In a previous blog post, we explained why businesses should adopt agile marketing and its benefit in the long run. Now, numerous marketing companies have embraced this ideology, and newer teams need to focus more on predictability than speed. Marketers tend to be overloaded with tasks, and this causes them to miss deadlines; not only is it frustrating for the company, but this can strain their relationship with other departments which rely on them. Marketing teams must deliver 100% of their committed work 80%of the time; This is the metric we want to strive for in agile marketing.
Predictable agile marketing teams have these three things in common:
The team self-selects work
A predictable agile marketing team has a well-prioritised backlog of work, but work should never be assigned to the team. When a marketing team is allocated a task with the deadline, they will always say yes willingly, despite how unrealistic the work may be. Whereas with agile marketing, the team must select the work they feel confident completing with the given deadline, to avoid disappointment. Teams must aim for a shorter cycle, which allows them to become more accurate in their predictions of what can get done. It is recommended that the team commits to working for one or two weeks at the most.
The team must examine their backlog items one by one and discuss whether they can complete it by the deadline, selecting a few tasks until they have a full plate. Marketing teams must analyse how much time they require to complete a task; if it is more than one to two weeks, they should consider some buffer time. It is human-nature to over-commit, therefore to be predictable, plan only about 80% of your teams time.
The team makes a commitment
A predictable team ensure they focus and complete the tasks which they are assigned. The “Fist of Five” (or “Fist to Five”) is a technique which helps teams to formalise commitment. A fist means no, whereas a five is the highest level of confidence. This method allows teams to decide which tasks they must complete first based off everyone’s confidence in doing so. When they discuss a few items, they are aiming for a majority of 4’s and 5’s. If the teams’ confidence is lower, consider removing items and voting again until the entire team have a high level of confidence.
Interruptions are minimal
If you are completing your work but stop every few minutes to look at your phone, or check your emails, you are not working very efficiently. Some interruptions are a normal part of the job; however, if the team is continuously stopping and starting, they will struggle to complete their work on time.
A method teams can use is the agile marketing sprint, which is a planned time for the team to complete their work with minimal interruptions. If your team struggle to keep to a plan, try one-week sprints. This strategy can increase the teams’ efficiency in completing tasks by minimising interruptions and distractions.
When your agile marketing team is predictable, it can improve their relationship with other departments, and they can avoid disappointing them. Once trust is built, there will be less pressure on the team to meet unrealistic expectations set by stakeholders. Most importantly, you will have a happier, more productive and a less stressed team of marketers.