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Waste Removal: Getting Started with the Agile Marketing Navigator

We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, a new way for marketers to navigate agile marketing in articles. The Navigator has four main components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices, and Roles. Within these categories, there are several subsections to be implemented.

In a recent article, we introduced the Collaborative Planning Workshop and Launch Cycle. Now we’ll dive into the 5th of 6 key practices: waste removal.

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What is waste removal?

If you’ve ever looked in your closet and found you have a lot of clothes that you haven’t worn in ten years, you’re wasting. You are taking up space with things that no longer provide value.

Well, so is the way we work. Usually we’re just doing something because that’s how we’ve always worked. However, this legacy process may prevent us from becoming more agile (like we have to sift through 100 sweaters to find the one we want to wear).

In agile marketing, waste removal is about cleaning up our workplaces and making room for practices that really bring agility and purpose to the way we market.

When will waste removal happen?

The waste can be removed by anyone on the team at any point in time and should be kept on everyone’s mind constantly. Agile is about continuous, collaborative improvement, and this is one way to prove it.

The specific time at which waste removal can naturally occur is after the measurement cycle time. During cycle time measurement, the team identifies where slowdowns are occurring in the workflow and seeks to improve the current process. Actually removing the waste from the process is the next step.

Where common waste occurs

For many marketing teams, most All waste occurs in the form of review or approval. There are also unnecessary meetings, work outside the team, or siloed/broken processes.

Here are some common waste examples:

  • Endless creative reviews.

    Legal approval for each item.

  • The manager needs to approve the work but is slow to respond.

    Meeting Planning meeting.

    Dependencies on people outside the team, such as developers or agencies.

      Overcomplicated workflow.

    Any of these crap examples sound to you Familiar?

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    Empower the team to find a solution

      While saying “this is the process” or “it’s not my job to fix this Problems,” Agile Marketing is all about team ownership, accountability, and trying to solve complex problems.

      If you were a leader, how would you encourage your team to take action against this? It usually starts with giving them permission and space to creatively come up with solutions for new ways of working. It takes a step back and lets the team advise you, not the other way around.

      Let’s take the example of endless creative reviews. The team has determined this is an issue. If the team isn’t used to problem solving, as a leader, you can help facilitate brainstorming sessions, but don’t give them answers. Miracles happen when teams present ideas to leaders.

      Now that the team is having a brainstorming session, let them take a few minutes to determine why the problem is going on. As their leader, listen intently.

      They might find something like:

      • The team is frustrated and feels like they are not doing well.

          Team members are looking for new jobs.

          Work is never done while waiting for perfection.

      Next, they will come up with a solution to the problem. Spend 5 to 10 minutes thinking silently and have the team write a sticky note or something like an online tool.

      Their thoughts might look like this:

        limit creative review to 2 rounds.

        Provide objective feedback guidance for leaders, not just personal opinions.

        Get well-defined outcomes from stakeholders up front.

        Holds review work sessions to expedite turnaround time.

    With these tips please note that your Teams will be able to successfully navigate agile marketing and eliminate wasteful ways of working that do not add value.

    agile marketing workflow

    Operation Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest authors and not necessarily those of MarTech. The authors of the staff are listed here.

    About the author

    Stacy knows after all, What it’s like to be a marketer, she’s one of the few agile coaches and trainers who got her started there. After graduating from journalism school, she worked as a content writer, strategist, director, and adjunct marketing professor. In 2012, when she was experimenting with an ad agency client, she became passionate about agile as a better way to work. Since then, she has been a Scrum master, agile coach, and has helped teams around the world with multiple agile transformations. Stacey speaks at several agility conferences, has more names than she can remember, and enjoys practicing agility at home with her family. A lifelong Minnesotan, she recently moved to North Carolina, where she’s busy learning how to cook couscous and say “y’all.”



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