Case Study: Agile-marketing team

The regional division of an international company from the world's top 30 in the FMCG sector approached us for assistance.
The company's strategic objective is to shift from a "make customers buy our products" model to constantly following and satisfying customer needs through constant innovation.
The head office has decided to become an Agile company. This can’t be achieved only by changing the work principles in divisions that create new products. The entire organization needs to change, including marketing and sales.

As the regional division responsible for marketing and sales on the local market lacks sufficient expertise in Agile and transformations, it chose AgileLAB as its partner. The main focus of the collaboration was determined to be the launch of an Agile team in marketing.
To launch the Agile marketing team, the following activities were carried out:
We conducted training for all employees (about 800 people), immersing them in the concept of business agility and the work of the agile team. 
This activity had two goals:
  1. To create a shared understanding of where the company is going and what will change as a result;
  2. To identify volunteers interested in working in the new approach. 
Team members self-selected for a new team. Apart from the professional competencies, an essential aspect of the selection was the sharing of agile values and the ability to be a team player. 
This gave essential prerequisites for the success of the rest of the organization: 
  1. Voluntary participation in the new team;
  2. Intrinsic motivation to successfully apply new approaches to work;
  3. Sharing common values to build a cohesive team;
  4. Having all the competencies in place to bring the expected business results.
The formed team began working in short iterations using the Scrum framework. The Scrum master was selected from the team members. This was an employee with expertise in the context of the team's tasks and the Scrum framework. 
A Scrum workshop was held for the team and stakeholders. For the team, it allowed them to test their understanding of applying the framework and for stakeholders to get acquainted with it in practice.
There was a training on product management practices.
After only a few short iterations working in the Agile approach, the team has already noticed an increased work efficiency. 
  • They began to get results and feedback on them faster. This happened due to the transition from working on large campaigns in sequential phases over a long period to working in small increments. 
  • Improved quality of decisions because of constant collaboration of all involved in the process instead of separate work of each expert on their tasks. 
  • Increased engagement in the team's tasks and the continuous improvement of the entire process of working on marketing campaigns. 
The widespread adoption of Agile approaches in IT and the small number of examples of their application in other areas leads many to be skeptical about the application of Agile methods of work outside the development of IT products.
This launch of Agile in Marketing shows that Agile approaches can produce tangible results in many areas outside IT development. The factors that made launching new practices successful are pretty applicable to launching Agile teams in other areas as well:
  • Launching the first team with volunteers only;
  • Providing leadership support in transitioning from current positions to the new team;
  • Teaching the new approach to work not only to the team itself but also to everyone who interacts with it;
  • Trusting the team to choose ways of working, inventing new practices and processes;
  • In an Agile marketing team, it can be more effective to teach Agile approaches and provide mentoring to an evangelist of new approaches from the same organization with domain expertise in the tasks the team will do than to hire an experienced scrum master from outside;
  • The requirements for depth of expertise and experience in different industries for Agile consultants supporting such a launch are more significant than for the IT industry.
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