3 Reasons Your Marketing Team Should Explore Agile Processes

January 20th, 2020

Today’s Community Contributor post comes from Alyssa Kleinman, VP of Demand Generation at CipherHealth.

Agile marketing is a topic that many marketers have heard of but are unsure if it is worth implementing for their teams. It is a process that originated through software development after all, so how could it possibly work for marketing? When you dive deeper into why product and development teams have implemented Agile processes, you will see there are many similarities and valuable reasons for your marketing teams to explore implementing it as well.  

From my experience implementing it on a small marketing team, there are three main benefits of leveraging an agile process.

  1. Increased focus on projects that align with organizational priorities
  2. Transparency into what marketing is doing and why
  3. Quickly break down barriers to accomplish goals 

Align with Organizational Initiatives

Marketing teams want to be helpful, so when requests come up your team may be deprioritizing what is important to focus on what may only feel urgent. With agile marketing, your team should be looking at a project from a strategic lens. Do your quarterly or yearly projects align with corporate goals. If a request falls outside of those goals, your team should evaluate if it is truly worth prioritizing and if not, you can communicate why it isn’t a focus at the moment. 

Increase Transparency into Marketing Efforts

Hand in hand with better organizational alignment, agile marketing can increase the transparency the greater organization has into your team’s efforts. Each quarter you should be ensuring your larger projects, also known as “Epics”, align with other team’s goals/projects. By doing this you are increasing the visibility other teams have into what and why you are working on certain initiatives. To further encourage this, you can also invite team members to join your planning sessions, known as “sprints”, to see how smaller decisions get made and keep other teams informed of the process. 

Quickly Tackle Barriers

As with any process or project, barriers or challenges may arise. Although agile doesn’t solve all of them, the process does encourage communication that can quickly overcome them. With daily stand-ups, twice-monthly sprint planning, and quarterly epic planning, we are encouraged to bring up any issues proactively so that the problems are addressed quickly. For example, if there is a bottleneck on a project because something needs review, the team will bring that up in sprint planning and help ensure that review is prioritized as soon as possible. Without agile processes, it would have taken us longer to know that there was an issue that could have easily been addressed. 

Before my team implemented an agile process, we felt as though we were always distracted by new ideas and that teams didn’t know what we were accomplishing. Through this process, we have not only become a more effective team, but also one that is more efficient at meeting our strategic goals. If your teams could benefit from better organizational alignment, capacity planning, and increased transparency, an agile process could be the right fit for you.