Marketing (product marketing, sales support marketing, social and marketing communications) can use Agile/Scrum methods to adapt to changing conditions, provide metrics and add real value. Development and software teams are not the only product teams who must be responsive to global challenges and attentive to customer requirements – in short, “be Agile.”
I am a marketing product manager in the B2B technology sector. My IT roots are deep as consultant/developer/analyst, but I am first a business person. I think results, profits, and gaining share of markets and minds through creating and launching great, successful products. Structuring Agile methods to work within a department’s organization is a critical success component in this fast paced, competitive marketplace.
Testing Scrum Methods in a High Visibility Project
My first experience using Scrum with a global software product team was great. The team included product manager, technical web manager, web site editors, regional product marketing managers and marketing product manager (me). This was the first time we worked together. The goal was to launch an app from our community site within a very aggressive Sprint time-frame. I knew enough about Scrum to know its methods could lead to our success and I was ready to experiment.
Operating as product owner and partnering with my PM, we broke the launch tasks into related user stories, created story points and assigned point scales within the task “silos” – many moving parts and challenges. A global team, we telephoned-in to attend our morning Standup. When we identified a blocker, it was addressed, no secrets. After the launch we conducted our Sprint Review and shared virtual brews. We all agreed next time we wouldn’t launch during a CMS overhaul!
Agile Tried is Better than No Agile
Was this done using pure Agile and Scrum methodology? No, we were not an Agile shop and our time to burn down limited. I admit we took shortcuts, made modifications. Our Standup was longer than fifteen minutes (sometimes) and we operated without a formal Scrum Master. We worked the backlog and used success criteria (especially when reporting to the ever vigilant higher ups and regional marketing teams) to define “done” and to socialize the need to launch this product “iteratively”.
Our newly formed Agile team of mainly marketers and writers quickly became self-directed, efficient; we were totally focused on how to get product to the customer and the messaging created/posted. HubSpot calls this “the Modern Marketing Team” and they find Agile as important in their marketing successes as I have done.
Your Turn, Your Stories
I look forward to hearing from you. Who else uses Agile with marketing teams? What are your accomplishments and shared stories?