Marketing professionals are starting to take their cues from the manufacturing industry and adopt lean agile principles to improve performance and value. A common tool in lean agile practices used in manufacturing are sprints. The two practices are complementary, and achieve significant results when applied appropriately.
Recently, a marketing director with a Fortune 100 organization observed the lean agile process of sprints in their engineering team. They would use month long bursts (sprints) to create and test the potential value of projects. At the end of each sprint, the engineering team would examine what worked and what didnâ€™t. If it was deemed a success, the process was adopted. If it didnâ€™t, then the process was eliminated from consideration. The marketing director found inspiration in the process and success of the engineers, and imagined the same success in the marketing department. Research shows that 77% of marketing departments had adopted lean agile practices in the past five years. Of those respondents, 67% of those organizations increased revenue and profits. This clearly shows the potential of lean agile practice performance in the marketing profession.
Marketing Lean Agile Sprints Work
In this specific marketing department, the director adopted the lean agile process of their engineers and started on a new journey of excellence. The director prioritized a list of their most important projects and delayed lesser ideas until later months. They went to work and ran sprints on their top priorities. When they made their marketing process more customer centric, they also found they started sharing a common language with others in the organization. The overall team started working together and better understanding individual roles. The marketing department developed the process to where they would run a large project and two smaller ones each month. They were able to focus the efforts of marketing to better fit into what the rest of the organization really need form the team. They developed a year-long plan for their sprints, which significantly improved the overall effectiveness of the marketing team. The marketing department was better able to say no, not right now to requests and really focus on what made a difference for the entire organization. The entire team was able to become more comfortable with both failure and honesty. It was like new life came into the department. A mindset developed within marketing that they could experiment with campaigns to reduce workload and effort when putting a new product into the marketplace.