I’m happy to report that we now have Agile Marketing certification. We identified this as a need last year at the Sprint One event, and now thanks to the folks at IC Agile, as well as the hard work of Yuval Yeret of Agile Sparks, Andrea Fryrear of Agile Sherpas and yours truly, we have a certification. It will take a little while before instructors and organizations get accredited, but you should soon see both public and private courses offering Agile Marketing certification later this year. I know this is something that I’ve heard as a need from many early adopters of Agile Marketing, so I’m very glad to let you know that certification for Agile marketers is here.
In a previous post, I discussed the need for cross-functional teams and gave a definition of a cross-functional team. In this post, I’ll talk about some best practices in implementing cross-functional teams.
Conditions for Success of Cross-functional teams
There are a number of factors that both the research and my experience suggest can increase the chances of success with cross-functional teams. Some of them are obvious, some less so.
Cross-functional teams are a best practice in Agile software development. Rather than organize by skill-set silos (Writing detailed specifications, writing code, quality assurance) and pass work from one skill-set silo to the next, Agile software developers organize by projects or customer value streams . Rather than pass a project from one skill-set silo to the next, they include people with all of the necessary skills on the team and the team is responsible for the project from beginning to end.
Most business interact with customers in both the digital environment (website, social media, digital advertising) and in the physical world (in retail stores, over the telephone, through distribution reps, through outside sales reps). If you have retail stores, you have to print signage and train retail sales people. If you have a toll free number, whether for service or sales, you have to create scripts and train CSRs and telemarketing staff. If you sell physical products, you need logistics to source and deliver those products in the physical world.
Doing Agile is not the same as Being Agile according to Michael Sahota and I couldn’t agree more. Doing Agile can be learned in a 2-3 day class that teaches the basics of Scrum and Kanban. Being Agile requires much more: a cultural shift to an agile mindset as well as changes to the way employees are managed, motivated, trained and hired.
There’s no question that Doing Agile by itself leads to certain benefits: improved communication and visibility to what each team member is working on, some increases in productivity and perhaps the ability to set priorities with intent as conditions change.
But the transformative benefits occur from Being Agile, by which I mean consistently, predictably responding quickly in the face of change, delighting customers and achieving excellence through engaged employees all working together towards common goals.
What does it take for marketers to achieve Being Agile? Here are some ways your team can move towards this goal.