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Which of these frameworks are more appropriate to a marketing team; Kanban or Scrum?

I lead Marketing at a print-tech startup, and I just finished my introduction to Agile course. I think Kanban would work better for a marketing team because of the continuous nature of the work marketing teams do. However, it is not exclusive as special projects can be executed with the scrum framework. 

Do share your thoughts, I would like to learn from you.



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Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Jan 23, 2023

Welcome to the Atlassian Community!

Short answer - Kanban.

You're right about Kanban. 

Scrum is a structured way of running a cross-functional delivery team.  The sprint function is for building delivery objectives in a planned and expectational way.  But iteratively and flexibly.  It rarely adapts to new work during a sprint, because that messes up all the planning.

Kanban is a structured way of running a cross-functional delivery team that reacts to the current situation as it happens.  My preferred phrase for Kanban is "drinking from the firehose" - stuff gets raised, you deal with it.

Marketing is very much "get stuff done", there's not a need for the iteration or reporting on "how we are delivering" that Scrum does.

But yes, I would suggest setting up Scrum for specific projects where there's a lot of ring-fenced stuff that a team needs to do.  (Scrum is highly focussed on Team X delivering product Y, so it can work when you have a specific marketing goal)

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Although, it depends on the situation so Kanban might be the right call based on the ground reality.

I have had a challenging situation in past where I had multiple marketing teams to manage. Organizational policy was to bring the complete Marketing department on Scrum. There were challenges/resistance but over the course of couple of months the whole marketing department was on Scrum and everyone saw the benefit in adopting it.

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My division is New Applications in Software, but I have worked with our Marketing department by offering tricks on Atlassian's Jira and Confluence products. For us, our Marketing department had researched about Scrum vs Kanban for their own usage. They decided to go with Kanban, because often times its a "one and done" rather than "we did alright, but this failed or caused problems, so let's put this in our to-do list and fix it on the next go".

As @Nic Brough -Adaptavist- pointed out, Scrum follows a strict style of how things are managed, completed, reported and what is expected (usually in 2 week durations). Its a very narrowed focus on one part of a larger goal. 

I like explaining that Kanban can be seen as stairs and Scrum is a enclosed waterslide.

  • Kanban allows you the flexibility of going up or down the stairs (features) whichever you see preferred, in the event something comes up and you need to address it (stopping to pick up a lone sock on the stairs, than continue walking the stairs), and you want to see the entire picture of where everything stands (seeing the staircase as a whole). 
  • Scrum is a waterslide at the amusement park, where its more of a one-way. Scrum has a "flow" so-to-speak, where if you stop your sprints (in the middle of sliding) then it hurts and you have the gushing water still hitting you trying push forward. It's a narrow focus where you cannot see anything, but what is strictly in front of you. It is meant to guide you and the team to the end goal by eliminating all the distractions.
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Karyna Tyrnavska _SaaSJet
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
Jan 24, 2023

Hi, @Oreoluwa !

In our team, we use the Scrum framework, but with 1-week sprint. And also we have a great article about recurring tasks in the marketing dep. Hope, it`ll helpful.

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