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Agile Marketing: Sprint 7

It’s the Little Things That Make a Big Difference

The last two sprint were a good reminder for us. It was just a few weeks ago that holidays and training threw us for a bit of a loop, and sprint 7, which ran from 1/27/2015 to 2/2/2015, did the same.

Our big project for 2015 is the integration of Marketo. We are super excited it is hands down the largest technology purchase the company has ever taken on. We have a great opportunity, but a successful rollout is absolutely critical for the team. There is a lot riding on the project.

Part of the rollout is the initial training and getting everyone up-to-speed on this new software product. None of us have any Marketo experience, so we are starting from scratch. Of course, that means this week and next, team members will be attending 12 hours of training spread over 4 days. As luck would have it, training times are set for different intervals of the day, and due to some weird timezone communication on Marketo’s part, some team members will be in training during our usual 9am sprint stand-up meeting. Nobody’s fault, but lesson learned again.

The stand-up is sacred.

It has a huge impact on the group’s morale and their success, and we need to protect it. That’s something our Scrum Master and Marketing Owner are going to have to remember.

Other little changes are also continuing to show value. We’ve continued to denote tasks on the backlog that are added during the sprint. We are doing what we can to protect the plan we set for the sprint, but it is the nature of marketing to have these time-sensitive items popup out of nowhere. One interesting thing we are trying is to keep track of these points that get added during the sprint to see how they affect our velocity and the number of points that are left on the board at the end of the sprint. This week 330 points were complete, with 24 of those being points that were added during the sprint.

One exciting change is that we actually had to make our taskboard larger. We basically were running out of room on the backlog and done sections. This is a good problem to have.

Overall though, we learned again that the stand-up is sacred. Going forward we need to protect its time slot. We also learned that straying from the process can hold us back. We don’t get as much done and we aren’t as efficient. So, while it may seem like we can cut corners here and there, it is really those little things that have a big impact on our success.

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