Tag Archives: performance

A Marketer’s Guide to Agile Development – Wait…So Following a Plan is Bad?

The Agile Manifesto is quite clear about how much it values following a plan – not so much. Response to change gets the love instead.

Therein lies the marketer’s dilemma. CMO’s notoriously have a hot nut for project roadmaps – but Agile development teams often don’t welcome detailed plans – ooh, ick, they’re so Waterfally. So how do you assure your sort-of-Agile-not-really leader that you are executing on a marketing project plan that’s not being sequentially followed by the folks who are actually building the software?

Show him or her your backlog items.
It may be hard to get your C-level comfortable with a list of tasks that you have no guarantee will be done by the next sprint. You could add in the kanban, which is more of an operational aide than a executive presentation medium. But at least you can prove that you understand and have presented to the tech foks what needs to be done.

Demo the latest iteration of working software.
Sure – but beware of expectations. Marketing and Technology executives can define “working software” very differently. The apps dev team delivered a screen for the April 16th sprint release that slowly brings up week-old data from the dev server when you click the “submit” button. Server call performance will be addressed in a future sprint. The CTO: sprint mission accomplished. The CMO: my order history doesn’t come up – this thing doesn’t work.

Some advice – if the current iteration isn’t yet optimized for performance, don’t show it to the CMO. Sometime between pressing the “Let’s Get Started” button and the 112 seconds the app takes to complete the server call, you’ll lose trust. If the current iteration works with reasonable speed, but is missing some non-essential functionality, it probably won’t hurt to show the progress being made, with the proper caveats and disclaimers.

Pretend it’s still waterfall.
Show the wireframe of the screen in active development, and say “they’re working on this part now”. Hey, that worked for years.