Scaling agile with the Agile Marketing Navigator framework
The practices we've established in the Agile Marketing Navigator help drive culture change and the right behaviors for agility.
Many think that scaling agile means taking it from one team to many. While that’s a part of it, agility at scale is more about culture transformation. Everyone in the marketing organization needs to transform into an agile way of thinking and acting.
The practices we’ve established in the Agile Marketing Navigator help drive culture change and the right behaviors for agility. Today, we’ll focus on Cycle Time, Waste Removal and the roles of Stakeholders and Practice Leads that can help you to take agile marketing to the next level.
Remove waste by overhauling old ways of working
When it comes to waste removal, a team can make changes if they can work autonomously. But more significant effort is required to make impactful changes in larger organizations where systems and processes reach far beyond the team.
Let’s say that several agile teams have identified that too many sign-offs are required to get work delivered quickly and with agility. Now you know this is a systemic issue across marketing that requires more than a Band-Aid repair.
The first step is measuring the problem’s impact on overall marketing delivery. It’s best to do this collaboratively, getting in put from representatives of several teams and levels in the company. You can break down items by the types that seem most problematic.
Let’s say everyone says the process for launching a landing page on your website is really slow and has the most sign-offs. Take sticky notes and map out all the steps in the process, focusing on each sign-off. This allows you to quantify a baseline for just how many steps are in your process and how long it’s taking today.
You’ll then look at the total number of average days it takes to deliver the landing page across the organization. In this example, we’ll say it takes an average of 45 business days to launch a landing page from start to finish.
Everyone should then discuss what seems like a more reasonable timeframe. This group decides to strive for 30 days. Now they need to uncover where they can get back those 15 days, most of which are tied up in approvals and wait time.
Because this issue is constraining all marketers, leaders need to be able to step up and be willing to radically empower the change from old ways of working. They will have to allow this change to happen and empower Lean thinking. This often means giving up a bit of security or safety in exchange for speed. And yes, mistakes may happen. But this is where trusting that people will learn from them and the overall change will outweigh the risk.
It’s this type of culture change that will lead to true agility. Leaders: You can’t just hand off agile marketing to your team and walk away. It’s imperative that you empower the teams to identify the issues while actively paving the way for them to implement new ways of working.
Lead Communities of Practice
As you mature in your agile practice and form teams around business needs, you break away from traditionally built departments around disciplines. However, as you involve more and more teams in agile marketing, it will be really important that those disciplines still have strong leadership and best practices.
A Design Community of Practice is a great example. The Practice Lead needs to work with all the designers across all agile teams to ensure branding quality and growth in the field happen.
A Practice Lead in our framework is typically a department manager, but their role alters with agile marketing. They are no longer assigning or managing work, but they still need to work to ensure everyone in the field can be successful with skills, tools, knowledge sharing and practice standards.
If you’re working in agile today and have found that the functional roles are being diminished, immediately start operating a Community of Practice, and you’ll find that you can succeed with a delivery team that has multiple skill sets, as well as in a community where shared skills are maximized.
As you grow in agile marketing, remember it’s not just a check-the-box process or framework. Really good agile marketing takes great leaders that are invested in true transformation.
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