Agile Marketing Navigator is a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers. Navigator has her four main components: collaborative planning workshops, launch cycles, key practices and roles. Within these categories there are several sub-pieces to implement.

Today we’re going to dive deeper into the role of an Agile champion. This role is similar to the Scrum Master in Scrum, but with more emphasis on “advancing agile”.

Earlier in my Agile career (and once more recently) I worked as a Scrum Master, so I can speak from a lot of personal experience about this role. This is the most confusing role for recruiters, as it is completely different from other typical job descriptions at companies. We have seen a lot of bad Scrum mastering due to the lack of understanding of this role. This has led to some misconceptions about the value of this role, and it’s hard to sell it in marketing.

What is a Scrum Master?

Before diving into the Agile Champion role, I want to explain what the Scrum Master role is (and what it should be).

The Scrum Master owns the team’s Agile process. According to Scrum, this is a fully dedicated role, you won’t be doing any work with the team, but you will unblock the team, teach the team and organization Scrum, facilitate meetings, and realize organizational change It is useful for

Why is the Scrum Master role difficult to sell?

I think the Scrum Master was properly intended, but over the years companies have watered down this role. In many large companies, Project Managers are less needed and are converted to the Scrum Master role. This works for some people, but many people are great project managers, but terrible Scrum Masters.

Over the years, I have seen many problems with performing this role, including:

  • Lead the team in a command-and-control fashion.
  • Be the manager of your team, facilitate meetings, take notes, and otherwise be of little value.
  • Overdoing it and trying to do team work instead of neutrality.

These three anti-patterns alone are enough to explain why this role doesn’t sell. However, in software development, hiring this role is so standard that it is very common. Marketing, on the other hand, works like a lean machine, demanding full-time, dedicated roles that don’t deliver.

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What is the difference between an Agile Champion and a Scrum Master?

The Scrum Master role has many issues, so while it’s a worthy role if done well, it’s not a role marketers often hire. So how do you deliver the good parts of that role and how do you take the burden off it?

First, we chose our names carefully. While working with a client, Scrum got a lot of objections about him being called a master. I also wanted to emphasize that this role is an advocate for agile working methods, not project management.

The Agile Marketing Navigator Framework does not require an Agile Champion to be a full-time, dedicated role. Possible, but not required. why? Because we would love to see someone with a passion for agile marketing lead this, even if he has a different role on the team.

Agile Champions help Agile Marketing teams by:

  • Break the traditional way of working.
  • Get excited about agile marketing.
  • Coach and mentor others on agile marketing.
  • It helps teams to be more accountable and self-organized.
  • Listen to your team’s concerns and help resolve issues.

I have seen a lot of success in this role with people you never thought you would take. I liked it so much that I gave it a title at Time.

A good agile champion is someone who wants to learn about agile marketing and can create excitement around it for their organization.

Agile marketing workflow

Catch up on the Agile Marketing Navigator series!

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Stacey knows what it’s like to be a marketer. After all, she is one of the few agile coaches and trainers to get her started there. After graduating from journalism school, she worked as a content her writer, strategist, director, and adjunct marketing professor. She became passionate about Agile as a better way to do her job when she tried it out for an advertising agency client in 2012. Since then, she has been a Scrum Her Master, Agile Her Coach, and has helped teams around the world with numerous Agile transformations. Stacey has spoken at several of her Agile conferences, she has more certifications than she remembers and loves practicing Agile at home with her family. A lifelong Minnesotan, she recently moved to North Carolina. She’s busy learning how to cook grits and she says “y’all.”

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