Success Metrics for Lean and Agile Marketers

Success Metrics for Lean and Agile Marketers

Author: Andrea Fryrear / Source: Marketing Insider Group In Marketing Strategy What is it that makes a marketing team truly Agile? When d

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Success Metrics for Lean and Agile Marketers

In Marketing Strategy

What is it that makes a marketing team truly Agile? When do you know you’ve succeeded? What is the definition of a successful Agile transformation?

Before we can answer these questions, let’s quickly touch upon what being an agile team actually means. Simply having morning stand-up meetings won’t make you a Scrum Master, and getting a visual Kanban board doesn’t necessarily mean you are applying Kanban principles.

There is much more to true Agility than just a name and mainstream daily routines like Stand Up meetings.

Every team that calls itself Agile needs to go deeper than the surface practices and employ the core principles of Lean and Agile. Without them, any success measurements are meaningless.

Use this short checklist to see if you fit the minimum requirements of an Agile marketing team.

Quick check:

  • Is your work documented? A Kanban board is one of the great ways to do that. Don’t let work items exist only in the watercooler talk or get lost in the pile of emails. The health of your workflow can’t be evaluated if your work is not tracked.
  • Do you have WIP limits? You need to have explicit WIP limits that force you to concentrate on value-generating work. Not just that, but you need to adhere to the limits too.
  • Did you say no to multitasking? Multitasking is the opposite of productivity and has no place in a lean team. The cost of context switching will offset all of the benefits from the previous point. Singletasking should be a logical result of using WIP limits.

These three points are quite simple, but without them, none of the measures of success in a Lean or Agile environment would be possible.

The Metrics of Success for Lean and Agile Marketers

1. Cycle Time

agile marketing cycle time

The cycle time (CT) of a task is all the time between the moment the work on the task began and the moment it was marked as done. This metric reflects a customer-centered view on the time you take to deliver results.

Most of the time, your clients simply want to know when the project will be done. The exact breakdown of that time into individual stages and work organization is not something they care about as long as you keep your delivery date promises.

Looking at the cycle time for the same type of tasks gives you an idea of how quickly your team deals with that kind of task.

The rule of thumb is that cycle time for each task falls as soon as WIP limits are in use.

The cycle time of tasks on Agile teams tends to be dramatically lower than the time it took to accomplish the same kind of tasks before the team started its Agile transformation.

As the team perfects its processes, the average age of its tasks keep decreasing. Average CT might fluctuate slightly, as a number of internal and external factors influence every team, but any prolonged growth of the average CT should be a reason for concern and further investigation.

A serious increase of cycle time across your workflow could signify the emergence of a new bottleneck or a number…