense? Let me know in the comments below.