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How to lead a focused, productive marketing team (part 2)

Published 17 Sep 2018 by Alice Jones, CANDDi
Read this in about 3 minutes

In this series of articles, we’re sharing insights into how we keep the CANDDi marketing team organized. Make sure you read part one: scrums and sprints, first.

Are your meetings this organised?

As we explained in part one, we break the CANDDi marketing team’s work into ‘sprints’ that each last two weeks. Each sprint consists of a list of actions the team will complete in that time.

At the end of each sprint, we hold a meeting to review the past two weeks and set targets for the next two. As mentioned in part one, it’s important to have a scrum master with an overview of the whole company’s priorities and how marketing’s activity fits into them. This person chairs the meeting. You should also have someone taking notes about everything agreed, to share with everyone at the end.

The scrum master begins by asking everyone on the team to share what went well and what could have gone better during the latest sprint. This makes sure everyone understands how everyone else feels about the team’s work. Open feedback helps everyone feel their opinion is being listened to, and that they can influence the way you all work in the future.

The review section of the meeting should be brief and constructive. Don’t chew over the past for too long, just make sure you highlight anything that went wrong and decide how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Planning ahead

Next, talk through the team’s priorities, and which tasks are most important for the next two weeks. Led by the scrum master, break each task down into actions.

An important step is to have everyone on the team rate how easy each task will be. We use a system where 1 = easy, and 5 = hard. Each member of the team has four cards numbered 1, 2, 3, and 5. There’s no ‘4’ as the difference in difficulty between 4 and 5 probably wouldn’t have much bearing on anything. Conversely, the difference between 1 and 2 is the difference between ‘incredibly easy’ and ‘mildly taxing,’ which may impact greatly on how much time it takes to complete.

For each action, we consider its difficulty and then raise our hands at the same time to show which card we’re holding. This helps us determine how difficult we all perceive the task to be without the influence of others on the team.

Understanding how difficult each person would find a task helps with allocating actions to individual members of the team, and helps everyone understand how much can be achieved within the sprint. If you have lots of level-5 actions to complete, you probably won’t have time for much else.

As noted in part one of this series, a series of small tasks tends to feel more manageable than a couple of huge ones.

As the meeting progresses, work through each task that needs completing. By the end, you should have a list of tasks, and all the individual actions that make up those tasks.

After the meeting, the note-taker should tidy up their notes from the meeting and share them with the whole team. One person should then open up your sprint-tracking software and make sure all tasks and actions are entered for the sprint ahead, assigning individual actions to different people on the team as appropriate.

Wait a minute… sprint-tracking software? What’s that? We’ll explain all in part three of this series. Look out for that, coming soon.

If you like this blog and want more information on how CANDDi stays organised, email

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