For years now, Agile has been relied upon by dev teams to pile through work with greater efficiency and speed — and now it’s crossing the aisle and penetrating marketing and creative teams who are reaping its benefits. But what does that mean and how does it really work?
For Workfront’s creative director, Dave Lesué, and his team of graphic designers and video production specialists, it all starts on Monday morning with the sprint planning meeting. That’s when they review the backlog of everything that’s been assigned to the team and create a prioritized list. Any item, or story, that’s too big is broken down into smaller chunks. They then plug in rough time estimates, and based on the number of people working that week, they’ll bite off a week’s worth of work.
“I shoot for 30 hours of planned work per person per week,” says Lesué. “There’s always going to be meetings and last-minute drive-by requests, so we leave time open for that. When we first started Agile, I’d aim for 20 hours of planned work and 20 unplanned, but as the whole organization matured around us, we’ve been able to increase that, and at some point, we may be able to increase that even more.”
Once in execution mode, the burn-down chart becomes everyone’s bible. It’s a detailed accounting of each item that the team is working on and what stage it’s at in development, from waiting to be started to waiting for verification all the way through to completion. And it’s displayed on a large monitor for everyone in the organization to see.
“I try to be uncomfortably transparent,” says Lesué. “That way anyone can see the priorities and who’s assigned to what, and what stage it’s at.” Certainly, it’s a way for an organization to get a true reality check on the number of items any marketing team has on their plate at one time — and appreciate all that’s vying for their attention.
It also pushes the team forward throughout the week. “It’s surprisingly motivating for team members to be able to see if we’re ahead of schedule. The burn-down chart will turn green if we’re ahead of schedule and red if we’re behind. It’s a really good motivator,” says Lesué.
Lesué has also created custom charts that show him the split of work assigned to everyone. He reviews these throughout the week to ensure no one’s overloaded. And if he sees someone is struggling and hasn’t identified any roadblocks, he can go to them proactively to figure out the issue and get back on track before there’s any kind of serious meltdown.
His advice to those wanting to adopt Agile into a marketing or creative environment? “Roll out Agile agily,” he says. “Don’t try to make this one giant change all at once, but start with a small pilot team of people and siphon off a portion of the work and assign it to this team — and don’t roll out every aspect of Agile at once!”
Of course, there’s lot more to it, and in this webinar you’ll hear a lot more detail from Lesué on the ins, outs, ups, and downs of integrating Agile — and perhaps most rewarding, how it’s increased morale and reduced churn on his team by 100 percent.
Don’t miss out!
In this webinar, you’ll:
- Hear first-hand experiences from current creative teams using tried and true methods to build faster and respond to industry trends quickly
- Learn ways to increase the number of great ideas and proof of concepts
- Use data to analyze and capitalize on changes in projects, marketing and industry trends… before your competitors know what hit ‘em.
- Capture the lightning in a bottle that ensures amazing customer experiences.
David Lesué, creative director, Workfront
Samir Patel, CEO, Growth Machines
Jim Ewel, CEO, InDemand Interpreting
Stewart Rogers, director of marketing technology, VentureBeat
This webinar is sponsored by Workfront.