16th March 2015

As a company who lives and breathes agile through BDD and DevOps across our technical functions I thought it was about time that us commercial guys follow suit.

We’re quite a lean commercial team as it is; we all get involved in sales, marketing, events and whatever needs to be done. This is great if you like diversity but not if you’re time precious and are sacrificing ‘must do’s’ for those ‘more interesting’ tasks. Everyone wants to throw their opinion or expertise into designing a newsletter or to planning the next big event, however what about those cold calls, follow ups and market research that are just as important or even more important when it comes to identifying and winning new clients.

In addition, my team and I are getting tired of continuous back and forth questions and Skype threads about ‘have you followed up on this’, ‘what is the status’ and ‘why isn’t this updated’ to both my team and back to myself. This internal chat is starting to appear counter productive as it promotes collaboration but also too much chatter.

What are we doing?

  • So…we have setup a LeanKit account with Kanban boards with the intention of holding fortnightly sprints to achieve milestones that will propel us forward.
  • Starting with Aspirations, the team submit¬†Ideas for discussion and we then progress valid Ideas into Reality¬†or not
  • Reality tasks are reviewed and prioritised in the Monday morning meeting and moved into Doing Now which has Team, Strategy, Sales and Marketing sections. Anyone of us can sit in a section, the task determines the section not the persons role
  • Finally, after Ready to Start, In Progress and Ready for Review, we complete the task and it is archived for future reference and for benchmarking future tasks

Not only will this give us clarity, focus, accountability and an audit trail but it should help us commercial folks better understand the agile process and maybe think about BDD and ChatOps for the future…I think it can be done.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll update you on progress, failures and successes as well as some things, ‘if any’, that have helped or hindered us as we adopt agile.

 

About Liam McDowell
Liam tries to keep our clients happy. He is a complete control freak so don't touch his suite of pens, cutlery or dare to sit in his chair!