As we know, Scrum is the perfect framework for IT / software development projects to learn, adapt to change and deliver great software of value, faster.
But is Scrum also usable outside of software development? Can we apply similar or maybe even the same principals in other departments in the enterprise?
Yes, we can! And yes there are differences but there are also a lot of similarities.
We (Remco en Me) successfully implemented Scrum in the marketing departments of two large companies: The ANWB and ING Bank. Both companies are now using Scrum for the development of new campaigns, their full commercial expressions and even at the product development level. They wanted a faster time to market, more ownership, and greater innovation. How did we approach and realized a transition with those goals in the marketing environment? And what are the results?
So when we are not delivering software but other things, how does Scrum change? Well, a great deal actually. The people working in these other departments are, in general, quite different to those in Software Development (and yes more than you would expect). This means coaches or change agents need to take another approach.
Since the people are different, it is possible to go faster or ‘deeper’ in certain areas. Entrepreneurial skills or ambitions are more present in marketing. This gives a sense of ‘act first apologize later’, taking ownership, a higher drive to succeed, and upfront and willing behavior. Scrumming here means thinking more about business goals and KPIs (how to go from department to scrumteam goals for example). After that the fun begins…
I will be speaking about this topic at agile 2014. A great honor offcourse to be standing there. I will also attende the conference and therefor try to post some updates here.
To read more about this topic you can read my publication about marketing scrum. It has the extensive research paper I publisched about this story. Please feel free to give me comments and questions either about agile 2014 or the paper.
Enjoy reading the paper:
Marketing scrum vs IT scrum – two marketing case studies who now ‘act first and apologize later’