Going Agile is currently the biggest trend in marketing – again. But with good reason!
What’s Agile marketing, again?
Borrowed from the IT world, Agile is a methodology where large projects are broken into small increments.
Cross-functional teams work on these increments is short cycles where the deliverables are determined by business priorities.
Is it for you?
According to this report, marketers are adopting Agile for improved productivity and flexibility – but that’s not all. From my own experience, I can vouch for other benefits including:
- Improved communication with business stakeholders.
- Accelerated delivery of marketing initiatives
- Quicker identification of possible roadblocks and bottlenecks
- Better collaboration with other business functions and
- Improved team morale.
I’ve also asked other marketers about their experience with Agile.
It seems that both in-house and on the agency side, marketing teams which are responsible for driving growth through marketing are finding it easier to switch to Agile than teams that primarily run campaigns.
That said, there’s no reason why you can’t go Agile if your main job is to manage TV or Radio campaigns.
Beyond challenges in collaborating with sales teams, marketers also complain that they don’t get enough face time with their creatives. Agile can help bridge that gap.
You start by getting the basics right.
Without getting the basics right, you’re more likely to bungle your jump to Agile.
Take the time to understand the Agile methodology and the tools available to you e.g. Kanban Board, Scrums etc. Otherwise, you’ll just get frustrated when you don’t see the kind of results you’d anticipated.
You need to know these:
User Story: A User Story describes the campaign or program objective from the end user’s perspective. There’s an art to structuring your User Stories. Here’s an example: As a copywriter [Persona], I want to spend less time with keyword research [Task], so I can spend more time writing [Objective].
Kanban Board: A Kanban Board is a communication tool that enables transparency and alignment. A Kanban Board is typically split into different columns for Backlog, In Progress, Ready for Review and Done. While you can add more columns depending on your workflow, you need to put strict limits on how many tasks you can work on simultaneously.
Scrums & Sprints: Scrum is an Agile way of working. Working with Scrum your teams can ship valuable work through fast-moving Sprints. A single Scrum can include 2-4 sprints. Each Scrum also includes several ceremonies including Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, Retrospect and Daily Standups.
Believe me when I say; going Agile for marketers can have a steep learning curve, but the benefits in efficiency and performance make it all worth the effort.
It’s dangerous to go at it alone! Take these with you:
- Principles for going Agile.
- How to manage Agile teams?
- FAQ from Atlassian on avoiding common pitfalls.
- Getting started with Agile Project Management.
- Hacking Marketing by Scott Brinker includes a blueprint on how marketing teams can go Agile.