Digital Teams November 02, 2018
These are the three factors necessary to put together a digital dream team
Marketers should spend more time sourcing the right people. Waiting until you really, really need someone and then just picking someone is not the solution. Having the right professionals ready at the right time is only possible if you know who you’ll need for your dream team on time. Three factors are important: the right people, the right process and the right tooling.
People: find the right people
When sourcing the right people, it’s important to keep your focus on the challenge. You then prepare an overview of the skills that are needed for the team before you go looking for people. Often, those people are professionals with lots of experience who have completed a similar project once or several times before.
However, it’s not just the skills that play a role in the search process; you also want your team to consist of like-minded people. So, it makes sense to assess the current team and/or the organisation’s communication style. Also important: get your candidate to talk to one of the ‘existing’ team members or someone from the organisation before hiring him or her. After all, although a person might have the right skills, you still want that click on a personal level.
An important tip when setting up your dream team is to make sure you have a mix of in-house people and freelancers. You use freelancers when you need more power and expertise quickly. With these professionals on board, you can give the team a boost and strengthen it. And when the workload ‘drops’ after a release, you can easily ‘downscale’. By staying flexible in this way, you make sure that everyone has the right amount of work at all times.
Also, what many organisations tend to forget: get someone from your own organisation, besides the new team players, involved. Make sure it’s someone who can break through the patterns and can get the organisation on board. In other words, an ambitious and tenacious initiator. With him or her on board, you’ll ensure that the team can focus on the task and you’ll often accomplish the project steps sooner.
Process: ensure effective onboarding
Effective ‘onboarding’ means that a new team member works enthusiastically, at full force, with the team on his or her first day. You start this by avoiding difficult, cumbersome contracts. So, make sure that a new team member can start working immediately and can book his or her hours that same day.
In that respect, it helps to link new team members to a buddy. A buddy teaches new members the ins and outs of the team in the first weeks, which tools are used and about the culture.
Getting an employee integrated happens in the team and on a personal level. Do not differentiate between the employees of the organisation and the rest of the team. Invite ‘external’ folks to internal drinks, events or strategy meetings too and make sure that the managers attend the important sessions or releases. This will make a person feel like a member of the team and of the organisation rather quickly.
Tooling: ensure the right tooling to measure speed and satisfaction
You use various online tools to get an understanding of how the team works and whether they’re satisfied. For example, Jira can help you get an overview of what the team is working on and of what is done. A tool like TINYpulse shows you how satisfied the team is. Want an even better overview? Set up a few dashboards for these and other tools. This way, you don’t just see how a team of designers and developers performs, but you can also compare their KPIs to the strategic and tactical targets.
What’s more, communication platforms like Slack, HipChat and Trello help with speedy internal communication within the team.
Optimisation: evaluate to maintain speed
The dashboards mentioned above are important during the daily stand-up, but also during a weekly or biweekly meeting with management and the most important people in the team. This way, you can keep a close eye on developments in the project team. Keep an eye on the following mainstays during meetings: people, process and technology.
The central questions concerning people, include: which people are on board? How are these people doing? Should we add new roles? Does anyone need help or should we replace someone?
On the process side, you check to see if everything is going according to plan: where are the bottlenecks? Where can you make improvements? Lastly, technology: this is all about using the best stack, the environment and establishing the right links with all systems.
By looking at the current processes, people and technology, you are continuously optimising the team and infrastructure around it. Important in this respect: how do these factors relate to one another? And where can one make improvements? Which processes in the team can you make more efficient? Dealing with these matters means you are really adding value to the team satisfaction and quality of the product. Every situation is different, which is why it’s important to understand what’s going on and what you need to do to make the current digital teams even better.