How to apply Agile Scrum to marketing teams successfully
Most businesses struggle with creating content, and there’s where Scrum came along to increase efficiency, transparency, and team adaptability.
What it is: Scrum is a framework that helps solve complex problems through adaptive solutions with value.
What is not: Scrum is not a methodology, but it does implement the method.
Scrum was developed over 20 years ago by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber out of a need for a better way to build software. If you are a developer or know one, you know that the best is always the goal because, with the best, you can make the best. Scrum was the ideal. It came out of three simple ideas that defined the framework:
An empirical process
Scrum is an approach that aims to help teams solve complex problems in their projects or businesses. It encourages focused work while continually allowing the team members to plan.
It is usually linked to software but has grown in popularity thanks to its efficient results and now is in different industries. It comes as no surprise that marketing has taken Scrum to improve its methods.
Whenever people are involved in a complex, creative effort, whether they’re trying to send a rocket to space, build a better light switch, or capture a criminal, traditional management methods simply break apart. – Jeff Sutherland, Scrum
To talk about Scrum, we have to understand Agile
Agile software development refers to a software development methodology based on continual development where solutions evolve through collaboration. Agile processes allow for rapid, high-quality software delivery with an approach that aligns development innovation with company goals.
The philosophy behind Agile is currently being applied worldwide in multiple businesses. It continuously evolves within these companies, not only software-wise, but as a great support in marketing, and that is what we are going to elaborate on.
Scrum is one of the most popular and practical frameworks for transitioning a team to Agile. Scrum helps refine the way teams work, polish the structure, become more efficient, organize the projects within, and in no time, Agile Scrum becomes second nature. Once in full-on Agile mode, the team will see the improvement in the execution and the process itself.
But there is a learning curve and a few tips to make your team Scrum ready.
How can you use Scrum for a marketing team?
Most businesses struggle with creating content, and there’s where Scrum came along to increase efficiency, transparency, and team adaptability. The scrum framework operates on three pillars: The Team, the Events, and the Artifacts.
The successful use of the framework depends on the team. Scrum is easy to apply and can enhance the good, but it takes a few core values, a collective mindset, and maturity to make the best out of it.
Your team has to commit. A Scrum team bases their work on respect for each other and trust in their capabilities. They have to personally pledge themselves to achieve the goals working hand in hand while learning and developing the Scrum method correctly. If this is applied, everyone will focus on the work of the Sprint and Scrum objectives.
Scrum Events are meant to produce consistency and minimize the need for unnecessary meetings. All events are timed, and once a Sprint begins, its duration is defined. It can’t be modified to be longer or shorter, which helps productivity and incentive to keep the Scrum purpose of being quick on the draw while working.
The development of these events will depend on the way the team adapts but usually has the following, which is the backbone of the framework:
What is a Sprint? It is a measurable way to keep up with the Scrum projects. They are specific length events of a month or even less than create consistency while applying Scrum. A new Sprint starts immediately after the conclusion of the previous Sprint. Each one is considered a short project.
This Scrum event was created to build an atmosphere of steady accomplishments with space to be innovative and productive. Sprints add structure and enable the team to identify errors quicker with no time to waste toward the achievable short-term and long-term goals.
These events support measuring success in real-time by testing and refining each approach made in the process. Scrum is a humbling method where learning from mistakes and continually modifying procedures is necessary to achieve the desired improvement.
The content team organizes during the sprint planning and decides how to execute. They usually get a defined time to complete the Sprint and meet the daily progress, called Daily Scrum.
And finally, the artifacts are the tools used within the Scrum process. Agile scrum artifacts are information bearers that the team and stakeholders use to define what will be developed and actions that will be carried out. These artifacts provide insight into the sprint performance and are the vital tools for transparency, analysis, and effectiveness.
Artifacts are created during a scrum sprint to plan, complete tasks, organizational tools, testing and reviewing, and execution agents. For example, the sprint backlogs let the team execute efficiently and allow self-organization.
The head of the team is usually named Scrum Master, in marketing is represented by the title Content Marketing leader. They are the ones responsible for prioritizing the projects and keeping the team focused on the goals set.
Is there a guide to using Scrum for marketing?
Yes, yes, there is, or at least we have made a recommendation guide.
First,start with small steps.
Sprint might mean to run, but that doesn’t mean you have to do that before you walk.
The marketing application can be swift but has to be done well at the start to be smooth in the future. Stay focused on completing the first Sprint. Then it’s reviewed, take all the feedback on the retrospective, and, most of all, be sure the whole team is on the same page. If they are, begin the next Sprint.
Take it slow before hitting the pedal.
Be sure that before the Sprint, the team’s vision is clear, and the content calendar is made with everyone’s acceptance and commitment. This way, there’s respect in the process, and the result expectations are set.
Once in beat, keep a continual process.
It is vital to give the time and importance that is necessary for each event. For example, in the sprint review, the team has to ask themselves how to improve, give feedback and be one with the process, not to skip steps or let anything fall through the cracks. Do not stretch the Sprint because the deadline is created to help the team develop a positive mindset while improving.
Stay calm, don’t jeopardize the goal. The goal is always quality.
As content marketers, wanting to focus on quality should never be a distressing factor. With Scrum, the objective is to create deadlines and constant collaboration with honesty and feedback to reach the best result. In marketing, this balance is in checking metrics and team communication, which is a crucial element of Scrum, and our next step!
Have a communication plan.
Keep a priority to have a synchronization plan where quick, clear, and effective communication is the key. This is within the team members and between the team and other stakeholders. Stay committed to the standups, retrospectives, and reviews.
Scrum Marketing: Applying Agile Methodologies to Marketing: Your Essential First Booklet about Implementing Agile/Scrum in Marketing Organization by James S Wright
Lean-Agile Marketing: How to Become Agile and Deliver Marketing Success by Femi Olajiga
The Agile Marketer: Turning Customer Experience Into Your Competitive Advantage by Roland Smart
Is there a key with Scrum to make a good marketing team?
Scrum is all about trust, and for marketing to create dynamic, incredible content, the values and the practices have to be set before defining Scrum in a marketing team. If there’s a clear vision and a strong content calendar put together, there’s a foundation to execute rapid, precise content marketing sprints, good development improvement, and finally, excellent results.
If you are a Scrum master interested in being part of our great team, or want to know our team and what we do, we invite you to read more About Us, our Services, and the Careers available.