A Marketer’s Guide to Agile Development – Top 5 Reasons Marketers Hate Agile

DISTRUST – THEY’VE BEEN BULLIED BY A ZEALOT
Agile can be a revolutionary marvel when everyone keeps their egos in check Marketers’ egos especially. But marketers feel burned when Agile development professionals, drunk on empowerment, start delivering what they think the marketer should have asked for instead of what they actually did ask for. As said in previous posts, the marketer blames Agile practice for this arrogance, not the practitioner. Especially when they’re on the receiving end of the lecture on how there’s no need for turf wars because Agile is collaborative.

FEAR – THEY’RE AFRAID FOR THEIR JOBS
Some Agile teams mistake empowerment for omnipotence. User experience, email best practice, product demand and ROI, SEO impacts, call-to-action placement – marketers develop deep expertise on best practices over long periods of study and immersion. Do they feel threatened when an Agile developer two years out of school feels her expertise equals theirs because she read “Don’t Make Me Think” over the weekend? Affirmative.

FATIGUE – THEY’RE AFRAID TO TAKE A DAY OFF
The marketer’s project requirement was scheduled to take 2 hours of coding time, but the dev team hit a snag. In the land of Waterfall, marketers were rarely if ever asked to stop their daily activities to accommodate coding questions. No, they’d be asked if they had an opening on Friday, (sorry, golf event, how’s Tuesday?) to discuss the coding dilemma nice and civilized over an International Coffee Cafe Mocha in the conference room with the new comfy chairs. Then Agile comes. Suddenly, marketers are stalked on their way to the loo to make decisions NOW. No scheduling. No Cafe Mocha. Standing, no comfy chairs. And if the marketer or a proxy isn’t available, a member of the development team makes the decision for them. Yeah, tee off without me, guys. And pass me a can of Monster.

JEALOUSY – THEY’RE NO LONGER THE COOL ONES
Marketers always attended the cool events and conferences, controlled the cool swag items in the prize closet, wore the cool threads. Now the dev team gets the paintball outing, attends SES on the opposite coast, has the interesting desk toys and rocks matching team logo retro bowling shirts. Marketers who perceive loss of status tend not to embrace their usurpers with open arms.

CYNICISM – BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, BOUGHT THE SOUVENIR TEASPOON.
What does Agile remind some marketers of? Sweatin’ to the oldies. MBO. Process Re-Engineering. Six Sigma. Quality Circle. Knowledge Management. Total Quality Monitoring. The Ultimate Question. Peak Performance. One Minute Manager. Email blast. Greed is Good. Once these initiatives were that dreamy guy in the Lethal Weapon movies, now they’re just Mel Gibson. Many marketers don’t want to get all sweaty again for a fad that will fall out of fashion. So they simply stall and wait for it to be over. You know, like Prince says the Internet is.

A Marketer’s Guide to Agile Development – I Pledge Non-Allegiance

Sign the Oath of Non-Allegiance!
Oath of Non-Allegiance

“I promise not to exclude from consideration any idea based on its source, but to consider ideas across schools and heritages in order to find the ones that best suit the current situation.”

Love, love, love this oath – from our friend Alistair Cockburn. Why is it needed? To remind turf warriors and methodology zealots that Us Versus Them intolerance robs the business of progress. The Oath has lots of uses, because projects unfortunately tend to spawn multiple factions: Continue reading A Marketer’s Guide to Agile Development – I Pledge Non-Allegiance