Marketing Scrum Experimentation

Agile methods can organize marketing efforts: asset production, brand development, strategic brand alignment. However, it may not be a perfect fit: marketing tasks are often short-lived; “debt” is a different concept; prioritizing is perhaps more important, estimation less so. We are experimenting with these concepts at Citrix Online. We hope to gain insight by looking at other organizations.

Scrum challenges the status quo. Engineering Scrum radically rejects traditional assumptions: that engineers must meet external deadlines, that engineers bear no responsibility to disseminate in-progress work, that market conditions do not change. Scrum forces other departments—marketing, finance, product management and operations—to adapt to it, causing anxiety and sometimes rejection. But in the process of struggling with Scrum, some non-engineering departments are discovering Scrum has something to offer them in their own work.

As Citrix Online, the company where I work, has gained comfort with Scrum, our marketing department has started seeing its advantages. They wondered whether Scrum could be used in marketing.

We interviewed Richard Leavitt, Senior VP Marketing at Rally Software, which uses Scrum to organize its Marketing Department. We gained insight into how stakeholders and forces pull marketing work. We started to understand why marketing needs Scrum.

Here is a video that Nick Kim and I produced to convince them. It’s a Pecha Kucha presentation, so it’s only 6 minutes 40 seconds long (20 slides, 20 seconds per slide). Does it communicate the concepts well?

We are in the early stages of applying Scrum to Marketing efforts. I may post later about our experiences. If your marketing department uses Scrum or another agile organizing process, please contact me. I may include your experiences in a later post.

Postscript: The Agile Marketing screencast was recorded and edited in GoView, an experimental product developed using the Scrum process. I was the ScrumMaster for the GoView project.

4 responses to “Marketing Scrum Experimentation”

  1. Ron Lussier Avatar

    That’s a really clear and succinct little presentation. Any chance you could do one for artists and designers? One issue we have at Glassdoor is bringing our design talent into the scrum process.

  2. VeronicaH Avatar

    Really interested in this. With all of our R&D now moved to Agile, it seems silly for us Marketers to not look at this seriously, and I’m looking both at Agile and Kanban for ideas. I think in the end it’ll be a simplified hybrid system I adopt. Have you read any other good bloggers on the subject of implementing Agile in Marketing? I’m hoping to really find some quality thinkers on the subject. Your video is excellent, I’m showing it to everyone here.

  3. Dan Greening Avatar
    Dan Greening

    Thanks Veronica. While there aren’t other bloggers working in this area, I am assembling interested marketers to join together to discuss this topic further. Of course, since this blog publication I have talked to a number of other companies and Citrix Online has gotten further in its own agile marketing approach. Send me a separate email (dan at and when there is a critical mass I may put together a join GoToMeeting discussion on agile marketing, to think together through further issues.

  4. Jill Avatar

    I’m curious to know if anyone has implemented Scrum without having fully dedicated teams. We have a large strategic marketing department, aligned primarily by industry, however we don’t have a production team that’s equally staffed. I am in the midst of piloting scrum but find bottlenecks with shared resources.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.