Agile methods can organize marketing efforts: asset production, brand development, strategic brand alignment. However, it may not be a perfect fit: marketing tasks are often short-lived; "debt" is a different concept; prioritizing is perhaps more important, estimation less so. We are experimenting with these concepts at Citrix Online. We hope to gain insight by looking at other organizations.
Scrum challenges the status quo. Engineering Scrum radically rejects traditional assumptions: that engineers must meet external deadlines, that engineers bear no responsibility to disseminate in-progress work, that market conditions do not change. Scrum forces other departments—marketing, finance, product management and operations—to adapt to it, causing anxiety and sometimes rejection. But in the process of struggling with Scrum, some non-engineering departments are discovering Scrum has something to offer them in their own work.
As Citrix Online, the company where I work, has gained comfort with Scrum, our marketing department has started seeing its advantages. They wondered whether Scrum could be used in marketing.
We interviewed Richard Leavitt, Senior VP Marketing at Rally Software, which uses Scrum to organize its Marketing Department. We gained insight into how stakeholders and forces pull marketing work. We started to understand why marketing needs Scrum.
Here is a video that Nick Kim and I produced to convince them. It's a Pecha Kucha presentation, so it's only 6 minutes 40 seconds long (20 slides, 20 seconds per slide). Does it communicate the concepts well?
We are in the early stages of applying Scrum to Marketing efforts. I may post later about our experiences. If your marketing department uses Scrum or another agile organizing process, please contact me. I may include your experiences in a later post.
Postscript: The Agile Marketing screencast was recorded and edited in GoView, an experimental product developed using the Scrum process. I was the ScrumMaster for the GoView project.