Sun Tzu - the 'Art of War' is a long read but does give an insight into the concept that not a lot has changed in human nature over thousands of years. If business is therefore a battle made up of a continuous number of small wars then this blog could provide a useful insight into a way of working that really is quite effective, but really not new. The way of working I am going to discuss is called AGILE marketing. The idea of agile was coined in the programming world where complex development work continued to become problematic when working towards a big bang solution. It was realised, and new tech helped, that splitting a project up into a number of smaller pieces, designing, programming and testing each one before bringing the whole together was more efficient, focused the team, was easier to manage and ultimately reduced wasted time and failure as at each step a review and test would be carried out. This way of working probably started in the mid 1990's when Bill Gates was developing a new business server solution called Windows NT. He set up a number of small teams to build parts of the product and every two weeks the programs would be compiled. Each team had to have working software ready at the allotted day so all new code could come together and be tested over each weekend before works started again on the Monday morning. (Computers were slower then!). This type of working led to the myth that Microsoft programmers slept under their desks as there was so much pressure for a team to have code ready. It was a few years later that this way of working,which actually seems totally logical to me, became known as Agile Software Programming.
The Manifesto for Agile Software Development is based on twelve principles:
Customer satisfaction by early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
Welcome changing requirements, even in late development.
Deliver working software frequently (weeks rather than months)