All order must initially begin with chaos. The scrum is your arena for determining what is critical, what can wait, and how success will be judged in the coming year. It is a fiery debate of data, metrics, and touch of intuition. I am not going to lie, I kind of like it.
Let the Games Begin.
Set a date, establish the team, and have them start gathering the necessary data. You are going to want to have access to all the metrics and customer insights at your fingertips when the process begins. Moreover, establish one person in the organization to act as the lead person to organize the meeting. This person needs to have enough authority to get everyone to do their pre-meeting homework and show up at the required time. If this is left to no one, the meeting will most likely fall behind the list of everyday tasks and will not be done. Discipline in this area is critical. Make it an annualized function that happens at the same time each year – people will get used to it.
A Holistic Approach
Planning is not a job for just one department. A good plan requires many voices; sales, marketing, operations, finance, customer service – all should be involved.
Start with Your North Star: Customers
The customer is the ultimate compass. The initial scrum process is the time to recalibrate this compass and dive into customer insights. Focus on customer needs and challenges and how you can improve their journey from ordering to shipping to payment – anything that enhances their experience is on the table.
Start with Data. While every company is different, your marketing team should be well-versed in the key metrics that drive success. These are the pulse checkers to determine how well the strategy is being enacted. NOTE: Whenever possible opt for lead measures over lag measures. Lead measures are the specific activities that an organization has determined will lead to success (e.g. – an established number of sales calls per week). Lag measures, on the other hand, can only be judged after the fact (e.g.- revenue) and therefore are too late to do anything to influence the outcome. For example, if the revenue number comes in 20% low for the month of April, it is too late when you have that number in hand (in May) to effect any change for April. If, however, you know based on history, that 20 sales calls per week per salesperson produces the desired amount of revenue than that becomes your lead measure, and you focus on that. The lag measure is then used to confirm or deny if the lead measure is accurate. In essence, if your lead measure is correct, the desired lag measure will take care of itself.
From Chaos to Order:
By the end of the scrum, you should have achieved the following: