The Pitfalls of Scrum as Agile Marketing Approach

Rosanne Bal Door: Rosanne Bal,  24-03-2017
Onderwerp: Agile Marketing  

Scrum and marketing can be very strong allies. Especially for plannable work, Scrum can help you to work more effectively, create focus and learn more often. In the end, these aspects lead to more successful marketing campaigns, maximized value and continuous surprises for your customers. This promise makes Scrum a good framework to start your Agile journey with.

However, be aware of the pitfalls. This article outlines the most common pitfalls of Scrum in Agile marketing and gives some practical tips on how to prevent them.

Lack of clear goals

We often see this: Having no clear and simple-to-remember goals in your organization or marketing department, teams tend to wait-and-see behavior and do only what they are asked to do. This is not what Agile Marketing wants to achieve when taking about self-organizing and empowered teams. To prevent this pitfall we advise to:

  • Define one or more inspirational goals for the organization and your marketing department
  • Deeply understand them by repeating the question ‘Why’
  • Be transparent on the progress towards these goals

To be able to do that, it is important to define a set of KPIs and measure them frequently – preferably every iteration.

Focus on efficiency, not effectivity

We often see marketers running against the clock and working overtime to get all their work done to reach their targets. The Scrum Framework is created to help focusing on the most valuable work that needs to be done. But, we also see marketers using Scrum to seek for possibilities to maximize their efficiency – trying to get the same amount of work done even faster?!

To prevent this pitfall remember this fact: with the Agile mindset it is not important to do as much work as you can, but to learn as fast as you can what your customers really want. We advise to decide together with your team what values the most when creating campaigns. And doing no more additional work.

Blindly following the Scrum framework

The Scrum framework describes a set of roles, events and artefacts. We often see that implementing the Scrum framework, as written down in the Scrum guide, becomes a goal of itself. Most teams only focus mainly focus on the process, not maximizing the value.

To avoid this, we advise to focus on the why and what your team needs to do to learn how to achieve this. Using Scrum can help, but not using Scrum but applying the Agile mindset can help as well. There are more Agile frameworks to look at.

Underestimating the change itself

Every change has an enormous impact on people and teams involved. This applies for starting with Scrum as well. It even requires a change in mindset and culture. This is often underestimated. We advise to give your marketing teams:

  • Space to learn how to best coop with the change itself
  • As much support as possible – clear goal, trainings etc.

Concluding, there are pitfalls to keep in mind when starting with Scrum in marketing. With this article we addressed some of them and shared our learnings with you on how to prevent them.

We’d like to share more experiences and learnings with you in our Agile Marketing training. See you soon.

5 things every agilist could learn from Bob Ross

Teun Menting Door: Teun Menting,  21-03-2017
Onderwerp: Agile  
--Yes, Bob Ross!

Even though Bob Ross failed his ultimate goal, to get me to pick up a brush and enjoy painting, he has never failed to relax me. I will probably never pick up a palette or hang any Bob Ross inspired artwork on my walls, still his soothing voice and repetitive brushstrokes calm me down after a busy day. Recently some of the things Bob says to help explain how he paints stuck with me and I noticed that they are directly applicable to any agile way of working. So, if you are like me and you won’t let Bob Ross teach you how to make (very cliché) artwork, at least let him teach you these five things to keep in mind.

Modern programming languages - bloated or powerful?

Harm Pauw Door: Harm Pauw,  17-03-2017
Onderwerp: Code quality  

On March 7, 2017, Microsoft released Visual Studio 2017 and with that support for the seventh version of the C# programming language. C# 7.0 adds support all kinds of new features including Value Tuples, Pattern Matching and Nested Local Functions. With each new version, the language keeps growing with new features. Since it's conception 16 years ago features were added for functional programming, parallelism, asynchronous programming and more.

C# of course isn’t the only language that offers a broad range of functionality to developers. Most modern languages used today offer developers a lot of functionality. One could argue that, while these new features provide value, it becomes harder and harder to know, understand and apply the full potential of a programming language. You also often don’t need all functionality. Therefore, one could say the languages are bloated and it might be better to keep a language simple and concise. 

Distributed Agile Teams KickON

Cleo Kampschuur Door: Cleo Kampschuur,  10-03-2017
Onderwerp: Distributed Agile Teams  
Twee werelden die enorm van elkaar verschillen, maar tegelijkertijd ook zo goed bij elkaar passen.

India: het land van kleur, familie, godsdienst, lekker eten en ‘ja-knikkers’.
Nederland: het land van molens, fietsen, gelijkheid, nuchterheid en botheid.

"Dont Roll-Back, but Fail Forward"​

Willem Vermaak Door: Willem Vermaak,  10-03-2017
Onderwerp: Software Release  Continuous Delivery  
Let me start by admitting that the quote is not mine. I wish I was able to come up with this. The credits to this remark go to a software engineer I worked with during my time at

Why I Don’t Like Chief Product Owners - The Not SAFe For Work Version

Wilbert Seele Door: Wilbert Seele,  06-03-2017
About two weeks ago I published an article about why I didn’t like Chief Product Owners. This article was written from a SAFe perspective, which as you all know has several roles dealing with scope. In that article I argued strongly against the title Chief Product Owner, and explained why it was a terrible idea.

My first 100 hours as a consultant at Prowareness

Bas Flapper Door: Bas Flapper,  06-03-2017
Onderwerp: Consultancy  
The first of February I started as a consultant, a week later I was coaching teams for my first client. These 100 hours were scary, frightening, overwhelming but most of all warm, joyful and fun.

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