Scrum.org and Blue Coda reimagine the client-agency relationship to deliver a new website.
The Scrum.org team had a vision for how they should redesign their website and the type of partner they would need. As the “Home of Scrum,” they wanted the agency they chose to build their website to embody the three pillars of Scrum – transparency, inspection, and adaptation – and follow the most popular Agile approach, Scrum, that their founder Ken Schwaber co-created and seeks to promote worldwide.
Contributors from Scrum.org and Blue Coda worked as a single, cohesive team to build the website following Scrum principles and the Scrum framework. The result was a partnership that would serve as a model for the future of the client-agency relationship, and a data-driven, future-friendly website for Scrum.org
What is Scrum?
Scrum is a management and control process that cuts through complexity to focus on building products that meet business needs. Management and teams are able to get their hands around the requirements and technologies, never let go, and deliver working products, incrementally and empirically.
Scrum itself is a simple framework for effective team collaboration on complex products. Scrum creators Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland have written The Scrum Guide to explain Scrum clearly and succinctly.
Originally, Scrum was used for software projects in companies like Microsoft, Logitech, and Google, but has expanded to an array of industries. What started as a solution meant to optimize software delivery has now evolved how firms like the BBC and American Express operate.
The Challenges: Cutting-Edge Technology and a Unified Client-Agency Team
Eric Naiburg, VP of Marketing at Scrum.org, recognized that the current Scrum.org website wasn’t equipped with the right technology and strategy to accommodate their growth as an organization and the increasing adoption of Scrum. Naiburg was looking for an organization that could check all the boxes of a modern, future-friendly website including:
- Modern technology
- SEO friendly
- Scalable, growth-oriented
- Sleek design
- Unified site-wide value proposition
In addition to these requirements, Naiburg was looking for an agency that wanted to really lean into Scrum. For Naiburg, this meant:
- Adhering to the Scrum framework
- Forming a single, inter-organizational team comprised of members from both organizations
- A willingness to be adaptable and innovative in figuring out the logistics of this new style of client-agency teamwork
Naiburg was also trying to avoid repeating some previous bad experiences with agencies for similar types of projects. He said, “When I've done other projects similar to this, the agency will often go off for months and weeks and then come back with something versus being really engaged and acting as a co-mingled team. My guess is they were working on other clients products at the same time and not really building mine and then tried to throw it together right before it was due.”
Why It Worked: A Single, Unified Team Working Toward Shared, Metrics-Driven Goals
Blue Coda set Scrum.org up with a technologically robust website on the new Drupal 8 platform. Drupal 8 was a perfect choice for the organization providing flexibility and scalability as Scrum.org continues to grow. Blue Coda’s team of engineers, with their expertise in Drupal, leveraged Drupal features like out-of-the-box device responsiveness and seamless integrations to give Scrum.org the unified, sophisticated site they desired.
Scrum.org relies on their website traffic to drive their success, so SEO was an important consideration. Scrum.org and Blue Coda created a strategy to ensure that Scrum.org not only maintained their SEO rankings but improved them. Blue Coda set up automated SEO features so that administrators unfamiliar with SEO could still create SEO-friendly pages.
Using the Scrum framework improved efficiency and serves as an example of how Scrum can be applied to website delivery. By forming a single Scrum Team across both organizations with the Product Owner residing inside Scrum.org, Scrum Master in Blue Coda, and the Development Team spread across both organizations, Blue Coda and Scrum.org opened communication channels that allowed for unprecedented transparency and efficiency. Within one month of starting the project (a Sprint in Scrum), Scrum.org had a working homepage.
The Results: Increased Traffic, Higher Site Visit Duration, New Users, and an Ongoing Partnership
Due to the transparency and efficiency of Scrum, the new website has so far exceeded its goals. Scrum.org is performing better than ever with a 54% increase in traffic, a 39% increase in total sessions, and a 21% increase in new users.
Naiburg finally has the unified site he was looking for. He says, “We restructured the site to be more about who we are, what we do, and how we help people improve their capabilities with Scrum, highlighting the community, trainers, learning resources, and certifications. It’s very clear when you come to the website now, who Scrum.org is and what Scrum.org does.”
Now, Scrum.org has a flexible platform to grow with them. Naiburg says, “The future of the site is that it becomes more and more of a resource for individuals, teams, and organizations who are looking to learn about and expand their knowledge of Scrum.”
The conclusion? This can serve as a model for agencies and clients seeking to create the best possible results. “Scrum works. Working together in the vendor-client relationship is critical to building, deploying, and improving your website.”
“By working together, we delivered a more satisfactory solution. Blue Coda delivered a more satisfactory solution to me, which ultimately led me to be able to deliver a better solution to our users.”
Now, those looking to learn about Scrum or experienced Scrum Team members can grow their knowledge by easily finding videos, training classes, papers, blog articles, forums, certification opportunities and much more at Scrum.org.