Sprint Planning: Why is it Essential for Success? .

Sprint-planning

In my time I’ve worked on a lot of client projects and each one has been managed slightly differently to the next.

In this time, I’ve also been privy to projects where sprint planning has been de-prioritised leaving the team to work in isolation and ineffectively.

Sprint planning is the first component of SCRUM and is where the product owner defines the goals of that sprint, the acceptance criteria for each user story and where the development team ensure they understand the definition of done.

At Sagittarius, Sprint Planning is a key part of the project management process; achieving buy-in from every member of the team at the earliest possible stage.

This helps prevent developers from working in silos and potential conflicts further down the line which could result in code duplication or conflicting code which would ultimately lead to a delay in delivery, technical debt as well as inflicting strain on client relationships.

I spoke to Project Manager, Kay Stampoulidou, about her thoughts on sprint planning, here’s what she had to say: “At the heart of everything we do should be the right kind of communication at the right time.

“Scrum is a framework that is designed to ensure we do just that with our clients, of which one step is the Sprint Planning. This type of structure is imperative during any work we do with our clients - during sprint planning we discuss and lock down the scope of the sprint and ensure we capture all requirements and outcomes through the narrative and acceptance criteria; prior to that of course we will already have looked at scoping out the UX and Design for the sprint work at hand. The biggest gain we have when running work like this is, that all parties, product owner (client) comes together with our team (developers, quality assurance, pms etc) and iron out any questions that might stall the progress."

Would you like to learn more about how our project management style could bring success for your brand? Get in touch today via hello@sagittarius.agencyor give us a call on 0208 070 7820.

This blog was inspired by a recent read here.

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
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Sagittarius
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Sagittarius

03 Jul 2019 - 5 minute read
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