The Agile Content Methodology
The agile methodology is a type of project management process, mainly used for software development where demands and solutions evolve over time and require collaborative effort and self-organization across an organization. Stemming from the Agile Manifesto, it was created in response to the inefficient and traditional waterfall methodology.
Every industry is highly competitive, more so than ever before, which means that the way in which teams create and publish content needs to change and adapt in this increasingly fast-paced environment. The agile methodology can and should be embraced and applied by your marketing and content creation teams to increase productivity, their impact, and your bottom line.
How do you do this? should break down any problem into as small a piece as possible so that it is easier to tackle, potentially in parallel with other smaller problems. Agile content management is all about breaking your content down into smaller more manageable components that are easier for you and your team to work with. This enables content to be rapidly re-used across channels and devices at scale.
To become truly agile when it comes to content creation, you need to adopt an Agile CMS like Amplience.
Agile Content Workflows
An Agile CMS is focused on bringing down the traditional barriers of the content creation, review, and publication process. To do this, an Agile CMS is all about empowering your creators by focusing on jobs to be done.
A headless CMS is not instantly an Agile CMS. Whilst the content may be broken down and re-used (more on this below), an Agile CMS needs to focus on other stages in the content creation workflow, including out of the box functionality for the assignment of content, preview/review process, scheduling, and publication capabilities.
An Integrated and feature-rich Digital Asset Management system is also integral to a truly Agile CMS, enabling teams and individuals to upload content into a single, easily accessible repository that can be searched and assets recycled and re-used with powerful in-application editorial features.
Amplience provides all of this and more, including the ability to jump to a specific date and time in the future to preview what any of your content will look like at that given moment (accounting for all scheduled updates that are yet to be published).
Agile content modelling meets atomic-based design
Another aspect of Agile content management is the ability to breakdown and model content based on the context in which it is used. A headless CMS, like Amplience, enables you to model structured content that can then be mapped to your frontend. But what good is this powerful feature without a plan on how you map your backend and frontend together? This is where the atomic-based design principles come in. Atomic-based design principles share many similarities with the Agile Methodology by breaking problems down into it's smallest parts, in turn, atomic-based design principles breakdown content and frontend components into their smallest constituent parts.
Atoms are the basic building blocks of all matter. In a web interface an atom is a HTML tag, such as a form label, an input or a button. Atoms can also include abstract visual elements and rules such as color palettes, fonts and animations. Like atoms in nature, these are fairly abstract and not very useful on their own. They are useful from a pattern library reference perspective as you can see all global styles at a glance.
Molecules are created by combining multiple atoms together to create slightly more complex components. Molecules are groups of atoms that are bonded together and the smallest unit of a larger compound. These molecules take on their own properties and serve as the core of the design system. A form label, input or button is not very useful on its own but combining them together into a form allows them to do something useful. Creating molecules from atoms encourages a “do one thing well” approach; while molecules can be complex, as a general rule they are typically relatively simple combinations that are built to be reused.
Organisms are composed of multiple molecules to create more complex and useful components, such as distinct sections of an interface like a navigation menu.