We've spent the last six months integrating scrum into our processes here at Far Reach. We've done this quickly, but deliberately. By this I mean that we jumped into scrum with both feet, but have been pretty thoughtful about how we roll it out across the company.
We started with our software projects since these are what scrum and a lot of other agile methodologies were created to help manage. Having seen valuable progress in this area of the company, we've begun to think about how we could benefit even more by integrating it into other areas as well.
Can Marketing in an Agency Be Agile, Too?
As an interactive agency, we do double-duty when it comes to marketing—we do it for our clients as well as for ourselves. Also, some of our software projects use the marketing team and some don't. This results in the marketing team feeling like they live in a silo most of the time. Not only that, but there are silos within the silo since, as is typical in agencies, most team members have certain areas of expertise.
So, how exactly can a team of siloed individuals benefit from scrum? That remains to be seen. Let me tell you first how we've gotten here and what we hope to gain.
As the company has begun to evolve thanks to our scrum initiative, we've come to realize that there are things happening within the Marketing Zone (aka our marketing team—cue Kenny Loggins) that could be positively influenced by the implementation of scrum. Things like:
- Uncertainty about what everyone is working on
- Misunderstandings about priorities and deadlines
- A lack of context around internal goals and how the marketing team fits in with them
- A lack of understanding of results
- A lack of communication to those outside the Marketing Zone
These issues are exactly the kinds of things scrum was created to address, so we figured why not give it a try?
Where We Want to Be
In true scrum fashion, we have identified the goals we're hoping to reach through this effort. They are:
- Increase visibility and transparency within the team and outside of it
- Be more organized and track progress more effectively
- Better understand the team's priorities
- More effectively execute on our priorities
- Develop built-in backups within the team
- Feel more like a team
Where to Begin
After dipping our toes in the water for the last month with twice-a-week standup meetings, beginning this week we're going (almost) full-bore. We'll start with weekly sprints and all the ceremonies that go along with them.
Sprint planning, demos, retrospectives, and standups have already been scheduled. Our next steps are to:
- Identify product owner(s) and scrum master
- Determine our scrum board setup
- Outline a working agreement
- Build our backlog
- Define the first sprint
- Get commitment from the team
I'm excited to start down this path because I've seen the positive effect it's had on our software projects.
If you're interested in how you might be able to benefit from using scrum in your agency, feel free to stay tuned and learn along with us.
If you’ve already implemented scrum or other agile practices in your agency, we’d love to hear about your experience, so be sure to reach out.