What is Scrum?

Scrum is at its heart a project management methodology. It was developed to manage software development projects, but with just a few tweaks, it can be used to manage marketing projects. It begins with a project backlog, a list of marketing tasks requested by the business owner or developed by the marketing team to achieve the marketing goals. During the Sprint Planning meeting, the team reviews the project backlog and agrees upon the tasks to be accomplished during the current sprint. Completion of these tasks is tracked by the scrum master, mainly through the mechanism of the daily scrum meeting. This is usually a 15 minute standup meeting, where each member of the marketing team answers three questions:

  • What did I do yesterday?
  • What will I do today?
  • Are there any obstacles that stand in my way?

In general, scrum is intended to be a lightweight project management methodology, trying to get out of the way of marketers getting the job done, while at the same time providing visibility to the team and to management of progress. There are many tools designed to track the product backlog, the individual requirements and any issues. The terminology is somewhat different from what we would use for marketing, but these tools can still be used to track and report on marketing progress.

Comments

  1. Nice post – if you wish to know more about Scrum then I can also recommend the excellent site http://www.whatisscrum.co.uk where you can prepare for the CSM (Certified Scrum Master) test. There is a free mock test and a paid practice test that has been written by Certified Scrum Masters so is very close to the real thing.

    Dan

    • Thanks Dan. I went to your site and took the free mock test (scored 5 out of 5, but I did have to think hard about a couple of the questions). Great stuff!

      • Thanks for the feedback – you know about Scrum so I am glad to hear you got 100%. Nonetheless it is also good that you had to pause for thought too. We don’t want to make it too easy.

        Dan

  2. Hi Jim,

    Interesting post. I came across your post while browsing about Scrum. Though its old but briefly explains the daily stand up meeting. I also came across http://www.SCRUMstudy.com website, where I read more detailed information about Scrum. You might be interested in going through that.

    Cheers
    Jonathan.

  3. Hi Jim,
    Thanks for this nice article. We figured out that standup meetings are great but needed improvement (they took a lot of time, de-focussed our colleagues and interrupted their workflows). Because of this we developed a SaaS tool to “automate” the daily standup meetings – with just a single email. If you like to take a look: http://www.30secondsmail.com.
    Best,
    Ajie

  4. Michael Davis says:

    Thank you, 🙂 it is a interesting and great article.but I would like to add another perspective as detailed in http://www.scrumstudy.com . “Scrum is one of the most popular Agile methodologies. It is an adaptive, iterative, fast, flexible, and effective methodology designed to deliver significant value quickly and throughout a project. Scrum ensures transparency in communication and creates an environment of collective accountability and continuous progress. – See more at: http://www.scrumstudy.com/blog/

  5. Interesting read. We started this year with implementing scrum within our global marketing team to become more agile. Here I wrote about our experiences so far… http://preciesmark.nl/how-to-adopt-scrum-agile-within-your-marketing-team/

    • Mark, thanks for sharing. I’m glad to see that you started with the buyer’s journey and simplified it over time. You mentioned that recording hours was counter to the Agile approach. Did you consider estimating things in terms of t-shirt sizes (extra-small, small, medium, etc) or some other approximate metric? This allows you to measure the work completed and see changes to team velocity over time. It also allows you to use burn down charts and other similar tools.

      Jim

  6. Hi, thank you for this post I agree with you that scrum is at its heart a project management methodology. It was developed to manage software development projects, but with just a few tweaks, it can be used to manage marketing projects. very useful information

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