This is a continuation of a previous article.
The principle of flow indicates eliminating specialized departments and batches of work done therein. In the context of a digital agency, that might be SEO, SEM, CRO, design, and UX teams who don't work together as a unified "department" or team. Creating SEO-friendly designs is definitely an important concept. Creating PPC SEM campaigns that convert (CRO) is important as well. So, any silos of specialization can actually impede flow and thus attainment of lean operations at a digital agency.
Another flow concept is ignoring the boundaries between companies, departments, and individual roles in order to remove all impediments to the continuous flow of the specific product or service. In the digital agency context, this can equate with putting a client's copywriting team into your project management portal, Slack channel, and other team-integrating tools so that you can do your conversion rate optimization (CRO) work without going through another party to get access to them and Get Work Done.
Pull is a principle that surrounding the delivery of what the customer wants, when they want it. This translates into right-sizing our tools and processes so we don't need to produce massive websites, overly-complex solutions, or bloated CRO work for those who do not need it at this time. Of course, as a client grows, we want to grow with them. But, we want to respect the journey and be able to deliver right-sized solutions along the way, from the very inception of the relationship.
Lastly, we have perfection as perhaps the ultimate principle. It is akin to the concept of "optimization", which we value highly at O8. In lean thinking, the improvement process never ends – you must always strive to offer a better product through continuous incremental improvement or "kaizen", while at the same time reducing waste. In order to maximize the efficacy of kaizen, we must have transparency across the entire value stream (from the client to an agency's internal team) to discover opportunities for improvement. In a sense, "transparency" equates to "data", which we require for any type of CRO or optimization work we do – "best practices" and "big ideas" are not enough in an ecosystem with readily-available data and analytics.
As a data-driven agency doing optimization work, we aim to practice what we preach, as it will only make us better. The last concept from perfection is that settling for merely being better than one's current competition will not suffice in the long-run – eventually, someone will come along and beat us. Perfection may not exist, but optimization is the closest we can get, and we believe it's what's going to continue driving us for years to come.