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The Agile Marketer by Roland Smart

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Chapter 6The Skinny on Scrum

I often tell people who are interested in Agile that a good way to learn Agile methods is to start thinking like a product or service developer. Select a service you'd like to design and build: a nurture program, a portfolio of sales collateral, an advertisement, a website, or even an event series. Then list everything you'd need to do to get the most basic version of this service created. This can seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn't have to be if you apply the most fundamental Agile practice: list your user stories.

It might surprise you to hear that you're probably already using this most fundamental Agile practice. It's something that almost everyone does when they feel like they have too much to do. They start by making a list of everything they need to do; then they size up all of the tasks and order them by priority. Just doing this tends to make people feel better because they've gone from the anxiety associated with facing an undefined effort to the comfort associated with knowing a well-defined set of tasks.

Agile developers call these tasks user stories or just stories. In a development and marketing context, user stories explain the end result of the task from the end user's (that is, the customer's) perspective. That, of course, helps keep the user's needs central to the design. An example of a high-level task is “users who return to our website should be presented with information based on their previous visit.” High-level tasks ...

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