Agile Marketing Transformation/Implementation
More and more Marketers are realizing that their current operating approach isn’t coping that well with the speed and complexity of marketing in the digital age.
Agile can help your Marketing organization deliver better campaigns at a faster time to market, in a way that helps you support the revenue goals of the business.
It’s not so easy though. Implementing Agile goes beyond buzzwords. To really succeed, Marketing organizations revisit their team structure, leadership style, the definition of what a great Marketer is, and create a “safe to learn” culture.
This is where we come in! Our deep experience in a variety of contexts including several types of Marketing organizations (Agencies, in-house corporate marketing, Marketing communications) means we help you converge faster on an approach that really works and minimize the time you waste trying to figure this all out.
What’s the best way to start? We believe the right starting point is a workshop where we explore what Agile Marketing is and what it would look like to apply it in your context.
And then what? Based on this blueprint we’ll help you Prepare and Kickoff an Agile Marketing program as well as help as getting it to a healthy groove by coaching teams/leaders along the way.
- Agile Marketing helped us dramatically accelerate time to market on critical marketing campaigns, improve collaboration amongst the different marketing functions, and our marketers are happier and more motivated. Most importantly, marketing is making a stronger contribution to the company’s sales operations. If you’re looking to transform your Marketing organization to a more agile operating system, you’re in good hands with Yuval and AgileSparks.
Our Key Factors for succeeding with Agile Marketing
Agile Leadership Style
In our experience Agile doesn’t succeed without effective agile leadership. Leaders need guidance and support as they try to become “Managers as people developers” rather than “Conductors/Experts”.
We teach leaders to think about knowledge worker engagement/motivation and give them concrete tools to work on these sensitive topics. Our “Leading Agile Teams” program is focused on the capabilities modern managers/leaders need and the mindset the should embody.
Cross-functional Teams – Especially When Scaling
What if you have more than 10 marketers? Agile talks about creating cross-functional business-focused teams spanning the different marketing functions/specialization areas and ideally even Sales.
Any hand-offs between teams slow down the process dramatically which is why applying Agile to existing functional teams typically leads to mediocre results and disappointment.
Creating those teams and dealing with the changes to the work structure, management role, individual identity of the marketers is a non-trivial transformation but a gratifying one.
Pragmatism over Dogma
True in general but even more important for Agile Marketing – successful organizations are strong believers in the values/principles and in adapting the “rules” or frameworks to their context.
Pragmatism is dangerous though. You might dilute the “secret sauce” too much. Here’s where it helps to work with people like our consultants – that have used the different frameworks as well as adapted them for various contexts.
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In a recent Agile Marketing Meetup in Boston we tried to figure out how mature are the Agile Marketing teams/organizations out there. Last week I helped facilitate a third quarterly Agile planning event (also known as SAFe PI Planning or Big Room Planning) for a group of agile marketers I’ve been working with for the
Note: This post was original published in Yuval Yeret’s personal blog “Validated Learning Over Opinions and Conventions” is the first value in the Agile Marketing Manifesto. A couple of weeks ago I was helping form what we call a “Marketing Agile Release Train” – a group of Agile Marketing teams each focused on supporting the business
Here is an example of a fairly typical Marketing Kanban board which can be useful for marketing teams that are taking their first steps towards implementing agile marketing in practice using kanban. You can print it out and use it as a source of ideas & inspiration as you evolve your own board. It is a slightly
This post is a continuation/refresh of an earlier post from Yuval’s personal blog Tools for Agile Marketing seems to be the hot topic in the various Agile Marketing communities. The Marketing Agility Podcast is talking to some tool vendors and people started to discuss it on the Agile Marketing Facebook Group as well. For co-located marketing teams
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Reaching The Tipping Point For Agile Marketing – 8 Triggers That Get Marketing Leaders From Awareness To Activation
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Better late than never – Slides from the Agile Marketing @ Scale at CA Technologies talk in Boston Agile Marketing
It took us some time, but the slides from our (Steve Wolfe from CA and myself) December talk in the Boston Agile Marketing meetup are finally publicly available. Agile marketing @ Scale at CA Technologies – Boston Agile Marketing Meetup December 2016 from Yuval Yeret How can large, traditional marketing organizations – those that rely
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Implementing Agile Marketing – The AgileSparks Way
Every organization is a unique “Snowflake” with its own needs and capabilities. Implementing Agile Marketing therefore requires inspecting and adapting rather than implementing a pre-fabricated methodology. This makes it even more important to have a consistent approach to help manage this journey.
We call our structured implementation approach “The AgileSparks Way”:
Plan & Initiate
We begin with a 2 day Agile Marketing Management Workshop for your Marketing leadership team where we will help you explore the pains/opportunities you currently see, set goals you’d like Agile Marketing to help with, understand Agile Marketing Values/Principles/Practices, explore implementation aspects – Scrum, Kanban, ScrumBan, Cross-functional Teams, Scaling, Agile Marketing Leadership, Evolution vs Revolution and more. We then help you create an implementation blueprint and roadmap with concrete plans for the first implementation quarter.
The highlight of the Kickoff stage is the QuickStart – a multi-day workshop with the whole group implementing Agile Marketing that combines training and planning for the actual initial agile cycle in a highly experiential engaging format.
Some preparations for kickoff include fine-tuning the blueprint, selecting a group to start the implementation with, forming agile teams, providing training for key stakeholders/roles, preparing backlogs/materials and agreeing on key metrics/indicators and how to measure them.
After Kickoff it is time to make sure Agile Marketing isn’t just a shiny one-off event but becomes part of the DeFacto way of working. This is where things get difficult. After the excitement of the “honeymoon” here comes real life. Now our role is both to help stabilize the train as well as to start building the foundations for “Stickiness” – for your ability to run agile on your own. This is achieved through frequent visits where we coach struggling teams and individuals, run stabilizing retrospectives and teach local people how to run them, help teams and groups visualize the work effectively, identify struggling/stuck work as well as bottlenecks in the value stream and run improvement/support forums for various Agile Marketing roles.
At some point you will achieve a stable Agile Marketing process. Most organizations pause and “recharge” their change energies/attention at this point.
During the Recharge phase, the AgileSparks team will move into support mode. We’ll be available for any questions you may have, and we’ll setup a schedule so that we’re visiting you at a frequency that makes sense. What typically happens is that at this point we will shift our focus to an additional group in the organization that is now starting the process.
Finally, we’ll get back into action mode by running an Agile Marketing Boost Workshop. We’ll identify key areas for boosting and improving your process. And we’ll help you draft an improvement plan for taking the next steps. Then we go back into Kickoff/Stabilize for the relevant improvements.
This is the point where organizations typically address topics such as Agile HR, relationships with vendors/agencies, changing compensation structures, connecting Sales, Marketing and Product Development into one value stream, deeper focus on Lean/Agile/Flow metrics, More focus on learning/feedback during the marketing lifecycle.