What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “Agile Marketing”?
Although there is no right or wrong answer to this question, yours includes a reference to Scrum and Sprints.
Although Scrum is widely used, there are other ways to use Agility in your marketing team. These 2016 results are from Wrike’s State of Agile Marketing Survey.
To help you distinguish the principles and values behind Agile marketing from Scrum’s practices, I will explore why other methodologies were created.
This article will focus on Kanban, an Agile method established by David Anderson in 2002. It has quickly grown in popularity as well as adoption. Kanban has eight goals. We’ll dive into each one here.
Kanban is an excellent option if you have many of these goals in common with your Agile marketing goal.
#1: Optimize existing processes
This is one of my favorite aspects of Kanban, but it also has limitations for teams hesitant to adopt Agile.
You don’t need to make any changes when you start.
Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
First, visualize your current workflow and then work to improve it. There is no need to assign new roles or change the schedule. Map the flow of work and identify ways to improve it.
Your first Kanban board is likely to look something like this. There will be a lot of work on the left side, where most work happens when it still needs to be done.
If this happens, don’t panic.
You can impose WIP (Work in Progress) limits on your columns to identify bottlenecks and improve your discharge.
The marketing team shouldn’t be resistant because your current roles, responsibilities, and processes won’t change. Kanban’s working principles are shaped by them, which can be both empowering and terrifying depending on the psychology of your team.
#2: Deliver with high quality
An Agile transformation can improve the outcome of a marketing team by reducing its workload. Scrum requires that the group chooses a limit on how much work they can take into a Sprint. Kanban limits how many items can be included in any one state.
Both cases show that Agile marketers have a narrower focus, eliminating task switching and increasing the quality of their deliverables. Think about how much mental energy you expend when working on multiple tasks simultaneously.
#3: Increase Lead Time Predictability
Scrum teams use Sprint cycles to plan when work will be released. Kanban, however, doesn’t have standard timeboxes. Kanban-using Agile marketing teams can meet the need for predictability by using lead time.
We need to know when a new piece of content is added to our workflow; it will be released within 16 working days. A new email campaign is usually sent out eight days after we start working.
This is vital for teams planning marketing releases with events such as a new product launch or an in-person event. As with all things Kanban, it is essential to control our WIP limits.
There is a linear relationship between how much work we have in progress and how long it takes to complete it. It takes less work to complete a task, and it takes less time.
#4: Increase Employee Satisfaction
Scrum is about the team. High-functioning teams tend to have happier members. Agile marketing teams also have specific roles.
To perform well for long periods, individuals must be motivated. Sometimes this may not require any collaboration with the team. This is one of Kanban’s stated goals.
Employees who are happy work harder, produce more, stay longer, and make the company a better place to work. It’s easier to hire; the teams work better together and stay together longer.
#5: Allow Improvement to Happen by Providing Slack
Kanban marketing system employees are not allowed to slack.
It doesn’t matter how well your workflow works; a bottleneck will always exist. That’s OK. It’s great.
Only those in the bottleneck work continuously; all others will be idle while they wait for workflow to or out of the bottleneck.
Slack is a Kanban goal, as it improves team performance.
Marketers can respond immediately to urgent requests or emergencies even without working.
Marketers can spend part of their day learning new skills to improve their job.