WeSpeak Easy

Digital Marketing and Design

SCRUM

We live and breathe agency life. Spending every day working with clients in dozens of industries with a wide-range of different projects is what gets us up in the morning. However, working in an agency comes with its own unique set of challenges, particularly in the area of organization. Luckily, we pride ourselves on never missing deadlines. How do we do it? We use an organizational project management tool called scrum, which is a simple but effective framework that helps teams visualize their workload and makes it easier to work on multiple projects simultaneously.

It’s all About Points

A huge part of project management is setting realistic expectations for what our team can accomplish each week without working long hours or going over budget. That’s where points come in! Each task, no matter how big or small, gets assigned a point value from one to 10. The point value is based on time and difficulty to complete. For example, making a quick text change on a website is half a point, writing a 350-word blog is three points, and developing a website’s homepage is seven points.

Points are fabulous for so many reasons, both for the client and our internal team, including for:

  • Budget and pricing – when we sign contracts with clients, we use a points system rather than a number of hours. That means, rather than signing a contract for 30 hours a month for web design or marketing services, our clients sign a contract for 50 points per month. Those points then correlate with the tasks within the scope. For example, a marketing client may sign on for 30 points a month. From there, they can use three blogs at three points a piece, social for each of those blogs at two points a piece, a landing page to correlate with their campaign at seven points, two Facebook ads at three points, and copywriting at five points total. Then, there is no disagreement over something taking longer than expected. Upfront, our clients know the point value for each tactic, so they know exactly what they are getting each month.
  • Planning – we don’t just put every assignment we can think of into our scrum backlog each week, because we’d be setting ourselves up for failure or giving our clients unrealistic expectations. We use the same point values we give our clients as our internal point values. Then, we can determine how many points we should plan out each week. With our current team, we expect each person to complete around 15 points per day, so when we plan out our weeks, we know we should plan only 200 external points and 50 internal points. That way, we can let clients know their work is in the queue and get it done on deadline without our team pulling their hair out.

We have found using a point system keeps both the client and internal team happy and in the loop. Thanks to scrum, we have never missed a deadline, and our clients have developed a strong trusting relationship where they know exactly what they are getting every week.

A Week in the Life

FRIDAY

Planning – We hold a company meeting to review all our clients individually, including what we accomplished for them during the week and what are the next steps. Then, we grab sticky notes and write down the work we want or need to accomplish for them in the coming week. Everything in our backlog should total around 200 external points and 50 internal points.

MONDAY

Scrum meeting – Since it’s the beginning of the week, our backlog of work is funky fresh. We get together for 15 minutes to discuss priority assignments for the week, and each team member selects assignments for the day, totaling around 15 points worth of work. These assignments must be completed before team members leave for the day.

TUESDAY

Scrum meeting – Again, we meet for 15 minutes. This time, we not only select our tasks for the day, we also review any issues we ran into with our tasks yesterday. Is anyone running into problems? Does anyone need help? Are we waiting for something from the client? We hash everything out, so we start the day with our best foot forward.

WEDNESDAY

Check in – At this point, we are halfway through the week, so we have a good idea if we will complete everything in the backlog. We select our points for the day and work together to see how we can accomplish everything in our backlog. Sometimes, it involves everyone taking additional points – whatever it takes to get the job done.

THURSDAY

Scrum meeting – Just like on Tuesday, we meet for 15 minutes to discuss how our tasks went the previous day and select our tasks for today. After we take our points for the day, we take a look at the backlog and make sure we are still in good shape to meet all our deadlines. Then, we crush work and finish strong!

Why this Matters to You

Knowing how we work ahead of time makes it easier to determine what to expect. You know each month that you are getting exactly the number of points you agreed to and the items are being completed precisely when you need them. If scrum is something you think you can get on board with, then we’d love to work with you! If you think scrum is something you can utilize at your company, we’d love to teach you the ropes and help you become scrum masters. Either way, please reach out to us, so we can start building wonderful things together!

Are we your perfect match?

Then, let’s get in touch!

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