2021 is almost over, and the urge to reflect is strong here at AgileSherpas. The twilight of the passing year is a perfect time to reflect on the path we’ve climbed, and to set out expectations for the coming 12 months.
This year, we finally witnessed the long-awaited rise of Agile to become the most popular approach for managing marketing work. The total adoption rate jumped 10 points to land at 51 percent of all marketers.
In addition, we learned that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption plans of 38 percent of those considering to embrace marketing agility.
Since 2022 is just around the corner, we started wondering where we go from here. What does the future hold for Agile marketing?
Who better to answer this burning question than the AgileSherpas, our coaches who are in the marketing trenches every day. Guiding teams on a daily basis has given them an front-row seat to the current state of Agile marketing, and psychic-level abilities to predict what's to come in 2022.
Here's what they see ahead.
Agile Trainer & Coach, Partner (Colorado)
Marketing leaders will continue to grow their understanding of how functional silos within the marketing department drag down their process agility. Grouping individual contributors by their expertise has proven to be less effective for delivering timely value.
As a result, the marketing function will go above and beyond to restructure itself. The main goal of that will be to achieve alignment with the customer journey and reduce the negative impact of functional silos on customer experience.
I expect that even more organizations will try to apply cross-functional teams within marketing and do everything possible to ensure a fantastic experience throughout the entire customer journey.
Agile Trainer & Coach (Los Angeles)
I believe that Agile success will increase in 2022. To achieve it, teams will boost their efforts in finding ways to re-engage in person given the expected mass return to the physical workspace.
This will be especially important for teams that are empowered to define when and why they engage in person.
Agile Trainer & Coach (Kent)
We are likely to see more than a 10 percent increase in Agile adoption by marketers. In 2021, we witnessed major growth in the number of marketing organizations that embraced Agile, and there’s no reason to think that we’ve reached the peak of adoption.
I expect to see a double-digit increase in adoption in 2022, with more visibility for Agile Marketing as a discrete discipline.
Agile Trainer & Coach (Kansas)
Encouraged by all the benefits other marketers are experiencing as a result of adopting Agile, more teams will initiate their own transformations toward achieving marketing agility.
In addition, I expect that organizational shifts will happen to support the implementation of an Agile framework. Last, but not least, marketers will continue to adopt more digital visualization of the work to support a hybrid workforce.
President, Co-Founder (Colorado)
Top marketing talent will begin actively seeking out truly Agile environments (not just places that change their minds every day and call it agile). As the competition for the best employees remains fierce, leaders will need to demonstrate that they use Agile to create attractive, exciting, empowering working conditions. Marketers will be able to be more and more choosy; if you can't show a commitment to real agility, they'll go somewhere that can.
Marketers -- if you want to be sure you're getting into a truly Agile organization, just ask to sit in on a stand up meeting, or to see a screenshot of their Kanban board(s). While Agile isn't just about going through these kinds of motions, if even those aren't in place you know you can continue your search elsewhere.
Head of Training & Delivery (Minneapolis)
There is a widespread misconception that Agile works only on the team level. I believe that in 2022, it will become a thing of the past.
Marketing leaders are already embracing the journey toward agility and are re-evaluating their ways of management to facilitate agility beyond the team level. I predict that the tempo will only accelerate, and more leaders will embrace the Agile mindset along with their teams.
Agile Trainer & Coach (Nashville)
The unpredictability of 2021 showcased once more that traditional planning no longer works well in marketing. In the current market conditions in most industries, spending weeks crafting detailed annual plans that become outdated quickly isn’t viable anymore. I expect more and more companies to come to this realization in 2022.
Those considering adopting Agile marketing will surely be fascinated by the power of the planning mechanism at the heart of the methodology. It enables organizations to set goals for the long term and plan iteratively the deliverables required to achieve them.
This method boosts the ability of the organization to adapt to changing circumstances and ensures that teams are working on what matters most at the moment for achieving their goals.
Senior Agile Trainer & Coach (South Africa)
Business agility has been gaining traction as a trending topic in organizations that have successfully applied Agile marketing. Marketing is a linchpin function that collaborates with a variety of departments like sales, HR, product development, and others. There are numerous touch points and dependencies affected by the agility of each team’s process.
Business Agility will continue to be a much-discussed topic and leaders will make and strengthen the connection between that and marketing agility.
Agile marketing adoption will continue to increase as more organizations seek to respond to the accelerated rate of digital change, continued shifts in customer behavior, and changing employee needs.
Senior Agile Trainer & Coach (Europe)
Agile marketing departments will become the gateway of agility to the business. We have all the evidence needed to believe that other organizational functions that collaborate with marketing will follow in their footsteps and will embrace agility.
Sales, procurement, HR, and other business units will adopt Agile by following marketing's lead for a truly Agile organization.
2022 is surely going to be exciting for all marketers who’ve set on the path toward marketing agility and those that are planning to do so. The future is mysterious and always finds ways to surprise us, but with the help of our expert coaches, we can expect several patterns to be at the centerpiece of the upcoming 12 months.
As confirmed by Raviv Turner and Lisa Rocchetti, organizational restructuring to facilitate greater agility and better user experience will be in focus for many organizations. Functional silos will continue to be replaced by cross-functional team structures and communication will evolve to facilitate the necessary environment for operating with agility in the hybrid workplace.
In addition, the adoption rate of Agile will likely continue to increase at a steady pace, and the tools for applying it will gain even more importance if the predictions of Pam Ashby and Amanda Hembree come true.
That would make the race for attracting talent proficient with the Agile ways of working even more fierce. As a result, our president Andrea Fryrear expects that marketers will proactively seek roles and companies that enable them to maximize their value and work in a truly Agile environment.
We can be fairly confident that Agile will continue to outgrow the team level in 2022. Marketing leaders will be embracing the Agile mindset and adapting their management methods including the way they plan work in the long term, as stated by Ross Libby and Colleen Dunn.
Last but not least, marketing will likely open the door to a new, wider horizon in the form of business agility. Since it is a linchpin function dependent on other business lines of work like HR, Sales, and others it is only logical to synchronize the way they all operate. Elizabeth Venter and Monica Georgieff believe this will bring even more attention to the topic of business agility and marketing is likely to lead the way for it.
We have to wait and see if all of these predictions will come true in 2022. However, the patterns are clear and we are confident to say that the next 12 months will be exciting for the Agile marketing community and those related to it.