Every year and even every month, new technologies, markets and competitors spring up, and today’s businesses have to be agile to be able to face the impending challenges. In such an unstable environment, traditional principles of managing product development may lead companies to failure. If the product requirements change drastically from the time the product is designed to the moment when it is released, it can result in the delivery of outdated products. Otherwise, ineffective change management processes may destroy product development, and the product will never be delivered.New methods in project management Nowadays to be successful, a company has to be fast to adapt. Driven by business priorities, managers use progressive methods of product development aimed to cure the mistakes of traditional approaches. Some of these methods acquired the name of agile project management. These methods originated in R&D departments and now are introduced in marketing as well. Markets change quickly, forcing you to reposition your product. When you introduce an innovative product, it’s not clear how you should promote it and what the customers really need. Very often when innovative products are born, manufacturers and customers may not know how or why the products will be used, so it’s not evident what specific features of a product will or will not be valued. Playing in such markets entails a process of mutual discovery by customers and vendors – and this just takes time. According Clayton M. Christensen’s book “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” research has shown that the vast majority of successful new companies abandoned their original business strategies after trying to implement their initial plans and learning what would and would not work in the market. This shows how important it is for a company to quickly evolve its strategy and tactics.What is Scrum? Scrum as a marketing project management methodology Marketing is often executed in project-based manner. That is why a lot of generic project management principles perfectly apply to marketing and why marketing should also be optimized, similar to project management techniques. Agile cycle approaches to marketing may help to overcome problems experienced by marketing executives. One of these approaches is the Scrum methodology, which has originally been developed as an agile software development method for project management. Now Scrum is successfully employed in Agile business transformation by hundreds of different companies, such as Yahoo.com, Wildcard Systems, H&M, and John Deere, in many different fields, with outstanding results. Scrum adopts an empirical approach, accepting that the problem cannot be fully understood or successfully defined in a predictable and planned manner. The focus of Scrum is on maximizing the team's ability to deliver quickly and respond to emerging requirements. This method is praised for making the team more productive, reducing risks and maximizing the business value of a developed product and minimizing the period of the development time. Scrum is based on defining sprints - time periods (usually 2 to 4 weeks) during which the prioritized work (sprint backlog) should be done. During a sprint, the team gets together for daily meetings where team members discuss what they have already done, what they are going to do till the next meeting and what prevents them of doing something that they planned to do. In other words, Scrum meetings are supposed to keep teams on track and help members get their work done. At the end of each sprint, there is a brief sprint retrospective at which all team members reflect about the past sprint. According to Ken Schwaber, co-creator of the Scrum meeting method (along with Jeff Sutherland), the purpose of a daily Scrum is to keep teams focused "on their objectives and to help them avoid being thrown off track by less important concerns." Now Scrum is often viewed as an iterative, incremental process for developing any product or managing any work. Indeed, short and regular meetings can be as important for small marketing teams as they are for production teams. Members of a marketing group may be working on a variety of projects, but they're all working toward the same goal – marketing the company and its products or services. Therefore, every member of a team has to know what the others are working on and what direction the whole team is moving in. Collaborative project management software for Scrum in marketing The Scrum approach to marketing becomes even more efficient when empowered by Enterprise 2.0 technologies. New- generation software, especially tools meant for project management, bring collaboration to marketing and can make it more productive. These applications (I will call them Project Management 2.0 software) let team members easily share information on the projects and tasks they are involved in and help every team member see the whole picture of the company’s marketing strategy. Project management 2.0 software makes collaboration and management more transparent, letting everyone know who is accountable for what and by when. Scrum in marketing makes the possible problems visible at early stages and allows coping with them quicker and with minimal losses. One of the major Scrum principles is “no problems are swept under the carpet.” Every team member is encouraged to describe the difficulties he is experiencing, as this might influence the work of the whole group. Discussing problems early also helps to reduce financial risk. With the beginning of every sprint period, the business owner can change any of the marketing project parameters without penalty, including increasing investments to enlarge consumers’ quantity, reducing investments until unknowns are mitigated, or financing other initiatives. A new approach to marketing requires flexible planning, which is possible with the help of collaboration software. In the ever-changing business environment, short-term marketing plans based on sprints can be much more effective. Marketing managers get an opportunity to switch from one promotion method to another, if the first one proved to be unsuccessful during the sprint period. It also becomes easier to clarify due dates of every small, but important task, to each member of a team. For example if a team is getting ready for a fair, it should be clear about who is responsible for preparing handouts, who will make a presentation about a product and who will design the company showcase. With Project Management 2.0 software, like Wrike for example, it becomes possible for everyone on the team to contribute to the plans, edit and update them. New-generation software brings stakeholders and partners into the collaboration process. Their input and feedback will help shape the marketing agenda along the way. The clients can be involved, too. In fact, the principal aim of every marketing team is understanding customers’ needs and helping clients achieve their goals. In today’s enterprises, achieving the heightened customer loyalty – what brand marketers refer to as “emotional lock-in” – is especially challenging when an organization is dealing with tens of thousands or even millions of customers. Empowered by the new-generation software, Scrum lets you involve your clients in the marketing process and take advantage of the wisdom of the crowds. Collective intelligence helps to improve the quality of products and services and make them fully satisfy the consumer’s needs. Scrum lets you promote your product not for a client, but together with your client. Customers can be involved in various ways. For example, they can literally participate in the development process by sending their feedback and contributing to the plans. So, as we can see, innovative management methods brought to marketing make a company more agile and let it respond quicker to the needs of the emerging markets. It makes a company even more successful when empowered with Enterprise 2.0 tools that bring collaboration into organizations. They help improve communication and turn it from one-way (from a company to its customers) to two-way (from a company to its customers and back), helping to improve products and services. Now you know the Scrum basics, you can see how helps a company make its marketing policy nimble and lets it promote its products with lower costs, avoiding unnecessary money and resource spending and helping to reveal possible mistakes in the initial planning. The result is maximization a company’s benefit.
Agile teams are more productive, more satisfied with how their teams manage work, and can deliver results faster. But just because Agile is flexible, doesn't mean it's a free-for-all. In order to embrace the adaptability and speed of Agile, you need the right processes and an organized framework. And you need a work management tool that will bring structure to your work, while allowing for the kind of customization needed to support your team's chosen Agile approach. In this article, we'll show you how to set up a Scrum process in Wrike, create an Agile work breakdown structure, and determine what a project dashboard should contain. How to Create a Scrum Dashboard in Wrike This approach requires the custom status feature, so you'll need either the Business or Enterprise subscription plan. If you're not already using Business or Enterprise, start a free trial. You’ll also need to have admin privileges to set up your Scrum workflow in Wrike. 1. Here's how to build the workflow: Select “Account Management” under your account profile, then click the Workflow tab. Click on “+ Create New Workflow” and give your new workflow a name. Hover your mouse over each section and add statuses. Include statuses for Accepted, In Progress, Ready for Review, Changes Needed, Completed, On Hold, and Cancelled. (Your workflow may vary slightly, especially when it comes to your particular review and approval process.) Once you’re finished, click “Save.” 2. Once you have your Scrum workflow, you’ll need to set up your folders: Create three new folders, and be sure they’re shared with your team: a Backlog folder, a Scrum folder, and an Archive folder. Incoming work will be funneled into your Backlog folder, accepted or active tasks will be moved into your Scrum folder, and completed tasks will be added to the Archive folder at the end of each Scrum period, or sprint. 3. Since the first step in Scrum is to organize and prioritize incoming work, you’ll need to create a Request Form for people to submit new tasks and projects to your team: Go to your profile and select Account Management, then click the Request forms tab. Create a new Request form and make sure to include all the fields you’ll need to complete the work: i.e. requirements, due dates, goals, urgency, and business value. It’s also a good idea to include a field for a link to the task where the work will be done. (Once in Scrum, the Request task will act as a placeholder — think of it like a sticky note you move across a whiteboard — it’s not where the actual work will be done.) 4. Create a Dashboard from your Scrum folder. Create a new Dashboard and name it. In folder view, click the Filter icon and select the first step of your custom Scrum workflow. Then click the three-dot menu and select Add to Dashboard. Do this with each step of your custom workflow to complete your Scrum Dashboard. Note: Remember that tasks must be included in the Scrum folder in order to appear on the Dashboard. Also note that dragging tasks between widgets will automatically update their status—except if you drag items back into Requests, since this is a different folder than the rest of your widgets. In this instance, you'll need to click into the task and update the status. At the end of each sprint, create a subfolder within your Archive folder to house the tasks you completed and easily generate reports based on each sprint. Need More Help Setting Up Your Agile Workspace? If you're looking for more instructions on how to customize your Wrike workspace, implement Kanban scheduling, create custom workflows, or set up project Dashboards, check out the Wrike Help Center. You’ll find a searchable knowledge base, tutorials, live webinars, and a community of fellow Wrike users. Browse the community forums to ask questions and find out how other people are using Wrike with Agile, or learn new tips and best practices. Want more personalized help? You can always contact Wrike Support at support (at) team.wrike.com.
While there are plenty of advantages to becoming a Scrum team, transitioning from traditional project management methods to this new Agile methodology has its challenges. Scrum for Dummies presents this process in an easy-to-understand way and guides readers in implementing its strategies with their teams.