As an early marketing adopter of the Agile Scrum system in the Indianapolis Tech community, it was important for the team to commemorate the milestone and reflect on how it will continue to impact their work priorities in the years ahead. Agile has fit in well with the PERQ company culture.
PERQ’s marketing team is a model for effectively applying Agile Scrum to marketing projects and tasks. For those unfamiliar with Agile Scrum, it is simply a way of quantifying the amount of time and resources that are spent on different marketing projects by breaking them down into tasks and planning for the next two weeks, called a “sprint.”
The team then begins each day with a short meeting called a “Stand Up” where they share what they worked on the previous day. After each two week sprint ends, they recap and highlight the different works they produced and what they learned and completed.
In the past two years of using the system, the team has seen productivity increase and clarity surrounding various projects’ scope solidify. Insight into each team member’s daily duties has allowed for more collaboration and awareness of tasks that need to be completed.
Said Head Graphic Designer Wade Gillespie, “Before AGILE, I wasn’t always sure what tasks I had to get done each week. The Agile system makes me feel more far more efficient and productive.”
As the team enjoyed margaritas and chips and salsa, they echoed Gillespie’s sentiments, especially in terms of how the agile system has made it easier to take project requests and allows for easy pivoting to accommodate changes in priorities.
However, Director of Marketing Muhammad Yasin has realized that for the past few sprints, the “Sprint Planning” meeting hasn’t been as productive, and wanted to take the time to modify some aspects of the meeting. Things need to be shaken up!
“I want us to continue to get as much out of this process as we did when we first began using agile,” said Yasin.
“I especially want to make sure that the team continues to grow and learn as they work on their projects and that this meeting continues to make us a better team.”
PERQ company culture is focused on smart growth and innovation, and in the coming year, the team’s focus will also be on growth and professional development. Some modifications being made to the Sprint Planning Meetings agenda include:
- The “What Went Well” Section will now focus on “Big Wins” for each team member, as a way to showcase strengths or achievements that might not necessarily have went smoothly during execution, but ended in a win or a success.
- Renaming the “Lessons Learned” section to include “What did you struggle with?” to provide team members the opportunity to reflect on challenges they made have faced that still may have an unresolved “Lesson Learned.”
- The addition of a new section entitled “Something to think about.” In this section, team members will take turns each sprint bringing a TEDTalk or other piece of information that they think is interesting and that the group can benefit from seeing. The presenter will give a little background to why the found the video valuable.
The team will also begin incorporating more formal methods of personal development. Yasin ordered “Strengths Finder 2.0” book for each team member to help them assess how they can be a team asset by playing to their strengths. The team is planning to discuss their findings during Sprint Planning and work through the book individually in one-on-one meetings with Yasin.
All in all, these changes are to the benefit of everyone on the marketing team, as well as the company as a whole, and are fitting of the work hard/play hard PERQ company culture!
Also discussed during the 100 Weeks of Agile Marketing Celebration was the team’s hopes for new hires. The team wants to hire new members in the coming year, specifically an B2B Inbound Demand Generation Manager. The new team member will manage the many channel partnerships that will help propel PERQ forward into different business’ minds as leaders in interactive content software.
These hard skills are going to be critical to the new hire’s success, but there is also the critical element of soft skills at play in hiring for this position. The new team member will hopefully be not just a great PERQ company culture fit, but also a great PERQ marketing team fit. As the team played a humorous card game at New Day, they mused over whether or not playing a round of the game with a prospective job applicant would be a discerning interview technique.
“That’d be an amazing gauge of their sense of humor,” said Content Specialist Felicia Savage. “We’d learn so much about them… maybe a little too much.”
Savage continued to muse, “I don’t know. Honestly, as long as whoever we hire can appreciate a good cat video, I think they’ll fit in just fine with PERQ company culture and the culture of our team!”
Joking aside, the team was reminded of how a great sense of humor is an important quality to their team. It’s a group that genuinely enjoys working together and having each other’s backs. They enjoy celebrating their wins and growing professionally, and work together well taking the time to teach each other. The marketing team’s company culture is truly a special thing to be a part of.
And they’ll cheers their margaritas to that!