Scrum Explained, Agile Team Walls, SEO Product Manager Explained
3-2-1 Monday Edition #10
Welcome to the 3-2-1 Monday newsletter.
Every Monday morning, start your week with the following:
💡 3 short ideas about working with devs and product teams.
📰 Two articles to explore to help be more effective with product and dev teams.
❓ One question for you to think about this week while working.
To receive articles like this, please subscribe to The SEO Sprint 👇.
Before we jump into this week's newsletter, I wanted to promote Similar.ai.
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💡 3 Short Ideas
Short ideas on how to improve working with devs and product teams.
1) Scrum Explained
Scrum is a simple, lightweight, agile framework used by product and engineering teams to execute work frequently and often.
If you work with a product and engineering team, there is a high probability that they will be using the Scrum framework.
According to the State of Agile report in 2022, which surveyed 3,000 IT and business professionals, Scrum is the most popular agile framework used by professional teams practising agile.
Scrum is also becoming a more searched-for agile framework globally based on Google Trend data for the last 5 years.
The definition of Scrum based on the Scrum Guide is as follows:
“Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps people, teams, and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems.” - The Scrum Guide
In simple teams, Scrum is a framework that helps teams get to grips with doing agile.
The framework processes encourage teams to do the following on repeat:
Sprint planning - The team focus on identifying priority tickets that need to be worked on by the development team, which are pulled from the product backlog.
Sprint backlog - The team agree on which tickets need to be worked on based on priority and estimation, as well as the “acceptance criteria” for each ticket.
Increment - The developers work on completing the tickets in an agreed fixed time box (known as a sprint); the code or items they are working on is called an increment.
Sprint review - The teams inspect the work at the end of the fixed time box, and either release the increment to production or the team adjust the work for the next sprint.
Sprint Retrospective - The team reflect on how they’ve worked during the sprint and creates some specific actions on how the team can work better together.
Repeat - The whole process repeats again for the next sprint (which starts just after the last sprint).
The goal of Scrum is to help teams create releasable pieces of work that add up to creating useful products and features of websites that drive results.
For example, at DeepCrawl, we used Scrum to rebuild the app from the ground up. In each release, we added a filter, button or graph to enhance the customer's experience and add value (whilst inspecting, reflecting and learning along the way).
2) Agile Team Walls
Do you struggle to consistently communicate ideas with your development, product or design partners on a project?
Then why not try to build a team wall for complex projects?
An Agile Wall or Team Wall is a physical space (usually a wall) that is used by teams to visualise and communicate the progress of a project.
Instead of burying our work in digital documents and tools, a wall allows a team to visually show the work.
A wall consists of cards, drawings and diagrams on a wall (hence the term Agile or Team wall).
A team / agile wall helps:
🏗️ Iterate - Digital outputs have a “polished” look and feel finished. Working on a wall feels like the work is still in progress, so teams can make changes and delete or edit things on a wall.
👥 Collaborate - Walls help people collaborate and stay focused on working together to make changes. It can feel like a physical activity rather than sitting at your desk.
🗣️ Communicate - A wall isn’t for you but for other people. It can send a message that “Hey, look at all this work you want us to do; we REALLY need to prioritise!”. A wall helps to quickly communicate the team's workload, progress and insights to other people.
At DeepCrawl, the team built a wall to map out the massive app migration project into manageable release slices.
As a consultant, I now work with development and design partners to create team walls using a tool like Miro to map out complex projects from start to finish. The walls help the team see a story structure to the chaos of delivery.
When creating a team wall, here are a few quick tips that have helped me:
🧹 Make them clear - Although they are rough and ready, they also need to make sense to any new stakeholder that reads the board.
🙏 Make them easy - It shouldn’t take too long to maintain a wall; it should help improve your process, not make it harder. If you’re spending a lot of time maintaining a wall, then try to make it simpler.
⚡ Highlight, not feed - The wall is not meant to be a live feed but a highlight reel. The info on a wall should be more permanent and less in need of constantly being updated. The tasks/info in the digital tools should be connected by the info on the walls.
👥 Team Autonomy - The team should have complete autonomy over their walls.
🏷️ Use clear headings - The walls should have clear headings to help anyone quickly get up to speed on the information on the walls.
3) What is an SEO Product Manager?
I define SEO product management as follows:
“An SEO Product Manager is a specialist who delivers business impact for an organisation's website through SEO by shaping the strategy, roadmap and goals, continuously syncing with teams to align on the strategy, and working with the team to ship the work.”
Adam Gent, The SEO Sprint
An SEO product manager is a specialist PM working within an organisation to ensure the website's content is useful, discoverable, and accessible to customers and search engines.
SEO PMs work with product, content, UX design and development teams to ensure the website gets crawled, indexed and appears in search engine results throughout the buyer's journey.
SEO product managers work with teams to optimise the website to help make content discoverable in search engines. Examples of features might include:
🕷️ Crawling and Indexing: An SEO PM works with developers to ensure the website has business logic to automatically exclude low-value pages from being indexed.
🔗 Link Architecture: An SEO PM works with developers to add related articles and nearby location internal linking from core pages to other relevant pages.
💻️ Semantic SEO: An SEO PM works with developers to ensure page templates are always well-structured and each template is marked with the relevant schema.org markup.
✍️ Content: An SEO PM works with content and product to ensure that pages are optimised and that the brand/website appears through the buyer's journey.
🎫 Title Tags: An SEO PM works with developers to create a feature that allows the SEO team to make title tag changes to core pages without requiring a developer to make the change.
The goal of an SEO product manager shouldn't be to just "ship features" but instead maximise outcomes. Just like product managers, our work should aim to positively change user behaviour and drive results for both the customer and the business.
I’ve written more about the SEO product manager role in greater detail 👇.
📰 2 Articles to Explore
Articles to explore to help be more effective with product and dev teams.
by Natalie Rothfels and Adam Fishman, Reforge
Building and growing a business is a team sport that requires everyone to be on the same page. This is especially critical for product and marketing teams, who cannot move the business forward without each other. A product without customers is just a project. Customers without a meaningful product are just an unhappy audience.
by Dan McKinley
The nice thing about boringness (so constrained) is that the capabilities of these things are well understood. But more importantly, their failure modes are well understood.
❓ 1 Question For You
A question for you to think about this week while working.
How could you incoporate a team wall into your workflow when working with development or design partners?
🎓 Think Like an SEO Product Manager
Do you have trouble getting SEO projects executed?
How did I do this week?
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