In this episode of The Marketing Agility Podcast we’re joined by Steve Wolfe of CA Technologies and Yuval Yeret of AgileSparks. Steve joined CA through their acquisition of Rally Software a company that’s been developing tooling for Agile projects for several years. Yuval and AgileSparks has been working with CA to implement an Agile practice on the marketing side of the house.
Like our previous conversation with VistaPrint this is an example of a company that’s bringing in outside resources to help facilitate an Agile transformation. Steve and Yurat speak about:
Using Agile to manage what can feel like an overwhelming amount of incoming marketing requests
How they are developing an Agile implementation from the bottom up and top down.
How to implement Agile with highly distributed teams and in a silo’d context.
There are still not that many companies that are making a push for Agile both bottom up and top down. You can check out the CA Agile Blog and if you’re in Boston check out this upcoming meetup.
Peter Billante is a software product leader at Autodesk where he focuses on a range of products including the BIM 360 Field application. The focus of this conversation was on measuring one’s Agile practice—a critical topic for driving adopting and garnering executive support.
To set the stage Peter shared some background on his transition into a marketing role—from a more engineering oriented role. Overall his approach is more prescriptive than many of the marketers that we’ve spoken with though his team has evolved from Scrum to Kanban over time (Kanban being less prescriptive). Peter shares a bit about a failed attempt to implement Scrum and references the well known Chickens and Pigs story to highlight the challenges of implementing Agile across functional teams.
The conversation then moves on to Agile measurement and how he’s implemented measurement in the context of a team that he’s built from scratch. The conversation touches on:
Estimating stories, scope and business value
Measuring Average story/task scope
Measuring Work-In-Process (WIP) and setting WIP limits
Measuring Cycle-Time / Velocity
Have a listen and we look forward to your feedback. Reach out with questions and comments to @rsmartly and @tangyslice.
Ian brings a broad range of experience with Agile to the conversation having worked on a product for highly creative users (Avid) and now for one empowering business users. What connects these companies is their particular focus on facilitating collaboration for end users. Ian shares insights about how helping customers collaborate informed his approach to Agile—as a collaboration framework— within his team.
From there Mike discusses how his experience at Ready Talk compares to working at Avaya. There’s also a brief discussion of a recent article from CMO.com entitled: Mohanbir Sawhney: Why marketers are still struggling to adopt Agile. In this piece Sawhney, the McCormick Tribune Professor of Technology at the Kellogg School of Management, talks about the unique challenges of making Agile work within the enterprise. It’s a good backdrop for this conversation because of Mike’s move from a startup to a 12,000+ person company.
Mike shares tips on how to get started with Agile marketing, just how dogmatic to be when it comes to Agile, and how to work alongside waterfall projects.
I’ve come to conclude that there are at least three stages or approaches to Agile Marketing. They’re not necessarily sequential. I have listed them in what I consider an order of difficulty, from most straightforward to most difficult, and in order of the potential value to the organization when they’re done well.