Ready to give Agile marketing a try, but not sure how to begin? If you’re contemplating where to start, here’s your guide to the crucial first 60 days of the journey towards becoming an agile marketing team. Note that while this covers the first 60 days, Agile journeys are meant to be ongoing, focused on continuous improvement, and are not only operational but also cultural.
Weeks 1-2 Understanding Agile
Education is the Foundation. Before any practical steps, get a sense of Agile Basics. Whether you start reading articles like the ones found on our blog, ask ChatGPT to summarize the basics for you, or invest in books, get the lay of the land.
Then invest in comprehensive training sessions, webinars, or workshops for the team. Certified agile coaches or experts can provide these, ensuring everyone starts with a shared and solid understanding. Many of our partners offer courses and training on Agile marketing.
Be sure to read through customer stories and case studies. Analyze case studies of other organizations that have successfully made the switch to agile marketing. Resources such as “Hacking Marketing” by Scott Brinker discuss real-world scenarios and applications of agile in marketing.
Weeks 3-4 Assess and Strategize
Evaluate your team’s current capabilities, processes, strengths, and weaknesses. Remember to baseline your metrics, so that you can demonstrate change and improvements. Tools like Agile maturity models or AgilityHealth’s Agile Marketing Radar can help quantify your current state.
Set your goals. What do you aim to achieve with agile? Whether it’s faster time-to-market, improved adaptability, or better customer responsiveness, having clear objectives ensures you’re aligned on what success looks like.
Plan your transition. An incremental approach is better than a complete overhaul. While it can be tempting to “plan the whole thing out,” especially if you are wanting to secure a budget, start with the smallest implementation you can to test-and-learn along the way. Trying to accomplish everything at once – or big batches – tends to slow things down.
Weeks 5-6 Start Implementing
Choose one or more small, cross-functional teams (comprising strategists, creatives, analysts, etc.) to start. Begin with a single project or campaign. This is your testing ground, and their feedback will be crucial for broader implementation.
Start your pilot team on some of the foundational practices of agile, like daily stand-ups and working in sprints (1-4 weeks of intensive work on specific tasks). Decide which practices to experiment with first that will align with the needs of the team.
Establish a system for regular feedback within the team, ensuring that any hurdles in the new system are identified and addressed promptly.
Weeks 7-8 Reflect and Iterate
At the end of the first sprint or iteration, conduct a retrospective. Gather what went well and what didn’t. Use resources like “Agile Retrospectives: Making Good Teams Great” by Esther Derby and Diana Larsen to learn how to facilitate these sessions effectively.
Keep detailed records of all findings, changes made, and the reasoning behind them. This documentation will be invaluable as you expand Agile across the marketing department and work to measure your improvements.
Weeks 9-10 Broaden the Scope
Share the success of your pilot program with the rest of the organization. Real-world examples from within the company can be incredibly persuasive and help skeptics get on board.
When you are ready, start incorporating more teams into the agile methodology, using your pilot program members as in-house champions to help guide their colleagues.
As new members join the agile method, keep the education consistent. Continuously offer resources, reading materials, and training sessions.
Beyond Day 60 A Journey of Continuous Evolution
Transitioning to agile marketing does not end on day 60; it’s a continual journey. The focus should be on constant evolution, adapting not just your methods but also your mindset. The landscape changes, and your strategies should reflect this dynamism.
Remember, the transformation into an agile marketing team is not a checkbox exercise but a cultural shift. Stay informed with the latest agile marketing trends and insights from thought leaders, share successes and learnings on the Agile Marketing Alliance Community, be open to learning and unlearning, and most importantly, be patient and persistent. The benefits of agility await on the other side!