HOME Forums The Six Disciplines of Agile Marketing book Feedback from Johan Svensson

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    Jim Ewel

    Hi Jim

    As an agile transformation coach focusing a lot on non-tech-teams (often with marketing focus) the questions I often encounter are around organizational dependencies (internal / external) and the change of mindset needed within the individual and the organization that applies Agile ways of working. If I would give you 2 topics to elaborate on for marketing squads in your book it would be:

    1) Organization – How can we as a medium/large company create cross-functional marketing teams where people are 100% allocated, when we have many specialists that are scarce “resources”, needed on several teams. There is often a situation where specialists need to jump between teams, not feeling very focused and the team morale goes down.

    2) Agile mindset – how can we change the mindset from “specialist”, doing things on my own, focusing on being busy and efficient, to “teamplayer” where focus is co-creation and value delivery through team collaboration. In the beginning of working Agile the reactions are always “there are too many meetings”, “I am not efficient”, “I am wasting my time, I need to be in front of my computer, focusing on getting my stuff done – not ideating on how to solve problems with the team”

    / Johan

    Jim Ewel


    Thanks for the great feedback.

    I devote an entire chapter to your first question. This is always a hard question and there is no easy answer. However, I’ve never found a company that errs to far on the side of cross-functional teams rather than silos. I outline an exercise in the book called the Pizza game (you can find it online, but I run a variant of it) to demonstrate the friction associated with silo’s and having people on multiple teams. There are a few situations where specialists are justified: videographers, photographers, etc. In most cases, if you think you could consider a part-time contractor, that’s a specialist role. But there are lots of other functions that often get put into silo teams, that shouldn’t be. My pet peeve is creative departments. I’d blow them all up and distribute the creatives (while building chapters per Spotify) for professional development.

    On your second question, I devote about a third of the book to changing beliefs and behaviors to the Agile mindset. I identify Four Shifts that have to take place, including shifting from a focus on efficiency to a focus on effectiveness and generating customer/business value.

    That said, you’ve given me a few ideas that I think will improve the book.



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