Before you get too excited, this isn’t a blog about how you can apply rugby tactics to managing your marketing team and running your business (although, that would make an awesome topic for a future blog). Instead, I’m going to chat about agile development and scrum methodology, approaches to planning and executing software development, and how your marketing team can adopt it to become one of those high performing teams I talked about in my last blog.
The waterfall approach is linear, scrum methodology is agile
The first thing we need to cover is what agile development and scrum methodology are. In short they’re a relatively new alternative to the more traditional waterfall method (a linear approach where planning, design, coding, testing, and bug fixing are carried out sequentially). Agile methodology shakes things up a bit, and is all the more agile as a result. A project is broken down into tasks called ‘sprints’, which are prioritised and tackled one by one. A deadline is set and the sprint reviewed to allow for subsequent sprints to be carried out even more efficiently. This method also allows teams to work more independently – but without inciting chaos. Scrum methodology – which is branch of the Agile movement – is a new way of managing software development specifically.
How scrum methodology works during software development
Harvard Business Review has made a fantastic four minute video explaining the key principles of scrum methodology in an easy-to-digest and non-management jargon-y way. A large team is broken into an agile leadership team, an initiative owner, process facilitators and innovation teams of three to nine people. Each has a distinct role, however, it’s the innovation teams that go about brainstorming ideas (or products, in the case of software development) to develop. These are ranked according to how beneficial they are to the client, and each one is then divided up into smaller modules by task and ranked again. Modules are tackled in sprints lasting around four weeks, and much like doing a circuit at gym, a certain number of tasks must be completed before moving onto new sprints.
Happier and more efficient teams – no brainer, right?
The great thing about this approach is that it’s less costly, as after each sprint teams review their progress. Due to the fact that the client is a lot more involved in the development process, teams get a greater sense of ownership over their projects, which culminates in a process that’s a lot more efficient overall. If you want to delve deeper into the principles of scrum methodology, check out the scrum methodology website, or visit Segue Tech’s blog for a comparison between this approach and the waterfall approach.
You marketing team might not be building apps, but they still deliver projects
Now let’s apply scrum methodology to a marketing team. Even though your team might be more concerned with delivering inbound marketing solutions as opposed to building websites and apps, they do still have projects to complete – the majority of them for your clients. And even if your team isn’t client facing, they should still treat their in-house projects as if they were for a client (the client being your business). Not only do short sprints of work keep people focused and productive, if you’re reviewing your work processes every four weeks, your team’s opportunity for growth and improvement is massive.
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