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9:00am

Can Marketing Go Agile?: Randall DeFauw
    Thursday August 16, 2012 9:00am - 9:30am @ Ft. Worth 7

    Perforce adopted Agile processes several years ago for Engineering. A mix of Scrum and Kanban techniques are in use and are widely seen as having delivered real improvements. Several managers at Perforce saw this success and wanted to reap some of the same benefits in other departments. In 2011 Perforce extended Agile processes to Marketing. Coaches were brought in and a Scrum pattern was quickly established. A year into the experiment, Marketing has seen visible improvements in transparency and collaboration. As might be expected, much work remains to be done. The eventual goal is similar to DevOps: Agile teams and processes in each department with cross-department collaboration. As we get closer to that goal, all the parts of the company will be more closely aligned and pulling in the same direction to help the business. This presentation will describe the initial transition to Agile, including all the pitfalls and growing pains. Just adopting the basic structure of Scrum (e.g. daily standup meetings) helped improve team communication and made management more aware of the work being done. But Marketing is a truly cross-functional team with schedules heavily driven by external events and other departments, with remote workers and a partner team in the UK. Some of the questions we encountered early on were: * What really constitutes a team? We all report to the same manager, but technical marketing, corporate marketing, and outreach all have very different tasks and goals. * Our sprints are heavily schedule driven: Engineering schedules and conference dates dominate our planning. That feels a lot like waterfall project management. * The whiteboard is now project management system #5. What works well inside the office doesn't work well for the folks in London or working remotely. How do we manage our communication? The current state of Agile in Marketing will come next, followed by our vision for 2012. Ideally, Marketing becomes more closely aligned with Engineering. We're looking at the right way to handle that, including options like 'scrum of scrums' or aligning scrum teams around projects instead of departments, while being aware of the dangers of rocking the boat too much. We’d like to share our experiences to help others avoid some of the challenges we faced, and hopefully learn from the community about how to drive forward. We haven't solved all the challenges yet, but we've made progress. This brief presentation will be relevant to development team leads, product managers, technical marketers, marketing managers, IT: those interested in implementing Agile practices in non-Engineering departments for intra- and inter- department productivity gains.

    Speakers

    Type Insights - Experience Reports
    Session Type Lecture
    Audience Practicing
 

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