What is Scrum and Why Should Marketers Care?

If you wander the circles of B2B marketing long enough, it is likely you will come across the idea of Scrum. Without knowing what that means, anything you read about it will likely be unclear.

You’ve likely seen references to Scrum. It’s everywhere and many who use it give it endless praise. It is critical for marketers to have at least a rough understanding of this so they can understand it in passing mention.

Not only that, but marketers can use Scrum to improve their marketing efforts.
 

What is Scrum?

 
Scrum is not an acronym.

Scrum is originally a term in rugby, wherein the team packs together with their heads down to gain possession of the ball.

This idea of a team mentality was then used in a paper called, “The New New Product Development Game,” which was created in 1986. The paper was about complex product development. The primary conclusion of that paper was that teams can only achieve greatness if they are given freedom to come up with the best tactics towards a series of shared objectives.

It was from this paper that the modern agile development method, “Scrum” was derived. While Scrum is mainly used in software development, the ideas behind it can be utilized for any sort of work, including marketing. When you hear someone talk about agile marketing, they are often talking about Scrum.
 

How does Scrum work?

 

scrumgraphic
 

Three Roles

 
There are 3 primary roles played in a Scrum system.

The Scrum Master

This the person that understands Scrum inside and out and will make objective calls on how Scrum is being implemented.

The Product Owner

This the person who sees the high- level view of the project. This person guides the rest of the team and often has the most knowledge about the project. In marketing, there may be a few people that take on these roles due to the complexity of marketing projects.

The people in this role choose which objectives they want to tackle from the backlog.

The Team

This is the rest of the people who do most of the heavy lifting. They are the writers, the designers, and the videographers. They are the ones who make up the meat of the project.

 

The Parts

 

Product Backlog

This is a list of every piece of a project that makes the whole come together. For marketing, this might be a campaign, or large piece of content. It could even be something like overhauling the company’s website.

Sprint Backlog

This is a set of features off the product backlog list that the determines it will focus on. These tasks will be completed during sprints.

Sprints

Sprints are the period in which the team tackles something from the sprint back log. The team sets a rational time limit for the sprint and goals for the sprint.

Potentially Shippable Product Increment

This refers to the progress made on the larger project. These are submitted and reviewed to the person guiding the team.
 

The Meetings

 
Planning Meeting

In this meeting, your team comes up with the sprint backlog, the length of the sprints and goals for the sprint.

The other half of this meeting involves the team assessing whether each sprint length is doable

Daily Meeting

In the daily meeting, three questions are answered by each member of the team.

  • Since the last daily meeting, what have I done?
  • What do I plan to do until the next daily meeting?
  • Do I have any sort of impediment?

These meetings should only last 15 minutes tops. Any longer than this will waste you teams time

Review Meeting

Review meetings happen after a sprint. The results of the sprint are presented to the product owner and they accept or reject it to determine if the sprint was successful.

Retrospective Meeting

This is the last meeting to conclude a sprint.

The following questions need to be answered by each member of the team:

  • What has improved since the last sprint? (these are the practices your team should continue)
  • What can we improve for the next ones?
  • What should we stop doing?

By answering these questions, the team is constantly improving their process.
 

How does Scrum work in marketing?

 
Many marketing teams have a lot of organization as it. Even adding just a few of the components of Scrum to your marketing team can make it more agile.

Agility means that your team can tackle more and faster, which is the objective of Scrum. Instead of popping between projects, without finishing one or another, the team works to accomplish each goal.

You don’t have to adopt all of Scrum to the letter, but you’ll find adding some of the components of Scrum to your team will allow you team to work smarter and in turn bring in more revenue.
 


 
Do you use scrum? How has it improved your marketing? Is there anything you don’t like about it? Let us know in the comments.
 


 

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