Have you heard about Agile Methodology in Travel Agencies? It should be normal procedures for these kinds of agencies, but a few of them have implemented already.
The world has evolved exponentially in recent years. It is no longer possible to continue betting on the same management models that worked for 10 years or more.
Therefore, the Agile Methodology applied to Travel Agencies is a way to achieve better results, in a faster way.
Using agile methodologies, solutions evolve through collaboration between cross-functional teams. The main goal is to make the process more efficient and eliminate failures and rework.
In this article, you will understand how you can apply Agile Methodologies through Travel Agencies. It will help you sell as many travel packages as you can.
The 4 values of Agile Methodology for Travel Agencies
There 4 values that serve as pillars of this methodology. Travel agencies may encourage their teams to put all these values into practice:
1) Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Tourism is a human activity and that is the quality of interaction among people who can solve chronic communication problems. Processes and Tools are important, but they must be simple and useful.
2) Working Software Better Than Comprehensive Documentation
The biggest indicator that your team has built something is having a working solution. Customers care about the result and their experience. Documentation is also important, but only necessary, and adds value.
3) Collaboration with the client over contract negotiation
Make your client win all the time in the negotiation and best fits for him/her. What must happen is collaboration, joint decision-making, and teamwork, making everyone one in pursuit of a goal.
4) Responding to changes rather than following a plan
Using the feedback obtained during the process plus observation of the scenario are fundamental factors. It gives quick answers about the direction of the operation involved.
The use of Agile Methodology at Travel Agencies allows customers to see tangible results at regular intervals. It may occur during product development and share feedback to drive further improvements.
For the travel industry, the agile approach speeds up product development processes. Also, it provides the ability to articulate and change plans while keeping deadlines tight.
Application of Agile Methodology in Travel Agencies
Although travel agencies can use processes mainly in software development, different practices have emerged to incorporate the Agile Methodology in companies from other segments. One of the best known and most efficient is the Scrum framework.
There are at least 4 steps to implement the Agile Methodology in the sales area of your Travel Agency, using the Scrum framework:
Step 1: Define teams and assignments (Squad)
Agile Methodology bets on multidisciplinarity, so each team must have specific objectives, with tasks that will be accomplished by joining the efforts and knowledge of everyone.
It is also possible to separate the attributions by type of market: national leisure, international leisure, corporate, and events.
Therefore, each team must have operations, marketing, inside sales, field sales, and customer services.
This type of organization, in addition to generating a high level of specialization, favors the integration of processes and communication between professionals.
In addition, it is important to elect on the Scrum team who is the professional responsible for planning tasks and for conducting the Agile process.
2) Define the work cycle (Sprint)
The Agile Methodology proposes to establish shorter work cycles and divide the final objective into smaller deliverables, to be completed within this cycle, called Sprints.
Thus, it is possible, for example, to establish Sales Sprints of a week and, within that cycle, determine how many new leads you can generate, how many effective contacts are possible to reach, how many meetings you can hold with your travel team, and so on.
This strategy also helps to motivate the team, as the professionals will have faster goals to reach and, thus, will be able to see the results of their work more often.
3) Define the tasks to be performed in the work cycle
With the work cycle and the team defined, the next step is to establish the tasks that should be delivered throughout the Sprint, as well as those responsible for carrying them out.
During the Scrum session, this task list is called the Backlog. There is the Sprint Backlog, which is the list of tasks to be completed throughout the Sprint. And there is the Product Backlog, which is the task you delivered at the end of the project.
In the case of the application for Travel Agencies, you can consider that the Product Backlog is the final goal you need to achieve.
The team involved in the project must meet daily, at the beginning or end of the day. They are quick and objective encounters. Some companies even adopt stand-up meetings to make them even faster.
The idea is for each member of the team to report what they did, what they will do next, and if they have a problem or difficulty in performing a task.
In these meetings, goals, and deadlines are something you can adjust according to your actual progress.
Daily meetings help the manager to be aware of everyone’s work, being able to guide them better, change the direction and propose new approaches.
This element is one of those that most favors the dynamism that your travel agency can propose with the methodology. This is necessary for the sales team to be able to respond even faster to market demands.
As the responsibility for delivering the Backlogs belongs to the entire team, there is much more cooperation between people to help both in solving problems and in carrying out the tasks themselves.
4) Hold meetings at the end of each Sprint to evaluate the cycle
In addition to the daily meetings, the team must also meet at the end of each Sprint, that is, each work cycle.
During this meeting, longer than the daily meetings, the objective is to evaluate the main problems faced, what flowed more easily, and how the process can be optimized in the future.
In Agile Methodology, there is a constant search for process optimization, so feedback and evaluation of results are of great importance.
It is also at this meeting that the entire team will discuss and plan the tasks that you can carry out in the next Sprint.
The implementation of the Agile Methodology directly involves a change in the companies’ organizational culture.
Is it worth Agile in your Travel Agency?
For a new management model to be possible, it is necessary to understand those traditional methods. They are not capable of delivering the same results as before.
If you have a small agency, the solution is to focus on a certain segment. Also, you can create a team and start its management in the Agile model.
As your company grows you can open the range for a second product or specialty segment. From there on, you can hire new professionals and readjusting teams.
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