What is agile marketing?
Before we get into what agile meetings are and how to structure them, it’s important to understand what the word agile means and how it’s incorporated into a business. Don’t worry; it doesn’t require you and your employees to become agile like cheetahs. Well, at least not in the physical sense anyway…
Agile marketing is when your team uses and analyses data to plan projects, carry out tests, evaluate results, and solve issues all within a short period. It consists of a series of ‘sprints’, which are usually 1-4 weeks in length whereby a specific set of tasks are set with the aim of being completed within that sprint length. So yes, it’s kind of like being agile as a cheetah, you and your team need to be fast, efficient, and streamlined in your approach to marketing (just with less chasing gazelles across the savannah).
It takes most large B2B companies as much as 8 months to launch major campaigns. By adopting an agile approach, you can drastically reduce this timeline, as well as significantly improve product development and overall brand awareness. In 2020 alone, the number of marketers using agile strategies increased by roughly 25% because of the benefits it provides.
What is an agile team meeting?
We all know the frustration of sitting in a meeting or on a zoom call that seems to last for days rather than hours and leaves you wondering why it wasn’t all just said in an email. The eye rolls and groans during those useless meetings seem far too familiar, right?
Agile team meetings are the polar opposite. They’re hyper-focused, quick, and efficient. The aim is to keep the meeting focused on a specific aim, avoid any irrelevant discussion, and ultimately allow for each member of your team to walk out feeling like they’ve used their time productively, and know exactly what they need to do next. Your employee's time is vital, you want them to spend the majority of their working hours on the tasks they’ve been set, not sat in meeting rooms involved in discussions completely irrelevant to the work that needs to get done.
To be agile in your marketing, you need to host team meetings that are quick, well organized, and productive.
Who should be at agile team meetings?
To make the meeting as efficient as possible, only invite people who need to be there. Inviting people who don’t will waste time as they won't have anything useful to add, or need to be caught up on the status of the projects. Who the relevant people are will vary depending on the type of agile meeting you’re hosting. However, key people who should always be present are:
Agile Development team
The groups of employees are assigned specific tasks and work collaboratively to get each sprint done.
The delegated leader of the agile development team helps keep the team on track and ensures they are following the agile principles.
The person responsible for the work of the development team and who oversees the outcomes of each sprint.
Stakeholders within your business will also be invited to attend some of the meetings. This will usually be at the end of the sprint where the meeting focuses on showing stakeholders the value that the agile team has provided to the business and its overall growth.
Decide on the type of agile meeting you’re hosting
The length of the meeting, key topics that need to be covered, and the meeting outcomes are dependent on the type of agile meeting you’re hosting. Below are some common types of agile meetings that you can incorporate:
A sprint-planning meeting
This meeting focuses on the organization and planning of your next sprint. Discuss key aims of the sprint and identify what work needs to be done to achieve them. Allocate tasks to each team member along with specific time goals for when they need to achieve them.
These meetings are highly effective as they prevent employees from getting confused about what work they need to get done and when by. Meetings that incorporate sprint planning have proven to be that effective, that 58% of marketers now incorporate sprint-planning into their business. So what are you waiting for? Get sprinting!
A daily stand-up meeting
Stand-up meetings are designed to update the team on the current progress of the sprint and solve any issues your employees are experiencing. They’re called stand-up meetings because they’re meant to be that quick that they finish before anyone can take a seat, but don’t worry, you can sit down if you like!
Allow each team member an allocated amount of time to discuss their progress focusing specifically on what work they have done, what they’re planning to do next, and any struggles they are facing. The scrum master should take note of this and then provide solutions to any issues at the end.
The meeting should only last around 15-20 minutes, so each member needs to focus on getting straight to the point within their allocated time. Try to hold these meetings every morning and in the same location so employees can get there on time and the meeting can start promptly.
A sprint review meeting
A sprint review is essentially where your agile team shows off their hard work and resultant success to the key stakeholders within your business.
Plan to show exactly what tasks have been completed, what your outcomes have been, and how this has benefited your customers and the overall growth of the business. Allow time for stakeholders to ask any questions and provide their feedback too.
These meetings tend to last a bit longer, usually around 1-2 hours as they allow for a deeper discussion between your team members and stakeholders. A sprint review is not only great for showcasing the value of agile marketing to the business but also for developing the morale of your team members and showing them the worth of their hard work.
A sprint retrospective meeting
Similar to the sprint review meeting, this meeting will focus on looking at what your last sprint achieved. Analyze its performance and look at what can be improved for the next sprint. Allow team members to speak individually about their experience in the sprint and what they feel they can take forward for the next.
Stakeholders don’t attend a retrospective meeting, it’s usually just for your agile development team members to allow for an easier discussion and a deeper reflection of your past sprint.
Take care in how you schedule and host your agile team meetings
Before hosting an agile meeting, it’s a good idea to have a clear agenda to follow that's organized into specific time blocks. This will ensure you get through everything you need to without the meeting lasting for longer than needed. Planning out a clear agenda to follow will also prevent you from going off track and discussing other topics that aren’t relevant to that specific meeting. For example, you don’t want to be discussing your next sprint in the same meeting that you’re solving an issue with product development. These need to be separate and kept separate.
If possible, it’s also a good idea to try to host your agile team meetings in person. 36% of workers say they're less engaged when joining a remote meeting, and a lack of engagement can affect the effectiveness of your agile meeting.
However, agile team meetings can still work remotely if needed and can be just as efficient as long as you focus on keeping engagement high. For example, provide copies of the meeting agenda beforehand, so employees are aware of how the meeting will progress and know exactly what is going to be discussed and when.
If your team is fairly large, utilize breakout rooms to allow for smaller discussions. These methods are great for keeping the discussion relevant and engagement high in a remote setting.
Stop those yawns in aimless meetings and get agile!
It’s no coincidence that agile team meetings have become popular amongst marketers. It’s what makes a meeting more focused, efficient, and productive.
It’s a good idea to start slow when incorporating agile strategies into your business to allow employees to get used to that way of working. Start by introducing a few agile elements and build from there, for example, introduce daily stand-up meetings with your team or add in a retrospective meeting at the end of one of your campaigns to review the success. Over time, you and your team will become better adapted at being efficient in your meetings and will eventually be wizzes at hosting the best agile team meetings!