Scrum for Marketing: A Deep Introduction

Traditional management methods break down when people are involved in complex creative endeavors, such as trying to build a better light switch or sending a rocket into space. – Jeff Sutherland Scrum

Most people associate agile marketing with Scrum when they hear it. Scrum was the first Agile software development methodology, which continues to receive the most attention.

Scrum, which has time-boxed sprints and clearly defined roles and requires multiple ceremonies, is one of the most widely used and prescriptive frameworks for transforming a team to Agile. Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber created it in the late 1990s to solve huge problems in software development.

Before Scrum and Agile software development, developers tried to create functional and helpful software by relying on large requirements documents. These documents were supposed to include all the requirements for the feature or software, but they never did.

New things were always discovered during the development process that increased the project’s size. This phenomenon is known as scope creep. Developers often needed to pay more attention to the difficulty and complexity of their work. They were all too familiar with hearing the whirling sound of another deadline.

Incomplete requirements plagued development teams, scope creep, overlooked complexity, and other issues that led to projects that needed to be more timely, over budget, and barely functional.

Scrum: What are the goals?

Scrum’s original purpose was to embrace uncertainty and creativity in software development. Jeff Sutherland believes that Scrum’s core idea is “Scrum is based upon a simple idea. Every time you start a project, you should check in to see if you are moving in the right direction and if people are interested in your work.

(See what I mean when Agility is based on common sense?

Scrum is a framework that makes it possible to achieve these simple goals. It creates a culture of transparency, inspection, and adaptation while making it easier for team members to produce excellent products consistently.

This framework has two parts: roles and events. These events, also known as ceremonies, provide a predictable, regular cadence for Scrum teams. These events include:

Scrum events can be easily translated from software to marketing departments. In Scrum’s second half, the roles of those who occupy the framework don’t adapt either. These are the typical roles of software Scrum:

Marketing teams that adopt Scrum adjust their roles. We’ll be back soon. We can create a framework for marketers that allows us to use Scrum creatively and effectively by keeping the parts that work (events) and changing those that don’t (roles). Let’s begin with the possibilities.

4 Crucial Scrum Events

Only four formal events comprise the Scrum framework: Sprint Planning (Daily Scrum), Sprint Review (Sprint Review), and Sprint Retrospective. Based on my experience and Jeff Sutherland’s Scrum, this summarizes how these ceremonies should be structured.

Each event within Scrum has a purpose.

You may be spending all your time managing adoption. This is especially true in the initial stages. Give them time to get used to it before you eliminate them.

“Each event provides a formal opportunity for inspection and adaptation,” reminds The Scrum Guide. Not including an event can lead to losing transparency and missed opportunities to improve Scrum.

I am not Scrum police and will not haul you to Scrum prison if your Sprint Reviews aren’t removed. You can chop components if necessary, but only to improve the process and performance.

Sprint Planning

It is precisely what it sounds like. The team comes together to create a plan for the next Sprint.

Sprints should last up to four weeks to keep things simple and quick releases. You can experiment to determine what Sprint length is most appropriate for your team. Then stick with it. It’s not a good idea to have a one-week Sprint followed by a three-week Sprint.

The Sprint Plan is created by the entire marketing team based on the Backlog. This is the prioritized list that guides all Agile marketing teams. Although the creation of the Backlog may be done in a team effort or by a single person responsible, it is usually accomplished through collaboration between the Marketing Manager, Marketing Vice President, or another leader and a representative from the marketing team, most likely a Product Owner or equivalent.

Stakeholders create the Backlog content based on departmental priorities and business goals. The Agile team decides when and how to complete that work.

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