For this episode we welcome Steve Demchuk of CA Technologies who serves as the vice president of product management for Agile Central (formerly Rally). With a big company background, Steve offers unique insights into what it takes to scale Agile not just in product management but across to marketing as well.
He’s seen enterprise teams try to make the transition from projects to products—in the marketing world we’ve referred to this as the transition from campaigns to programs—and he’s working on a platform to help enterprises be successful with Agile.
In this session we touch on some familiar themes such as how to keep a large number of implementation teams in sync and what it takes to keep these same teams in alignment with executive led goals. Towards the middle of the conversation we zero in on a discussion about how product management and marketing can use Agile as a platform for alignment and collaboration. And Steve shares his thoughts on the differences he’s seen ramping up product/engineering teams with Agile vs marketing teams.
This episode we’re joined by Meghan Wilkinson a senior manager, strategy, program design and project effectiveness at Level3 Communications. There’s a lot going on with that title so let me break it down… Meghan found a passion for helping teams improve their performance during her tenure working on events, with sales, and in a customer success role. Like many marketers she discovered that Agile is a useful approach to addressing team performance and collaboration. Beyond that, she talks at length about how Agile has helped drive an enterprise transformation.
This conversation includes a case study on the work that Meghan has done bringing Agile to a large enterprise that has had as many as 17 Agile teams working in parallel in the marketing function. Listen in to learn about:
- Why Agile leaders must have “fortitude” to drive transformation
- How outside consultants have played a critical role in adoption
- What makes for a successful pilot
- Why she pulled back from 17 smaller Agile teams to 5 larger teams
If you find this conversation useful please let us know on Twitter @rsmartly and @tangyslice. And, we want to hear your stories so reach out to us about those as well!
In this episode Frank Days and Roland Smart speak with Scott Sweeney about his work at Kubotek—a CAD software company—where he’s applied Agile to demand oriented programs. This conversation should be particularly relevant for those with co-located, small marketing teams that work closely with sales.
Scott is a self-taught Scrum Master who speaks to how they’ve adapted their Agile to his company and culture. Beyond Americanizing the “scrum” as a “huddle”, he speak to how he’s integrated some practices from his management consulting days, such as Rockefeller Habits, into their method.
In this episode we discuss:
- How to adapt Agile to your company, team, project and culture
- How Agile can support demand oriented programs
- How long it takes to get to a stable practice from Sprint 0
Thanks for listening and we look forward to hearing your feedback.
Robert Corbin is a senior manager at EMC where he runs a marketing data science team. As with many data science professionals, he comes to his current role from a technical background and with an understanding of Agile. During his tenure at EMC, he’s supported a lot of business transformation with the help of the EMC Big Data portfolio. He was also able to use these same Big Data technologies to assist with Marketing Analytics efforts.
He’ll tell us how he used agile techniques to drive business transformation at a big company, in a dynamic industry and how he is dealing with future uncertainties.
“Uncertainty” is the theme of this podcast, and we’ll be considering questions such as:
- How does Agile help manage uncertainty?
- How can marketing leadership embrace uncertainty?
- How do different parts of the business adapt their approach in the face of varying degrees of uncertainty?
- And, will Rob answer any questions about the EMC acquisition before the deal is sealed? (we promised not to get Rob in any hot water)
Data is at the heart of what makes the Agile approach work, so we hope you’ll take away some ideas about how to engage more effectively with the data scientists in your organization. If you don’t yet have a data science practice, we hope that Rob’s insights might help you get started.
Frank Days and Roland Smart forgo interviewing a guest to make room for a conversation that reflects on some of the ideas that emerged from recent shows. It’s a bit of an experiment so we want to hear what you think—for our part we really enjoyed being able to step back and consider some of the challenges associated with scaling Agile.
Part of the conversation references Roland’s recent blog post entitled Combating Agile Objections: It Doesn’t Scale! At a high-level we discuss:
- How frameworks for scaling Agile might facilitate executive alignment
- What marketers can learn from developer oriented frameworks such as the Scaling Agile Framework (SAFe), which seems too prescriptive for marketers.
- How Google’s OKR framework might serve as a marketer friendly (less prescriptive) approach to facilitate alignment.
Bonus: Here’s a link to the Harvard Business Review article that’s mentioned in this session: Embracing Agile.
Thanks for listening and as always, stay Agile!
In this episode Frank Days and Roland Smart interview Sean Zinsmeister of Infer about his Agile practice and how his approach has changed with his move into a smaller company and team. Sean spoke about the tools and technologies his team uses as well a range of practices. He mentions OKRs which are outlined in the following video:
He also made mention of the The Pomodoro Technique which will give you an excuse to buy a tomato shaped timer. This technique fits well with the Agile practice of breaking up projects and teams into smaller freestanding units.
From there we delved into the topic of how to involve sales in the Agile practice, how sales can support prototyping, testing, and iteration in general. And finally, this brought up to the topic of account based marketing—an approach that requires strong alignment between marketing, sales, customer support and customer success.
As always, we hope you enjoy the show—please let us know @rsmartly and @tangyslice.