I have been unable to find a simple list of companies that are using agile / lean for biz funk purposes (e.g., marketing, content development, finance, etc). So I figured I’d create my own list. I’ve only included examples that I could verify with at least one source. Not a perfect method, since not everything on the internet is truthy, and some of the links are a few years old, but it is a start. So consider this list to be one of those “living documents.” And you can help to keep it alive! If you know of another company that is using biz funk agile, please feel free to suggest it (and your source) in the comments.
Company Name, Team Type, Comment / Source(s):
- Kaplan Test Prep, Marketing & Content Development
- Cyrus Innovation, HR & Accounting, Slides from Matt Salerno
- OpenView Partners, Marketing & Sales, They work in the same building as Jeff Sutherland
- Unitarian Churches, Church, Jeff Sutherland wrote about this
- NPR (Radio), Program Development, “Agile Inspired“
- Ashram College, Education, Secondary education in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands
- HubSpot, Marketing, Since May 2011
- Portrait / Photography, Wedding Planning
- Be2.com, Social Media, manage the whole organization using Scrum
- TaskTop Technologies, Marketing
- Land O’Frost, Operations, Sells lunch meats, easily my favorite example
- University of Maryland, Research Group
- SunCorp, Finance & Procurement, a bank
- Telstra, External Communications, Telecommunications company
- Lonely Planet, In-house Lawyers, Guide books
- AccuRev, Training, Trained sales team
- WIKISPEED, Auto Manufacturing, Developed 100mpg car using Scrum
- Prestige Law Firm, Lawyers, A NZ firm
Have you secretly been curious about the word “agile,” but were not quite curious enough to look it up? Or have you never heard the word “agile,” but now find yourself strangely curious about it? Do you like puppies? If any of these things are true, the recent Agile for Business and Functional (Biz Funk) Teams meetup event is for you. After some quick context-setting by the facilitators, a team writing a book and a marketing team discuss what prompted them to try agile and how it worked. Check out the video of the event if interested!
Dennis Clemente blogged about the event here.
I recently posted on the Kaplan Engineering blog — the post’s full text can be seen here — but wanted to post here the twelve things I’ve learned in helping a book-writing team write their book using Kanban:
- If someone says she wants to “go agile,” have lots of direct conversations with her about what that means before you start “going agile”
- When forming a new team, get executives excited about the idea first, as this makes everything else easier
- Be clear about the team’s goal immediately and often
- Be clear about non-negotiable things immediately (e.g., the book will need to go to the publisher on December 15th)
- Until you realize that coaching the team will take more of your time than than you initially thought, you will not be putting in enough time
- Starting a kanban pilot with a biz funk (AKA non-software) team is like adopting a puppy, but even though this is a totally brilliant / awesome and mostly accurate metaphor in a lot of ways, it is a little condescending somehow, and so I will refrain from going into this in more detail
- Aw heck, here’s one: show the value of the wee-wee pad early and be rewarded with good wee-wee pad habits for life
- It is 2012 and video conferencing is easy to use and often free, so if you ever have remote team members, they should be up on video for every single ceremony, no excuses, no exceptions (One exception: you can make do without video if hurricane Sandy has hit and public transit is down and your house does not have power and you are only able to dial into a meeting using a cell phone that’s been charged in your car)
- Whether you have remote team members or not, you should leave a group instant messenger chat window open all day, as this will help to quickly answer questions that would otherwise have become an impediment
- A team can adopt Kanban without knowing that they are adopting Kanban; simply use regular words to describe the value
- A well-run standup is a powerful thing for people who have never participated in one; if you do nothing else, conduct a well-run standup
- Someone, somewhere, will think less of you if you link to Wikipedia
As an Agile Coach for Kaplan Test Prep, I wondered what to call the flavor of agile adopted by our teams that do not create software. Non-software agile? Non-developer agile? No-Code Agile?
Perhaps. But who wants to be defined by the negative of another word? Not me!
So, I’m coining the phrase Business & Functional Agile. Biz Func Agile. Biz Funk Agile. BFA.
It’s agile for business teams (e.g., content & product) and functional teams (e.g., marketing & finance).
In Biz Funk Agile we trust.