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Agile Marketing: Sprint 10

It is pretty crazy to think we are 10 sprints in already. I guess it does feel like our sprint zero Agile marketing training session was forever ago. And while it still feels like we are new to Agile, it is already pretty much ingrained in our team’s culture and processes. I can’t really imagine us ever not applying Agile marketing concepts in the future.

So, now for the recap of sprint 10, which ran from 3/3/2015 to 3/9/15.

This sprint the team was able to complete 366 points of work. Weather was friendly to us for one of the first times this year and there wasn’t any product or vendor training scheduled. However, the sprint’s points are pretty much on par with our recent productivity. The main reason, a new hire.

There is a lot that goes into on-boarding a new team member. There’s the usual HR paperwork and process training, but in an Agile system there are a number of more abstract concepts that you have to explain as well.

Autonomy can be a challenge for new hires

For one, working autonomously in a self-organized team can be a new experience. Everyone wants to be free to work and make decisions, but not everyone is comfortable doing it, especially when you are new to a company and/or team. Some thrive. Others struggle. This was a major factor we took into account when hiring this time around. Luckily, our new Marketing Specialist is vocal, excited and not afraid to ask questions. She is going to fit right into our Agile marketing system.

Devoting Ramp-Up Time 

One of the challenges in this system is that we didn’t actually devote specific tasks in our sprint to training our new Specialist. So, at times, people were training instead of devoting time to point completion. That’s not a huge issue, but we should have better accounted for this in our velocity for the sprint. That’s a tip for any of you about to go through an Agile marketing hire.

Another new thing we experienced was the challenge of encouraging a new hire to take items from the taskboard though they have limited process knowledge or a limited skill set. We hadn’t really accounted for that when planning the print before their start, which is something I’d do next time around.

So, what resulted was an occasional organic decision making process of what they should tackle next with various team members. While maybe a little less structured than I would have liked, I think it helped show the group decision making process and autonomy from day one.

Regardless, the team has another sprint under their belt, a new hire we are extremely excited about and a couple nice takeaways from the week.


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