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5 Reasons to Choose an Agile Digital Agency

 

  1. Quality: At a large agency you are often at least one step removed from the brains behind the work, the client never knows exactly what is going on behind the scenes. Because the managers are not technical themselves they have little idea of what exactly is going on with the actual development. The digital agency of today speaks a different language than agencies past.  Managers usually depend on and trust a few developers, often brought on via contract through a recruiter and have no way of checking the quality of their code. At a boutique agile development firm the client has direct access to the hands on technical lead.  Agile methodologies and startup mentality apply.   Managers review the code because they are helping to write it.  They have better insight into more intuitive UX/UI because they are more closely involved with the buildout.

  2. Responsiveness: At an agile digital agency when a client needs an urgent fix the problem gets relayed to the right people instantly rather than having to be passed down a chain of command through a non technical project manager. Quite often in a large agency the people that completed the work were temporary, leaving behind code no one understands resulting in a grave situation.   The client is most often kept in the dark during these situations.  At a agile agency the manager actually understands the code, and understands the commit history in GIT (version control).  The immediate attention that an agile agency can bring to bear  can solve many an emergency when it comes to hotfixes and downtime during peak traffic times.  

  3. Cost:  Big agencies come with big expenses, you have executives and creative directors who command high pay for little tangible output, other than winning bids, the client should not really care how charismatic a creative director is, but how capable. There is also a lot of other overhead at big agencies such as expensive offices.  What the client needs for their digital product is a talented designer, developer and possibly a project manager to organize the deliverables. At a large agency “the talent” make up a small fraction of the actual project budget. If a project costs 100k for five months you can be certain only 20% of that will be utilized effectively towards building your product. The talent often work remotely on contract or are brought in through a recruiter just for one project.  Just as startups are bootstrapping some of the best apps with lean teams, upstart boutique agencies are doing the same thing. Being able to use the latest tools and to adopt the latest and best technologies is  much easier for an agile agency than large operations.

  4. Loyalty:  When you choose a smaller agency you choose a dedicated person or group of people, often as an extension of your in house team. You and the success of your business are important to them. This means you get more personal attention and responsiveness. They are invested in your project and in your growth, your success means more potential work for them in the future.  Developing a trusting relationship with the client is critical. At a large agency you may be one of hundreds of projects. They may not feel it very much, if they lose you or retain you. This gives them less incentive to develop sustainable long term solutions and more motivation to try to extract as much money as possible for as little work.  The loyalty goes both ways too, large agencies may seemingly have more access to creative and technical resources but this is often not the case, the culture treats talent as disposable and often searches last minute via recruiters to get contractors to plug the holes. A a startup agency that is led by the developers and designers has a network of talented colleagues to call upon to tackle large projects.It is often worth choosing a smaller agency with less experience but just as much capability that will give 100% of their effort and attention than a bigger agency with more experience who will only give you a fraction of that effort.  

  5. Efficiency: See “Cost.”  Less time means less effort, better efficiency comes from less time communicating ideas from non-technical to technical and vice versa. When everyone involved is getting their hands dirty time can be saved and everyone knows the details of the project.  The misconception that developers can not communicate to the client and are not “people persons” is a thing of the past, agile development methodologies prove that the best developers are articulate and multi-talented. Project Managers at most large agencies spend the bulk of their time passing on requests from the client and asking the developer “is it done yet?”  rather than helping to solve problems.

Small companies that follow this model are very similar to an in  house team particularly when working locally with a client and when the client does not have an in house development team of their own.

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