Achieving marketing agility is a top priority for forward-thinking companies of all shapes and sizes.
As Agile teams grow, we also have to shift how we distribute roles and responsibilities to keep them on the track to success.
We’ve already covered the fundamental aspects of team structures in an Agile environment, like creating cross-functional teams and mapping their value streams. But, we’ve never discussed hiring the right resources to continue your healthy growth towards high performance.
When the hiring moment arrives, it’s easy to make some costly mistakes by using your hiring policy from the pre-Agile era.
Not every talented marketer who used to be your go-to will want to adapt to the new ways of working within your now-Agile organization. The dynamic environment of an Agile organization demands nuanced capabilities that combine marketing prowess with the ability to work in an iterative way.
As someone who’s been part of both Agile marketing teams and traditional ones, I’ve witnessed too many times how hiring the wrong people for an Agile team can create turbulence and overhead long before we realize their expectations are not a good fit for the collaborative, transparent environment of an Agile team.
That’s why we gathered the most important qualities, main responsibilities and behaviors that Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches, Marketing Owners, Team Members and (even) CMOs need to exhibit in order to drive a promising Agile team forward to more and more successful endeavors.
When you’re hiring for the next role in your Agile team, consider these simple job descriptions as a starter point for your hiring efforts.
The Job Description for the Right Scrum Master
If Scrum is your method of choice for applying Agile, then finding the right Scrum Master is vital for long-term success.
At first sight, the role may seem ubiquitous.
Every Agile development team, small and large, likely has a Scrum Master. But, it’s not as simple to find the right Scrum Master to suit a marketing team.
Most Scrum Masters come from the software industry. They’re used to working with IT professionals. As a result, their experience is in helping teams build software products efficiently using the Scrum method.
The complexity of the marketing workflow, on the other hand, can stump even the most seasoned Scrum Master.
Marketers have more dependencies with external stakeholders, more types of work items, and more difficulty estimating the difficulties of their campaigns.
Structure these Agile marketing job descriptions to specify that the position is for a marketing department. This way, you can filter those who are actually interested in working with marketers.
In addition, you’ll raise your chances of finding a Scrum Master with actual marketing experience.
Include the following duties & responsibilities:
- Organizing and leading Scrum ceremonies
- Overseeing and managing scope, timeline, and deliverables that support business goals
- Removing impediments and coaching the Scrum team on removing impediments
Seek out strong communicators and problem solvers. The ideal candidate should be an expert in time management and a good conflict mitigator, as both skills will certainly come handy in their role.
The Job Description for the Ideal Agile Coach
Many marketers choose Kanban, or a hybrid framework between Scrum and Kanban, for their Agile implementation. In those cases, Agile coaches play a vital role, especially in the early stages of Agile team development. The more experienced the coach, the better.
To find the best candidate, be very specific about their future duties and responsibilities in the Agile marketing job descriptions. The Agile Coach is going to be the linchpin holding together all the moving parts while you transform your organization.
In the “Duties and Responsibilities” section, add items such as:
- Designing, advising, and promoting strategic Agile direction and transformations in partnership with organizational leaders
- Establishing and implementing metrics for measuring marketing agility
- Providing leadership through hands-on collaborative exercises and activities
The perfect candidate would have profound knowledge of more than one Agile method, as there’s a high chance that you will be among the 56% of all marketing teams that choose a hybrid method for implementation.
As soft skills, list strong facilitation and presentation skills, as the Agile Coach will be doing both frequently.
Team building is another must-have skill in order to serve as the glue that ties the team together as they climb towards the summit of true marketing agility.
Selecting Your Capable Agile Marketing Owner
The Agile Marketing Owner is the operative leader of the marketing team. They’re responsible for acting as the bridge between execution teams and strategic leaders within the organization.
You’ll need an experienced marketer with strong leadership skills and a results-driven mindset. Candidates with previous experience in Agile marketing will adapt more quickly to an Agile marketing owner role.
What does the Marketing Owner do? The list of responsibilities for the position is long, and can depend very much on your specific needs. Still, some of the duties and responsibilities that you should include are:
- Maintaining the team’s backlog in collaboration with Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches
- Planning and supervising marketing campaigns with a customer-centric approach
- Measuring campaign and process performance and delivering frequent reports
- Specify that the person will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the team from the position of a servant leader and supporter. Micromanagers need not apply!
The second group consists of Agile-related qualifications. Experience working with project management platforms equipped with Kanban boards is considered a huge advantage. Candidates should also have a good understanding of the Agile marketing values and principles, or at least the desire to build that understanding.
A Job Description to Attract an Agile Marketing Team Member
Apart from hiring leaders, preparing an Agile marketing job description for future contributors in cross-functional teams can be tricky.
The word cross-functional is key here.
Functional silos rarely remain in place after an Agile transformation. Therefore, the perfect addition to your team would be a t-shaped marketing professional, capable of working on more than one type of activity.
To set the right expectations for the role, it’s best if you mention this up front. There are plenty of talented marketers out there that prefer to work only with others in their area of expertise and don’t look forward to expanding their horizons. This will translate into their inability to be a team player the way Agile ways of working require.
When listing the duties and responsibilities in these Agile marketing job descriptions, consider the skill gaps in your current team.
Do you need a content guru?
A creative designer?
Beyond primary skills, target candidates for behaviors and expectations such as:
- Participating in the planning and execution of cross-channel marketing campaigns
- Actively participating in retrospective meetings and suggesting future improvements
- Actively collaborating with Agile coaches and Scrum Masters to find better ways of processing assignments
- Divide requirements and qualification into functional and agile-specific areas. For the latter, look for marketers with hands-on experience, or at least theoretical knowledge about Agile.
Lastly, for Agile marketing team members, soft skills are crucial.Even if the person is not an adept Agile practitioner, they need to have the right mindset.
Understanding of Agile practices can be built out over a few months. However, resistance to the Agile mindset could take years to alleviate. Among the most important soft skills of the Agile marketing execution team member of dreams are proactiveness, desire to learn, and a thirst for constant improvement.
Hiring an Effective Agile CMO
So, you’ve got your team members, process owners, and leads. But, what happens when your CMO isn’t ready to be the champion you need to lead your department’s Agile transformation effectively?
Finding a truly Agile CMO is probably the most difficult hire to recruit. It’s someone who is ready to co-create your transformation from the start.
You’ll need a person who’s skilled in giving marketing direction on a strategic level and is an expert in change management. It’s best if the candidate has gone through the process once before, as a CMO or other departmental leader.
This will guarantee that the person in the role will serve as an Agile advocate, because they’ve seen the highs and lows.
Duties and responsibilities will include their strategic functions, as well as a focus on the transformation element of the role:
- Defining marketing strategy to support the company’s business goals with a customer-centric approach
- Transforming the current marketing organization into an Agile one with the help of Agile Coaches
- Applying innovations and new technologies to ensure continuously improving marketing performance
Besides proper education, a long and successful marketing career, and a proven track record, be on the look-out for soft skills.
Effective Agile CMOs are visionary and fantastic communicators. Those who are strategic, skilled negotiators will be the most successful in guiding their departments on the journey to marketing agility and true high performance.
I hope that by reaching this point of the article, you’ve started to build an image of your ideal candidates for the future additions to your Agile marketing team. Our team has built customizable templates for all the job descriptions covered in the article. Get them all by filling the form below.