I would like to start by saying that I don’t fully understand the “agile” framework to begin with and because of this I also have very little experience with anything related to “SCRUM”. 

I even pulled up the “Agile Manifesto” (https://agilemarketingmanifesto.org/) and don’t yet know if I’m fully indoctrinated to the belief that this is the way. 

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So when our leadership team said “We are going to become a SCRUM team and operate more like the developers”, I was naturally… skeptical. 

I haven’t had great experiences with “agile” project management. 

In my agency experience with Agile, we were resource constrained (as many are) and the battle for the priority of our team members’ often seemed like it all boiled down to either a) who’s tasks were easier to complete or b) who’s relationships were stronger. 

In an agency setting, each and every client is equally as important to their “Strategist” or “Account Manager”, but to the business overall, other factors are necessary to consider. Things like:

  • The amount of spend with the agency (which client spends most money)
  • How volatile is the client if timelines are missed?
  • Is there a delicate relationship between client and agency already?
  • Etc.

The only people with this level of insight are the leadership team and partly the team member that is managing the relationship with that client.

For me, these same concerns appear in an embedded team. 

Whose task is most important?

Who is best suited to complete that task?

Whose decision is it to prioritize one campaign over another?

The beauty of being on an embedded team is that most (if not all) of the aforementioned questions (and many more) can be answered with a clear set of business objectives and KPIs that the team is aligned to. 

This is where this transformation becomes more interesting to me and has me questioning…

How do we measure the success of this transformation?

So, to answer the question about “What do I hope will be an outcome?” and “What do I fear could be a negative outcome?” it’s this:

Hope:

  • I hope that we’ll be able to produce high-quality results that are driving business results which are set by the leadership team.
  • I hope that this new way of thinking and working on Marketing tasks will force us to consider how the work we’re doing will impact our KPIs and therefore force us to always be focused on our KPIs.

Fear:

  • I fear that we’ll try to do things in one week sprints and we’ll actually need more time, without more time, I feel we’ll be checking boxes on tasks that don’t immediately produce a deliverable and leaves room for things to be missed. 
  • I fear that we’ll lose sight of the metrics that matter at the MICRO level (impact to keyword traffic improvements, etc) and only be focused on the MACRO level of reporting.
  • I fear that we won’t understand how the efforts are impacting the business objectives and KPIs because we’ll be busy tasking and delivering and not consistently measuring … though I’m sure we can just have a sprint item that is always in the hopper for “review performance” 😉