Building Your Dream Team

The Ultimate Solution Experience™ - uSX Part 3

//Building Your Dream Team

Building Your Dream Team

In our last entry we showed you How to Find Touch Points in the Ultimate Solution Experience™. Next, you need to pick your team. You need a diverse team who understands the whole picture. Let’s get started…

Building the right team with the right players and the right capabilities is critical.

Outline your goals, expectations, and metrics so everyone is on the same page. Each team formation depends on specific project needs and has resource constraints.  However, each team should include the following roles: uSX manager, project manager, solution (business/technical) architect, business analyst, technical developers and designers, documentation, and implementation support. Some team members may play multiple roles, but your experience will be far more pleasurable if your team is composed of individuals with multiple overlapping skills. For example, the Business Architect should also have the skills of a Project or Program Manager. The Project Manager may also have the skills of a Business Analyst or Documentation Specialist. The Technical Developer/Designer may also have skills in operations.

Team Members OR a “Brain on a Stick”

Many low cost providers of technical resources deliver what we call a “brain on a stick” – a resource with one primary skill and a focus on only that skill. For example, a .Net developer that only develops with .Net and is unwilling to incorporate java script or JQuery or an Oracle DBA who only cares about server performance and is uninterested in obtaining any other database skills. The offshore model typically works this way to overcome the limitations of this approach assemble large teams of people to complete tasks.

A project team with single skill resources usually involve 30-70% more team members & incur higher probability of communication breakdown and project failure. 

Another challenge for building a strong team may be your client’s procurement office.  They may press you for a rate card for a specific skill because they have a difficult time deciding what a fair price is for multiple skilled resources. Don’t cave into the pressure of the stove pipe resource model – you won’t be happy & neither will they ultimately. The single skilled individuals do not understand the complete picture of the overall solution.

So… What do you do?

Qualifying Questions for uSX Dream Team

First, ask yourself:

  • Do individuals on the team work well together?
  • In face-to-face environments, do their personalities match?
  • Are there personality issues which cannot be overcome?
  • Will they present themselves in a manner you expect?
  • Do they understand your Ultimate Solution Experience™ strategy?

You can’t achieve a unique goal if you don’t have a unique expectation. Each team formation depends on specific project needs and has resource constraints.

However, each team should include the following roles:

  • uSX manager
  • Project manager
  • Solution (business/technical) architect
  • Business analyst
  • Technical developers and designers
  • Documentation specialist
  • Implementation support

Some team members may play multiple roles, but your experience will be far more pleasurable if your team is composed of individuals with multiple overlapping skills. For example, the Business Architect should also have the skills of a Project or Program Manager. The Project Manager may also have the skills of a Business Analyst or Documentation Specialist. The Technical Developer/Designer may also have skills in operations.

You might also have a situation where these roles fade in and out of the project, with multi-skilled resources, the planning is simpler and results are far improved.

Some roles have very specific descriptions on the Ultimate Solution Experience™ team. Click through to see the specific definitions.

ROLE CALL

The uSX manager role is the glue which connects all participants together. This team member will come into contact with everyone on the team on a regular basis. Both on your delivery team’s side and the customer side. This role is focused on continual clear communications of progress, timelines, and managing the expectations of everyone involved. When this role misses a beat, the entire uSX suffers.
The project manager is a complicated role and an important role for Ultimate Solution Experience™. The typical requirements of a strong project manager are a baseline minimum for uSX. This person must have the ability to define, scope, organize, schedule, track, handle communications, deal with issues, mitigate risks, manage commitments, and ensure timely deliverables meet expectations. In our uSX framework, they must also have a strong business acumen. This team member is responsible with meeting the business needs and requirements they customer expects and also needs to ensure you meet or surpass the measures of success.
The solution architect is someone who brings both business and technical knowledge and design skills to connect the company’s business strategy with the customer needs. They are an excellent resource for looking ahead and providing insights and where you will encounter the minefields and will be your guide to the uSX project. The key role of a solution architect is to inform stakeholders about possible directions that a project might take and highlight the risks and rewards of those directions. This involves developing a body of knowledge and analysis (qualitative or quantitative) from multiple sources and presenting them to the stakeholders in the most effective manner.
There are many types of developers—user interface, database, test, and documentation, etc. Your ideal design / development team will consist of all the members necessary to tailor your unique customer experience. Developers have a unique professional language. To really benefit from their insights you need to be mindful of that unique language and perhaps develop your own style of managing and communicating with them.

Many project leaders make the mistake of treating designers and developers merely as code monkeys*, ignoring their insights and recommendations. However, developers can prove to be invaluable and make a significant impact on differentiating your company’s solution experience. Consequently, developing the right level of partnership with the development team could give your project a distinct competitive advantage. Those developers with multiple skills only make your job easier and improve the likelihood of your success. Make the investment in higher skilled resources, it will pay dividends in both quality of work and duration of project.

*Disclaimer: This is not a thing. Don’t call people this.

Planning the Approach 

With all this fading in and out, cross functionality, and abstract thought, having a clearly defined purpose with total buy-in of all parties will make the uSX far more rewarding.  Realistically, it may take several iterations to get there. By keeping in mind that your mission is to deliver a pleasurable experience to your customer, you can focus on doing the right things the right way. We will explore ways to uncover the ultimate customer need and how to build a – dare I say it again? – pleasurable Ultimate Solution Experience™.

There will be downloadable guides, check lists, step by step instructions, and tips & tricks to create and be a part of the Ultimate Solution Experience™.

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By |2017-02-09T22:10:54+00:00May 21st, 2015|Ultimate Solution Experience|Comments Off on Building Your Dream Team