How Hubspot began using Scrum to manage tasks...and everything got better
Getting more done in less time. Those six words would make any manager brim with excitement. That’s also the key takeaway from Joel Traugott, a marketer at HubSpot, about his experience adopting Scrum into the software company’s work routine. He recently joined Ryn Melberg on The Guardian Podcast to discuss the many ways Scrum improved his workplace and how they used Scrum to manage tasks.
Scrum is an “agile framework for completing complex projects.” Though originally intended to speed along software development projects, its creators quickly realized that it would be an effective tool for all sorts of team projects. There may be no industry for which that’s truer than content marketing.
Joel would know. He’s a self-described data-driven digital marketing geek who has experience working for a number of agencies and SaaS companies. Joel had grown frustrated with the bloated editorial calendars that were bogging down team projects. The pre-Scrum workplace looked something like this: employees spent valuable time planning up to a year in advance just to see those plans fall apart down the line, multiple editors independently editing the same content, and unnecessarily long queue lines to get approval to write even simple blogs. It’s no surprise that projects were missing deadlines with this many inefficiencies.
After three months of learning how to leverage Scrum, Joel became the “Scrum Master” — the leader of his HubSpot team’s renovated approach to content marketing. The changes they made may seem simple, but the benefits can’t be overstated. Using Scrum to manage tasks made a huge difference.
The biggest change may have been the shortening of the editorial calendar to a more manageable and flexible 2-4 week time frame.
You manage a remote team and heard about how Agile increased productivity in the software industry. You've seen the fruits an Agile approach and are wondering how to make the magic happen with a remote team.
Is it even possible? You bet it is! At DistantJob, we use it in all our teams, from recruiting to marketing. Agile enables our lean teams to tackle massive undertakings quickly. Not convinced? We've put together a free ebook with a primer to Agile as a remote solution and several case studies. It's a fast read, so grab it if you're not familiar with Agile in general.
Our remote teams do Agile using a “Scrumban” method. "Scrumban" means that we take a bit from two popular Agile frameworks, “Scrum” and “Kanban.” Whoa, weird names already? Don't worry - we're going to keep this light on theory and heavy on practical stuff.
It all starts with the daily standup
A daily meeting with all hands on deck - that's the heartbeat of our Agile process. Sounds weird for a remote company, right? After all, any of our teams might have people spread across five different time zones! But there is no denying the benefits of everyone knowing what everyone else is up to on any given day.
The stand-up helps the team bond across a shared purpose. This meeting helps everyone understand that they're not working in solitude. They're not waiting for, or handing off, work to faceless entities on the other side of the computer. The daily standup also helps people understand how their work impacts the rest of the team.
Our daily stand-ups follow a simple formula. Each person tells the team: