While the hybrid onshore and offshore office setup is nothing new, the concept of fusion teams is the latest addition to a number of operation modalities followed for efficient software delivery. According to leading consulting firm Gartner, a fusion team is a “multidisciplinary team that blends technology or analytics and business-domain expertise and shares accountability for business and technology outcomes.”
As such, fusion teams – or fusion development teams, empower digitally-skilled and solutions-oriented employees to work side-by-side to build customized solutions and achieve business objectives through collaboration.
A collaboration oriented culture is on the rise. According to Gartner, “At least 84% of companies and 59% government entities have setup “Fusion Teams”.
Fusion teams deliver digital initiatives faster, with less administrative clutter and a streamlined focus on continuous enhancements. The structure of fusion teams provides enough flexibility for teams to be formed beyond organizational boundaries, making it possible to build more effective and diversely skilled off-shore teams.
But how do you set up an offshore fusion team? And how do you ensure you have found the right skill mix to deliver solutions at the most efficient pace?
Offshore fusion teams expand companies’ access to a greater pool of skilled labor while ensuring that more of their available resources are able to focus on core business functions.
With its many digital partnerships over the years, SELISE is well aware of how fusion teams are blurring the lines between IT and business units as employees become increasingly tech oriented when addressing business problems. According to the experts at SELISE, these are some of the steps that can be taken to build an offshore team fusion team:
Before forming a team, it is important to first understand the problem statement at hand. Ideally, it should be a problem that’s relevant and has a demand for rapid response.
Configuring a cross-functional team that shares a common understanding of what is to be achieved. Make sure your team can provide on demand solutions relevant to the project’s critical success factors,
Set goals and plan on how much time it will take to create, implement, and produce results. The team should have time to think outside of the box to find the solutions that work best, rather than attempting to hit unreasonable deadlines within a predefined roadmap.
The team should be passionate about solving the challenges at hand to deal with various possible roadblocks along the way. Agile environments require teams to establish contingency protocols which enable them to keep going no matter what. Passionate teams emerge from team building activities with soft, and sometimes hard goal-oriented incentives.
When building a fusion team, putting the right expertise in the right place is crucial. The team will ideally consist of members with relevant cross-functional competencies — those who have the skills to identify customer needs and those who are able to engineer solutions addressing that need. The right team must have the right balance.
Talent identification for fusion team staffing must be conducted by a holistic approach through close collaboration among business units, IT and HR. The team must be substantially more productive than the sum of the individuals it consists of. We thereby distinguish between soft skills and domain knowledge.
At SELISE we look out for 5 distinguished soft skills which all should be represented in a Fusion Team, with each individual being able to possess at least two out of these.
When it comes to hard skills, the composition of a typical fusion team can consist of:
Fusion teams generally have a combination of part time and full time expertise and are highly configurable to match the requirements. The Fusion Team concept puts Business-IT collaboration at its center which creates a resilient, yet agile workspace.