How Scrum improves your results in Marketing

I came across Srcum almost 10 years ago. A decade ago I was responsible for a development team. We ran that team at an agency to provide content management and ecommerce solutions based on open source technology e.g. TYPO3. A couple of months ago I joined a new marketing team wondered if Scrum could help to accelerate processes to deliver satisfying results. In this post I’d like to share my experiences.

How we started

Luckily when I joined the team they already had been involved in an international website project – which gave us an ideal playground to test the agile way of working right away. We cut the overall tasks in three sprints and were able to deliver releasable increments. Only four weeks after the initial start and practice of the new method, we have set the first US part online – an impressive result in such a short period of time.

With the motivating tailwind we decided also to change other projects into an agile way of working. As next targets we installed in two sprints an extended analytics and digital lead generation. Additionally we’ve started a monthly release of “content containers”. We are using it cross-channel for email (newsletter), LinkedIn posts, press releases and product launch communication.

The agile values are key

Out of Scrum we are using all events plus a weekly meeting. Most impressive for me was the change of thinking when we were intensely working in short sprints, trying to provide most value of our Backlog. We all changed from “talking about work activities” to “what we would like to achieve at the end of the day/week/sprint”. Here the agile value “Commitment” and “Focus” really helped us to concentrate on results not activities. In my role as a Scrum Master I concentrate on decrease impediments, what Scrums understand as hindrances or road blocker that prevents the team from focusing on the value-adding work in a sprint.

At the beginning it was an ongoing item that we are simply doing too many things in parallel. The agile values of “Focus” and “Courage” helped us to postpone or drop low-impact tasks or projects. It was one of the main success factors. The amount of daily work beside the main value-delivering projects decreased to an acceptable ratio – and we all have been able to deliver at an ongoing pace impressive impact-generating project results in short sprints. Furthermore we have managed it with nearly no overtime. Due to broader substance in work results the reputation increased for the Marketing team.

The ideal combination of both worlds – Development and Marketing

I was able to help a project team with a UX task to upgrade a software product. We’ve used Scrum to work with the agency and front-end developers. Due to reasonable results we’ve decided to accelerate the development work with a dedicated Scrum team where I’m also acting as Scrum Master. Working again with a development team in an agile modus has an awesome impulse effect on my current work with the Marketing team. I can use synergies and compare sprint results to optimize them within the retrospective or planning events. As a side effect we lower typical boundaries between departments and think in interdisciplinary value chains – from lead generation, lead tracking, value proposition, surface UI, software feature sets, and integration of services or infrastructure e.g. cloud services. Using the same methods and thinking we are really heading towards seamless value generation.

Mind the fundamentals

Despite myself already working in an agile set up I decided to refresh my knowledge. I read the Essential Scrum written by Kenneth Rubin, took an udemy-course “SCRUM verstehen – agil denken und arbeiten” hold by Thorsten Diekhof and studied the scrum.org training area (scrum.org/pathway/scrum-master). Glad to pass the official srum.org Srum Master exam at the beginning of 2020 😉 I’d strongly recommend to take trainings and a bench of knowledge insights before you/the team dive into agile way of working. There is a lot of buzz words out there and it’s better to guide the agile team based on a fundamental knowledge.

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