SCRUM project management is a not a tool for just developers, but instead can be applied towards many departments and areas in your business. But while you might know the steps to scrum’s methodology (the sprint planning to the sprint retrospective), scrum’s success really depends on the team organization and collaboration aspects. Here’s what your scrum team needs for successful project completion in a marketing department.

Organizing for Scrum

There’s a little bit of planning and organization that needs to be done before you even begin a sprint. First, you will want to set up your teams. Depending on the size of your marketing department, it’s important that you keep the team size small enough to coordinate your goals and objectives. While the original standards for scrum recommended not going larger than 9 people in a team for a development department, marketing teams might benefit from a few more hands in order to work on  multiple single user stories. However, a single team should not be larger than 12 people. In fact, having multiple teams can help narrow the sprint objectives, which can be better for quality control and efficiency.

Marketing teams will also need a Scrum Master and Product Owner(s). The Product Owner oversees the marketing backlog, and makes sure that the right items are prioritized in order to clear the backlog. The Product Owner is the only one that can change the backlog, and must make sure that the team is aware of what the backlog contains in order for it to be completed. For marketing teams, there might be a need for 2 or 3 Product Owners, since there might be a need for more input into the backlog construction.

The Scrum Master differs from the Product Owner by becoming the point-person, leader, and liaison to all things scrum. The Scrum Master focuses on making sure the team, Product Owner, and overall office on how scrum works, and what needs to change in order to maintain an efficient scrum framework. This dedicated position focuses solely on the scrum method, and can help your team make the adjustments needed to complete the backlog. For example, the Scrum Master would be able to point out if the planning meetings are working, when new prioritization methods need to be made, or if objectives themselves need to be narrowed down. The Scrum Master therefore does not have to be working on the team and its goals, but rather focuses on quality control for the scrum process.

Overall, success occurs when the team is managed well, engaged with the methodology, and when all members buy into the format and culture scrum creates.

Scrum’s Success

According to the 2015 State of Scrum Report by Scrum Alliance, 95% of company respondents to Scrum Alliance’s survey said they plan on continuing to use scrum in their organization. Those same respondents had an average of 62% success rate with their sprints, and that number is growing as they implement the scrum methodology for longer. And of that group, 26% are running scrum in their sales and marketing areas.

But who exactly is using scrum? Technical companies like Google love to use scrum and have seen its success on particular projects. For example, Google uses scrum for its AdWords team. Adobe has also successfully implemented scrum for their LifeCycle projects. But marketing teams and companies have joined those ranks as well, and you can read about the Kula’s success with it here.

Overall, scrum project management takes time to adapt to and perfect the process. In addition to perfecting the model, there needs to be a culture embraced with your team that will encourage collaboration and failure. Scrum is made to be more engaging and collaborative with your employees and team members, and shifting importance and credit towards the team as a whole, rather than the successful (or unsuccessful) tasks completed by one individual. But as you use scrum more, you’ll find an improved work culture and environment that will engage members and grow your business success. To learn more about scrum and its framework, contact us.