You’re no stranger to the old cliché of working on your business as much as you work in your business. That’s why you implement a number of tactics to promote your professional services firm to prospective clients.
You’ve collected a number of testimonials from happy customers, and frequently encourage them to provide referrals. You’ve also optimized your website and stepped up your social media presence.
All of those are great strategies, but one of the best ways to show potential clients why they should want to enlist your services is to give them insight into how you work. That’s especially true if you use agile methodology.
But, why use Agile methodology? How can doing so help you land more clients? And, perhaps most importantly, how can you get your clients to understand what your process looks like? Let’s dig into the answers you need.
Explaining why Agile methodology works best for businesses
The project management process is typically linear. You start by defining your project’s objective and then work toward it (all while keeping your fingers crossed that the goal doesn’t shift or evolve too much).
However, the Agile methodology process allows for a lot more wiggle room. It was originally popularized in software development but has since gained popularity in a number of different industries.
With this iterative approach, you start with a broad vision of what you’re working toward. As you learn more, adapt to changes, and complete smaller portions of the project (usually in what are called sprints), you're able to hone in on your target.
While it’s highly effective, Agile project management might raise some eyebrows among your clients, especially if they’re used to a far more traditional method of tackling projects. Fortunately, you can highlight the following benefits to convince them that agile is the way to go.
1. You’ll complete projects faster
One of the primary goals of Agile is to move and execute quickly. Projects are broken down into smaller pieces that are prioritized in terms of their importance.
Not only does this make projects (particularly the big, hairy ones that can seem daunting) far more manageable, but it also means that you’ll push work across the finish line quicker. Adopting agile methods is linked to 66% faster time to project completion.
2. You’ll experience greater success
Beyond speed, your clients will also benefit from success. In fact, Agile projects are reportedly 28% more successful than traditional projects.
With improved collaborations, more flexibility to adapt to changes, and a more manageable process, it makes sense that more projects would be deemed wins.
3. You’ll collaborate seamlessly
Collaborative working and transparency are other core principles of Agile methodology, which means that your customers can be involved as they want and offer feedback throughout the process. You won’t just hand off a completed project — you’ll be able to keep them in the loop every step of the way.
“By improving visibility and continually adapting to customers’ changing priorities, Agile improves customer engagement and satisfaction, brings the most valuable products and features to market faster and more predictably, and reduces risk,” explains Harvard Business Review.
4. You’ll have more flexibility
Unfortunately, somewhere between 22% and 44% of projects don’t meet their original goals or the business intent. There are likely a number of factors at play there, but part of it may be that it often feels like you’re aiming at a moving target.
Project planning is important, but it can also be rigid and often doesn’t leave room to adapt when changes inevitably come up. Agile project management requires teams to reflect, learn, and then make adjustments at regular intervals throughout the project. It’s far easier to course correct in real-time, rather than when your team is wrapping things up.
Explaining how Agile methodology works in practice
Your clients are sold on the perks of the Agile methodology process.
But here’s the thing: They still don’t quite understand how it’ll work for them. To ensure you’re all on the same page, here are some tips you can use to help your clients grasp what an Agile approach will look like in reality.
1. Lean on a case study
Want to give your client some real insight into understanding Agile project management? Get permission from one of your past clients to use their project as a case study of sorts.
You should remove any confidential details, but you’ll be armed with things like project schedules, deliverables, and communications from a previous project to give your prospective client a walk-through of how that process worked in the real world.
Those examples will help them go beyond the theoretical concept and understand what that arrangement would actually look like.
2. Create simple training materials
Some potential customers might be on board with the ins and outs of Agile methodology right away, while others might require a bit more education and training.
Whether you put together a tutorial video about your process or a simple FAQ one-sheet, create some straightforward resources you can share with your client about your Agile approach.
“AOE offers a two-day course for new customers, if required, to familiarize themselves with the basics and subsequent details of the Agile development process,” explains a blog post from Agile solutions provider, AOE. “Managers from outside the project are especially welcome, as they have to have to be familiar with these processes as decision makers or influencers of decisions.”
3. Provide a real-world metaphor
The world of Agile has a lot of jargon that can make your clients’ heads spin. Rather than giving them a spiel that requires a glossary, explain the Agile process to them in language they can understand. A metaphor can be especially helpful here.
Need one to rely on? Quora user and Program Manager at Gilbarco Veeder-Root, Vikraint Jain, provides this awesome example in his Quora answer: You’re going to count $10 bills until you’ve reached a sum of $1,000 (so, you’ll need 100 total bills). You’re going to count them in two different ways:
- Count all 100 bills at once, hand them to the client, and ask them to double-check your work.
- Count 10 bills at a time, hand the small stack to the client, and let them double-check while you keep counting the next stack.
The second option is a simple example of Agile methodology. In that scenario, the client is receiving the work in stages, with frequent opportunities to issue corrections or feedback if necessary. Additionally, the counting process will likely be expedited versus counting all 100 bills at one time.
Make sense? We thought so, and it’s bound to make sense to your clients too.
4. Set up an Agile workspace to increase transparency
Remember, the Agile methodology is all about providing your clients visibility throughout your team’s project process.
That’s far easier to do if you use a work management platform like Wrike that not only allows you to organize the work, but also invite your clients to monitor progress and communicate through the platform.
Why use Agile methodology? It’s a boost for you and your clients
You’re always on the lookout for ways that you can land more clients and projects for your professional services firm.
There are plenty of tried and true marketing methods that you lean on. But if you use Agile methodology to complete your projects, highlighting that process for your clients can go a long way toward showing them why they should want to work with you specifically.
Use this as your guide to help them understand your typical approach and you’re sure to set yourself above the competition — and score more clients as a result.
Want to make Agile project management more straightforward for your team and your clients? Wrike can help. Start your free trial.