David Doss
Notes from War Stories on Real World Agile Marketing
David Doss, January 15, 2015

David Doss was kind enough to share his notes from War Stories on Real World Agile Marketing by Jascha Kaykas-Wolff.

Organizations – CEOs make 3 commitments:

  • Accountability
  • Finances
  • Innovation

Key Points:

  • How organizations work
  • What Agile is
  • Toolkit

Richard Foster – S&P 500

  • Successful organizations, with successful thought patterns
  • Most successful companies that get on SP500 have stayed on SP500 for 72 years
  • Looking for a pattern of success from sales
  • 5 years from now, ¾ of companies on the S&P 500 today won’t be … future predictions are closer to 17 years that companies will stay on S&P 500

What is Agile? – How are product teams working?

  • Processes
  • Reading Recommendation: Peacetime CEO Wartime CEO by Ben Horowitz
  • Peace Time:
    • Waterfall process:
    • Customer = marketing
    • Were taught that there was only one way to build software
    • (Only one process to build software for customer)
    • Waterfall stopped working
  • War Time
    • Agile Development Manifesto
    • Customer = channel
    • Popularizations of social networks
    • Customer revolt
    • technological change
    • cultural change

The Agile Toolbox – in peacetime vs. wartime

  • Storytelling is math
    • Best storytellers – best ability to change perspectives – had high marks in math
    • Access to data about the customer experience
    • Being influential vs. telling people what has to happen:
    • Peacetime: use math as influence tool
    • Wartime: math sets the priorities
    • You can still use systems even when you are being directed
  • Words are seeds – character and plot
    • Using literary techniques to better influence
    • Peacetime: well-written user story is FOR the user
    • Wartime: the user BECOMES the business
  • Hypothesis Testing
    • Peacetime: hypothesis creation creates a infinite set of options. Improve the user experience, change behavior, etc.
    • Wartime: hypothesis creation must be linked directly to revenue
  • Feedback
    • Marketing is very bad at:
    • Communication between people
    • Time management
    • Agile built on solid feedback
    • Feedback is suggestive feedback
    • Negative feedback comes in circumstances that are meant to provide positive feedback
    • The backlog needs to be prioritized
    • Peacetime: the backlog is organizd by the durable teams and prioritized by the product owners
    • Wartime: the backlog is organized by the drable teams and prioritized by the BUSINESS owners

Key Takeaways

  1. Agile systems are well equipped to support change and management in Peace AND War Time
  2. Good communication is at the center of the Agile System but War Time necessitates a balance of top-down and bottom-up decision-making
  3. The widest purview MUST set the priorities in War Time
  4. Better environment for communication that spans outside of the office and lasts longer in the professional sphere beyond a specific job

Q & A

  • Planning cycle happens TOGETHER as an organization
    • 3 meetings introduced into the group:
    • Acceptance meeting
    • Spike week – intermediate week – non-local communication
    • Share day – walk through the user stories (context) of what has and hasn’t worked …
  • Agile developed in engineering world and went across into marketing world
    • Difference between sales and marketing? The following are helpful across all the organizations:
    • Standup and backlog help communicate priorities
    • Share day
  • What kind of tools recommended for small organizations to apply Agile:
    • Trello – backlog organization
    • MyManager (MindManager? MineManager) – reinforcing user stories
  • How to deal with inertia in organization:
    • Everyone in organization is there to do something for a personal reason
    • Specific people don’t want to change a process that has already shown success for them and for a company
    • Best way to promote a change is to demonstrate that it has a high probability of success
  • Examples of how to make customer experience more agile?
    • Need to shorten onboarding process
    • Fewer clicks
    • What if invite were a registration permission?

Filmed January 15, 2015 at Zendesk