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.