This is the first in a series of posts suggesting how to apply “agile and lean” methodology to production in media & entertainment. I’m shortening the name to Agile production, though it includes inspiration from agile, lean thinking, information-age corporate culture, and some of my other experiences from performing to coaching.
What does it mean to apply “agile and lean” to digital media production? More and more, technology organizations use agile and lean methods to improve software development. In computer graphics, we hear about adopting these methods for the development of the software tools used in production. Software developers are probably most familiar with the functionality of the agile development helper tools themselves, like Jira, for example. But using the development tools alone does not make one agile. Actually practicing agile methods to become an agile organization can be an ongoing process. To fully embrace this way of thinking, we need to keep improving our corporate cultures. Our values, our beliefs. In other words, and most importantly, to better become agile, we must consider what makes an agile mindset.
And so it is with a mindset that we can approach production, not just production tool development. We may have to invent concepts that parallel the familiar ones we have in software development. We can then practice to progressively improve our processes and methods to become more agile. This is an evolution, whose progress is supported by the mindset.
In the next post, we clarify the agile mindset for production, and then we follow with posts on production methods and practices that could support that mindset. Finally, we muse on what the industry may have to consider changing to adopt the mindset, as blockbuster movie making involves a widely believed broken economic model based on industrial-age corporate thinking.