A successful digital team
I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to lead an incredible team of digital experts. Here's what I learned.
Multi-disciplinary teams work
A multi-disciplinary team is made up of people with expertise in different specialisms. Rather than grouping all the content designers together, mixing them in with developers, UX researchers and designers allows for cross-pollination, empathy and respect for each other's disciplines. As a team working toward a common goal, you learn and grow together. You celebrate success and gain a deeper understand of how to best serve user needs.
Establish psychological safety
To get the best out of your team you need to ensure that they feel safe and secure. As a digital leader, your role is as much about looking after your people as it is in leading the vision. Establishing trust and a safe place is essential to deliver long-term success. Get to know your team and what motivates them. Make sure they can play to their strengths, recognising that not everybody is like you.
Develop a clear vision, strategy and objectives
A team needs to understand its mission. Motivate your team by clearly estalishing SMART objectives that work toward an inspirational vision. Align objectives to your company strategy so the team can see how they are contributing value and know their worth.
Clarify roles and responsibilities
People in the team need to understand where they fit in. Make sure everybody knows what they are going to be bringing to the table. Remove any ambiguity and make sure they are proud of their job descriptions.
Design a clear and achievable career path
Help your team understand where the possibilities lie. Spend time understanding their ambitions. Design achievable career paths with clear and realistic competencies. Provide training and development opportunities to help them grow. Seek out useful conferences to attend and, better still, run a session. Get your team out there and build their reputation! Pay attention to what your staff are telling you about their hopes for the future and do your best to help support their goals.
Celebrate success, learn from mistakes
No project will be a complete failure. We learn and grow by our mistakes. It’s rare that a digital team is saving lives but if you are, put as many quality assurance measures and fail-safes into the service as you can. When things don’t go to plan, objectives aren’t met and a vision is not achieved, don’t beat yourselves up. Don’t look for somebody to blame. Take collective responsibility and learn the lessons that have revealed themselves to you. Share your findings so others can understand why it went wrong. Celebrate successes. Even in failing projects, there will be small wins. Acknowledge them and do something fun.