In my agile marketing consulting practice, I often introduce the concept of marketing scrum to my clients. They seem to like the practice, and it keeps us on task and improves communication. Typically, we hold stand-up scrum meetings twice a week, rather than daily. As in agile development practice, we go around the room answering three questions:
- What did I do yesterday (or since the last scrum meeting)?
- What am I going to do today?
- What obstacles (if any) are preventing me from moving forward
In addition to those three questions, each person reports on the number of customer engagements they’ve participated in since the last scrum. For the startups that I work with, we generally start with a goal of 10 quality customer engagements per week. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can be surprisingly difficult for some startups. The point of adding that fourth question, “How many customer engagements?”, is to keep the focus on “getting out of the building”, in Steve Blank’s phrase. For a startup, customer engagement and feedback is the lifeblood of the business, and ensuring that each and every person understands its criticality is essential.