In a previous post, I wrote about our marketing team’s transition to Agile Marketing and what we hoped to achieve. As part of the retrospective process in Agile marketing, we will continue to post about how things are going…so here goes.
Week one in Agile marketing, our first sprint, was incredibly eye opening. There was very little left in our first sprint’s backlog or in our blocked column. We were hyper-productive. It will be interesting to see how next week’s holiday vacations impact our productivity.
What was really exciting was that it was clear this week that the team is bought in to this Agile marketing transition. Our designer was correcting people’s Agile terminology, when they slipped into old habits and we had people correct each other when individual focuses were allowed to trump the team’s focus. To explain, the statement, “I have all of my tasks done for the week. Should I move to stuff for next week?” was responded to with “Well what’s the next most important thing for the team tackle?” It was exciting to see the team come together and start putting the team’s collective need over their own individual need.
Another exciting development was others outside the department took notice. They would come over and look at our task board to see what we were working on or where things stood. We weren’t even through our first sprint and our transparency was already improving with stakeholders.
All in all, week one, sprint one, was a success.
One of the keys to our success was that we didn’t get caught up in trying to tackle everything right off the bat. We continued to use our normal one-week focus as our sprint length, even though traditionally teams use two-weeks. This helps us minimize the change we were taking on from the start. We will be attempting a two-week sprint next week because of the holidays, so we will see how that works out.
Another thing that contributed to our success was that we jumped right in. Monday morning the team came into a task board setup with that week’s tasks and we got to work. We definitely cut some corners, we never had an estimating session and we didn’t get all of our daily stand-ups in, but we did however keep our momentum from class. We also had our first retrospective after this week’s work, which was exciting. We talked through some of this week’s positives and negatives as a group and we will be incorporating some of that feedback into next week’s sprint.
The team is off to a great start, but we face an interesting challenge next week in much of the team being out for Christmas and New Year’s vacations. Hopefully we can stay on pace, but I’m excited by the value we’ve shown in just the first week.