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Mix it up: Cross-functional digital teams can work faster

April 23, 2018 | By Jordan Schwartz, TEKsystems Digital Marketing Strategist

a digital team of product owner, content strategist, design and developer casually meet in person

Everything is changing—the unbelievably fast pace of technological advancement is forcing companies rethink their workplace structures. Jason Silva, TV personality and futurist, said it best during the 2016 Sitecore Symposium in Las Vegas: “The exponential growth of technological development is transforming our world, and we all have to wake up to how quickly it’s happening.”

Simply put, businesses are losing their minds. The complexity of creating digital products faster breeds the pressure to rethink how your organization can shift and grow to become more efficient. It means eliminating team tension when pushing products to market.

One of the many organizational strategies we see cropping up is the concept of breaking down departmental siloes and spinning up digital teams. Think: a web developer, a content strategist, a product owner and a designer walk into a bar… intrigued? Read below to see if this movement hits the spot for your organization.

What is a digital team?

A digital team is a collaborative, cross-functional group of skillsets working together to create and ship a specific digital product to market faster and more efficiently; the goal is to combine the business and technological needs of a project in an agile, fast-paced, iterative manner.

“The overarching premise of a digital team is to assemble the core competencies needed to create and operate digital products,” says David Arthur, Sitecore team lead at TEKsystems.

Producing digital products is a process that blends multiple disciplines; digital teams are most successful when you identify key roles that must have a seat at the table early on.

Structuring your digital team for maximum success

“It’s important to remember that a digital team structure isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept,” says Arthur. “The ways these teams and roles fit together varies from company to company and project to project.”

Here are some things to think about when building out your team:

  • The size and location of your company
  • The appetite for digital in your business
  • The nature of the business—are you B2C, B2B or other?
  • The business’s budget
  • The scope of your project
  • The key is to figure out the skills that are needed for creating and operating your digital properties. Think: project management, UI/UX, content development, front and back end development, data, infrastructure, quality assurance, marketing, operations—just to name a few.

The benefit of having a digital team mentality

“How do we keep pace with technology without spending a lot of money? What hasn’t been thought of yet?” are common questions—and fears.Digital teams are a relatively cheaper to get products to market faster by eliminating departmental siloes and indecision that slow down the process. “Having the right people make decisions in the same room—and on the same team—produces instantaneous knowledge transfers,” says Arthur. “Ideas are flowing and moves are being made.”

Change is here and it’s happening. Successful organizations are learning how to rethink and rework their internal structures to get the most out of their people—and release products faster. Digital teams could be one answer to your digital transformation prayers.

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