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Using Scrum to Maximize your Marketing Team's Productivity

Posted by Jacqueline Villagomez on April 6, 2018

The development of a marketing campaign can be a grueling process when considering all the parts that need to be incorporated in order for the method to be successful. Marketing a new product or service can be a scary thought being that there’s no initial guaranteed profit/results. Several hours can go into a developmental plan but the outcome can still end up being less than satisfactory. Scrum is a way that your marketing team can transform their work process to be more efficient and worthwhile.


What is Scrum anyway?

“Scrum is a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.”

Research has found that 87% of people using Scrum agree that it improves the quality of work life for their teams. Although the framework was traditionally made for software development, Scrum has also been tested and proven to be useful as an agile, results-driven methodology for marketers.

A huge part of the results-driven aspect of the methodology is that it constantly keeps you inline with the impact your project or campaign is making on your stakeholders.

A stakeholder is either an individual, group or organization who is impacted by the outcome of a project. They have an interest in the success of the project, and can be within or outside the organization that is sponsoring the project.

So, what does this framework look like in a marketing context? It can be seen as a small group of people setting and working towards the identified goals with agility through empirical processes. The benefit of applying Scrum can be examined through its three pillars because it allows the team to be transparent, inspective, and adaptive.  

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Three pillars of Scrum:
  1. Transparency – Your team’s steps towards success must be visible to those responsible for the outcome. Scrum utilizes transparency as a means to make your marketing strategy clear and visible for your team as well as your stakeholders.
  2. Inspection – Using Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective will ensure that progress is being made. Having an organizational platform and time-boxed team meetings will allow for inspection to be implemented. Clarity for the group as a whole is established in this pillar. This also allows the group to indicate if there are any impediments in the work process that need to be changed.

  1.  Adaptation -  If someone determines that one or more aspects of a process aren’t aligned with acceptable limits, the process or the material must be adjusted. Adaptation allows for your marketing team’s goals to be continually worked on, fixed, and adjusted immediately in case there are roadblocks restricting goal achievement.

Before we dive into three reasons why Scrum can be your guide to success, it’s helpful to know the framework’s elements.

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Scrum leads your marketing team in goal setting

Think about it, your team has a great amount of work to accomplish for your new marketing campaign. What strategies do you start with? Scrum begins its process by setting clear goals through its events, specifically starting with Sprint Planning. Prior to creating your plan, the Product Owner must clearly state the stakeholder’s vision.

“The heart of Scrum is a Sprint, a time-box of one month or less during which a "Done", useable, and potentially releasable product Increment is created.

-Scrum Guide

Sprints can be characterized as mini projects that each produce their own specific results towards a finished and relevant product. The way this differs from Scrum’s traditional definition of “product” is that marketing doesn’t focus on releasing new software apps, products, or features, but rather focuses on creating content, ppc, email campaigns, social media posts, and etc.

Sprint planning is a collaboration with the entire Scrum Team. Ideally, the plan is a list arranged from highest to least priority. This is where transparency is essentially established. A few questions that may arise in this event can include:

  • What can we, as a group, get done in this sprint? and

  • How can we get them done?

As far as planning platforms to use, your team could consider using a Trello board for organizing the work load or even use a simple whiteboard with sticky notes.


Scrum makes your marketing team goal-focused

Daily Scrum’s definition pretty much holds true to its name; it’s a brief meeting, no longer than 15 minutes, that happens every working day in order to track the progress of your Scrum Team’s work. To make this event more productive and in the time-box frame, the Scrum Master is assigned the duty of delegating the meeting for the development team.

Some things your team should consider when having your Daily Scrum:

  • What did I get done yesterday to help meet our Sprint goal?

  • What am I going to get done today to help meet our Sprint Goal?

  • What are some roadblocks that are preventing me from meeting our Sprint Goal?

A few Daily Scrums and a whole Sprint later and it’s time for the Sprint Review! The Sprint Review’s purpose is to further inspect and adapt the development team’s work, both pending and completed, from the Sprint Backlog. It also determines if the work still aligns with the objective that was established in the Sprint Planning.

Say, for instance, your development team just finished a Sprint for an email nurturing campaign. The review would be described as the time where the Scrum Team comes together and explains what was completed, what didn’t get completed, why it wasn’t completed, and how the team can fix the problems that are standing in the way.


Scrum helps your marketing team achieve their goals

During the event of the Sprint Retrospective, your marketing team continues to figure out improvements that need to be made for the next Sprint.

A few things your Scrum team should discuss during the Sprint Retrospective:

  • How people, relationships, processes, and tools worked in the last Sprint
  • Identify and order major items that were successful as well as potential improvements, and
  • Create a plan for implementing those improvements in future Sprints

Thoroughly reflecting on improvements will guide your team in forming a more substantial product for your stakeholders. You can think about this event as a way of finding what to stop, start, and continue doing during the next sprint. This will ultimately bring cohesion to the team so that they can reach success. Interestingly, after several teams put Scrum into practice, it was recorded that over 62% of respondents had an incline to their success rate when delivering projects.

With a few slight adjustments to the framework, Scrum can be very applicable for marketers. It allows your marketing team to keep a bigger picture in mind by creating a framework that is constantly operating and pushing you toward your goals. There is no surprise as to why 95% of Scrum users say that they will continue to use the practice!

Topics: Training, For Small or Medium Enterprises