Monday, January 12, 2015

Building a high performance digital team

I've been in this digital game a long time (in dog years, I should have been put out of my misery by now). I've therefore been part of and have personally built-up teams of digital specialists on both the agency/consulting side and as part of client organisations. From a crack development unit that managed to construct a financial services website from scratch in just a few weeks, through to a digital marketing department (starting with just one member) that managed a multi-mullion pound acquisition budget… I've hired, fired, seconded, acquired, procured and borrowed people from all manner of disciplines. And yes, building some wonderful and useful online stuff in the process.

I've therefore listed out the factors that I think are needed in the creation and development of a high performing digital team (plus to help me, I have also asked the team at one of my current clients to add their suggestions too).

A ‘can do’ attitude:
“I've done so much with so little for so long, I think I can do anything with bugger all!” was once the line mentioned to me by one team member over a decade ago. This partly sums up the sort of ‘can do’ attitude that can make all the difference in a smaller team. It is often not the tools, the processes or the technology that makes the difference, it is the mental approach of the individuals.

Tenacity:
Yes sure, the phase “work smarter not harder” is often used in management circles, however sometimes you just need a team to bear down on an issue and work at it for a while. This can be especially true when the work in question is a little more mundane or repetitive (e.g. when proof reading content or carrying out user acceptance testing – thanks JM!)

Ability:
I know this kinda goes without saying, but I did want to mention it. Working with a bunch of smart people who not only know their onions, but also can develop their skills and experience on the project (without affecting it) is usually a pleasure.  

So what do you think? Have I missed anything?
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