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There is one team at every company that is noisy, messy, and usually with completely different work processes from all others. Yes, the Marketing team.
By its means, quite often, the Marketing team is the hardest one to transition to new types of working methodology because of the essence of its work. Deadlines, latest news, spontaneous updates are just a few drops in the ocean of events which may occur during a 2-week Sprint.
How Botron's marketing team transitioned to Scrum and Agile?
First, we were introduced to the methodology and provided with enough freedom and information to find a way and stick to it. Welcome to our list of initial problems:
1. How to have enough visibility in a fast-changing environment like the Atlassian Ecosystem?
2. How to plan and build your core initiatives for a 2-week track?
3. How to be productive and get the most of your Jira & Confluence environments?
Let's say that we spent some time figuring things out - 1 and 2-week Sprints, moving some major tasks through the Sprints, splitting the big tasks to finish the planned part within the Sprint. It took almost a year to get things up and running in a way that is not making us unhappy or counterproductive. Diving into some of our pillars of existence:
Learn from the best
Stop trying to invent the light bulb, read and learn, then observe and adapt. We spent time asking our colleagues, people who we are working with, and even lectors at one of the Atlassian Summits. The first change was born: plan, prioritize, get less load for the Sprint to have the possibility to hop into an unexpected task (like social posting, quick news publishing, or organizing a present for your colleague's newborn). Sounds obvious but we still had some situations like "it's not Scrum when you add things in the middle of a Sprint without warning." Sorry, not sorry.
Get the maximum from your tools
In the beginning, the Marketing team had one Jira project to track and visualize its progress and one Confluence space to gather all knowledge. After a whole year of countless articles, information, events, and drafts, we were drowning in a sea of words, and it was almost impossible to find anything in our Marketing Confluence. The second change arose: separate all initiatives, create an archive, and keep them in good order. It was a one-week effort to arrange our new spaces, and we transitioned from one main Marketing Space to 9 new spaces with their specific purpose, information, and needs. Once you organize your closet correctly, and you'll be forever happy.
Jira is not only for the Dev Teams
It was a big mistake that we thought of Jira more like a useful dev tool, and completely not relative to marketing. At first, we were adding our more significant tasks like campaigns, newsletters, events, etc., without looking more deeply into the details. Like our sample task "Atlassian Summit blog post" - great, perfect, nothing more to add, we'll remember all the things that were discussed around this topic.
Of course, we won't remember all the things discussed before the event. And writing the details on our notebooks and Notes was only making things worse. Jira is about details, visibility, and responsibility. Breaking your tasks to their smaller pieces and moving one step after another is bringing more focus, much more productivity, and eliminates the need to ask one another what is happening and who is working on what. Sure, there are times when you feel less creative, and you need to jump on something different, but when your work steps are carefully and precisely defined, it's an easy flip.
I should mention that at the beginning, our team was utterly unfamiliar with the Atlassian Stack and its capabilities, so we evolved bit by bit with a lot of stupid jokes behind our backs
Stay tuned for Step 2!
* thanks to the awesome Simon's Cat for helping me illustrate my article 💙
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