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Time management for a marketing department: Scrum

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Managing time in marketing can be a complicated task given all the things that have to be done on a regular basis. However, with the Scrum method you can work twice as hard in half the time because, as its creators, Jeff and JJ Sutherland, say, it is a way of managing a team that synchronises and works towards a goal. Moreover, this method has been widely tested by Google, Amazon, Toyota and American governmental organisations and they ratify its virtues and good results.

how to do Scrum Marketing?

Scrum Marketing is a highly versatile work methodology that has as one of its main purposes to deliver value to customers as soon as possible, without the need to have completed the project.

It is also based on three fundamental pillars: the transparency of its operation, the inspection within the company and the adaptation of the team members.

Gestión del tiempo para un departamento de marketing: Scrum

what tools exist in the Scrum methodology?

  • Product Backlog: This tool is an inventory containing any type of work to be done on the product: requirements, use cases, tasks and dependencies. It is the main source of information about the product in Scrum, a list, in any format, containing all the requirements that need to be implemented in the product. This list is the result of the Product Owner's work with the client, who is the owner of the product, and reflects the actual state of the work to be implemented in the product, as well as the work already done.

The Product Backlog must be managed exclusively by the Product Owner, and its main function is to prioritise those elements that have the most value at each stage and detail them so that the development team is able to assess and execute them. In the same way, a Product Backlog contains different elements: functionalities, user stories, technical tasks and research work.

  • Sprint Backlog: The Sprint Backlog is the list of items to work on during the Sprint stage. These items are usually composed of smaller technical tasks that allow to achieve a finished software increment. In the same way, this artefact is an element to visualise the work to be done during each Sprint and is managed by the development team. Its purpose is to maintain transparency within the development, updating it during the whole iteration.

The list of objectives to be completed in the iteration can also be managed through a task board called Scrum Taskboard. Next to each objective, the tasks necessary to complete it are placed in the form of post-its, and they are moved to the right to change their status (to be started, in progress, done). For each team member, smaller coloured stickers can be used on each task, so that it can be seen which tasks each one is working on.

  • Increment: If the Scrum method had to be reduced to one thing, it would be to deliver a piece of finished software in each Sprint. An Increment is the result of the Sprint, it is the sum of all the tasks, use cases, user stories and any element that has been developed during the Sprint and that will be made available to the end user in the form of software, providing business value to the product that is being developed.

what other less important tools exist in Scrum?

  • Definition of Done (DoD): The DoD is a document that defines what is considered done in a Scrum Team. The idea is to establish a common set of criteria to specify when an item is completely finished.
  • Definition of Ready (DoR): The DoR is a document that defines when a requirement (user story or similar) is considered ready so that the development team can understand it, assess it and include it in a Sprint Planning with the idea of undertaking it in a Sprint.
  • Burndown Chart: The Burndown Chart is a graph of work outstanding over time that shows the rate at which objectives, requirements, or user stories are being completed. It allows extrapolation of whether the team will be able to complete the work in the estimated time.

Gestión del tiempo para un departamento de marketing: Scrum

4 ways to improve time management in marketing

Apart from the Scrum method, there are also ways to save time and be better organised in marketing or inbound marketing. Some of them are:

  1. ask the hard questions first. If you get bogged down in the day-to-day minutiae, you won't be able to focus on how all the pieces fit into the overall strategy and how they play a role in the end. You will end up wasting time on fruitless tasks and projects instead of on the work that really counts towards achieving the main goal.
  2. re-evaluate the usefulness of your meetings. Determine which meetings are necessary and which are not. Also, restrict the number of participants, only select those who have something to contribute.
  3. leverage data and analytics. If you don't use the statistical data and analytics at hand, you are making uninformed choices that mean spending time on the wrong tasks or initiatives. Leveraging the data available will allow you and your team to focus on the next steps that actually contribute to the bottom line. You also eliminate superfluous and uninformed tasks.
  4. streamline your technology: Technology is a great help for today's marketing executives, especially productivity and project management tools.

We hope that with the Scrum methodology and all the tools we have provided you with today, you will streamline your tasks and allocate your time much more efficiently.

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