Agile Marketing Workshop

We recently ran a workshop during our second Agile Marketing Meetup in Shanghai focused on User Stories.

17 People attended so we divided the team into 4 tables of 4 people.  I made a small introduction on Agile Marketing, explained what the workshop would be about, gave each table post-its, pens, a cheat sheet with user stories examples and a glossary with agile marketing terms. Each member of the team had to propose a project (could be real life project or something made up) and the team would then decide which project to run with. The person whose project would be chosen would become the PO (Project Owner) and steer the team in the direction he wishes his project to go.

From there the teams had to define user stories and success criteria for the first couple of sprints and break them down down into executable tasks. Those tasks would then be prioritized for the first sprint and the team would finally have to discuss points and each member would be in a position to chose which tasks he’d lile to take control over during that first sprint.

Needless to say, what looked good on paper when I was designing it, did not go that smoothly during the workshop. This is what actually happened:

- Teams spent too much time deciding on a project

- Some of the attendees did not fully grasp the concept of user stories

- None of the teams reached the last part of the workshop (distributing tasks to team members)

- The 1hr workshop lasted almost 2hrs.

Despite all of those negative points, we only had positive feedback from the people attending the workshop (as you can see from the comments in the meetup group: and most of them are looking forward to the next one.

I believe there is a lot of room for improvement and, being the first workshop, we can only get better in the next ones. Already I can see couple of changes that we will operate:

- Time control: We will divide the workshop in 3 to 4 different parts with a specific chunk of time allocated for each part.

- More detailed presentation prior to the start of the workshop

- Projects will be assigned at the beginning of the workshop

- There will be a member of my team on each table to act as a Scrum Master and facilitate the teams efforts.

Our next agile marketing workshop will be on thursday November 22nd. For those of you in Shanghai you are more than welcome to join here. This time we will focus more on personas and experience mapping.
You will also find hereunder the deck I used at the start of the meetup. If you have any ideas for future agile marketing workshops, let me know in the comments as well.

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  1. The first time always takes at least 2x the time expected get to a final list of tasks per team/member in a workshop or kick off. In advance I have real examples in place from their list and it helps move thru user stories and task breakdown. I also walk away from Scrum board and have the teams figure it out telling them I’ll be back in hour. Surprise more tasks on board than I expected. Keep up the great work Eric!

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