Global pharmaceutical organisation
Case Study

Marketing Teams

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A global pharmaceutical organisations approached us to help their marketing department develop an understanding of agile and scrum and implement it within their departments.

The challenge

Agility in Mind was approached by a major global pharmaceutical organisation who recognised traditional approaches to work based on silos, top down control, and the idea of “that’s the way things are always done”, wasn’t appropriate to the increasing market pressures on the pharmaceutical market.

The leadership team were looking to aggressively start up 12 teams with a common understanding of agile and to implement Scrum as a core framework for creating and delivering marketing campaigns. They wanted to move towards networks of empowered teams that were continually learning and sharing information and ideas.

Our approach

A small number of pilot marketing teams had trialled agile ways of working and, because of the iterative approach and feedback loops, they had achieved success driving up engagement on key assets. The organisation wanted to replicate these benefits across its portfolio of therapy areas.

Agility in Mind’s initial focus was to work with the organisation’s internal lead agile coach to refine and develop an agile training programme covering the basic concepts.

  • We redefined the organisation’s introductory agile course to incorporate the Scrum framework and other agile concepts. Providing a language to kick-start an agile culture within the company for new agile teams.
  • We developed a 2-day immersion session to bootstrap teams into starting with Scrum, including team building, chartering backlog creation, refinement and planning.

The agile training and coaching helped the teams understand how to have effective agile events and to understand how to fulfil their roles. Initially the approach was largely hands-on, demonstrating and sharing techniques. Over time, the coaching relationship decreased as the teams became more confident using their new skills in their daily routines.

Outcomes

The marketing department now has a common vocabulary of agile terms and has over a dozen teams implementing the Scrum framework to deliver their marketing campaigns.

With the agile mindset becoming part of the DNA in the marketing department, they have much more focus on delivery. Prior to adoption it was not uncommon for marketing material to take several months to achieve commercial and medical approval. Since the adoption of Scrum, marketing materials can now be created, approved and released in weeks.

Using the iterative cycle, the marketing teams gather empirical evidence on how their assets are performing (e.g. SEO, click through rates etc) which is reviewed in their sprint review meetings and fed into the next cycle helping drive improvements in penetration.

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