Fusion Teams, a new development model
Blog: Auraportal Blog
According to Gartner, “at
least 84% of companies and 59% of government entities have set up “fusion
teams” — multidisciplinary teams that blend technology and other types of
domain expertise and are often designed to deliver products rather than projects.”
With the rise of digital business
teams in recent years, the lines between IT teams and the rest of the business
are blurring at an accelerating rate. And as a result, companies are rethinking
the way they organize and work.
The traditional organization,
focused on roles and responsibilities, is giving way to multidisciplinary teams
that have a wide range of capabilities and are focused on results.
This new distributed approach
relies on teams that work autonomously, but is generating other types of problems
that governance alone cannot solve.
OF WORKING WITH MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAMS
Multidisciplinary or Fusion Teams go hand in hand with the Agile culture.
In a traditional organization, companies are organized by areas of knowledge such as human resources, sales,
communication, etc. However, with Fusion Teams the trend is broken as teams are
much more focused on product development.
With Fusion Teams, teams are made
up of people with knowledge of various areas of the company, who have the
necessary skills to identify customer needs and create a product that satisfies
The main advantages of these
- The company knowledge is distributed and it is no longer necessary to frequently ask other departments for information.
- There is no longer a guilty department as all team members are responsible for delivery.
- The team has all the required information and is capable of making more informed and intelligent decisions independently.
- Greater autonomy generates greater responsibility and commitment in the team.
- Multidisciplinary teams favor learning.
TEAMS: DISTRIBUTED DIGITAL DELIVERY
With software democratization, the IT team no longer has exclusivity over the creation of applications,
and the delivery model has shifted towards strategies based on Fusion Teams
made up of professionals from different areas of knowledge in the company.
Instead of organizing work by functions
or responsibilities, these teams are organized across departments. To do this,
they pool digital talent from different business areas, share business
objectives, and identify primarily with their team instead of the functional
area that matches their experience.
The Agile approach, typical of digital
native companies, is creeping into all organizations and terms like “agile
teams”, “agile enterprise” and “digital product teams” are becoming
The leaders of these teams go beyond the
usual responsibilities of agile product owners; They lead the strategy,
roadmap, and resourcing for the team, and tend to have end-to-end
accountability for results.
FUSION TEAMS VS. GOVERNANCE
Fusion teams need autonomy to create and launch digital solutions, but many CIOS are concerned that this increases the risks associated with decentralized and Shadow IT.
Furthermore, in a distributed delivery
context, team leaders may lack the broader view necessary to prioritize business results over departmental goals.
requires discovery that often goes beyond the scope of existing governance and
To help their companies gain greater
value from the distributed delivery model, CIOs should:
- Encourage Fusion Team leaders to build and launch digital solutions without undue risk.
- Focus on modernizing the company’s governance and digital foundations.
- Avoid the creation of new talent silos by promoting the centralization of areas of digital expertise and the transfer of digital skills.
- Use communities of practice to capture talent and scale good practices to accelerate business learning.
EVANGELIST CIO TO ORCHESTRATOR CIO
The CIO played an evangelist role
in the first moments of digital transformation, promoting their vision for
However, with distributed delivery
models, fusion teams are the primary way to structure digital business. As a
consequence, there are more digital leaders and the role of the CIO must shift
from evangelist to orchestrator to coordinate the teams.
Digital leaders with technological
resources to make their visions a reality
Accompanying this change to the CIO’s
role are the new digital foundations that include development environments,
agile tools, API repositories, and modernized and shared infrastructures.
As team leaders develop greater
digital skills and capacities to handle technological responsibilities, CIOs
will relinquish their competencies in many of the activities and take on others
more related to building digital foundations.
These digital bases have a high human
component since they go beyond the need to provide transversal tools,
development platforms and integration and data capabilities. And they aim at
preparing teams to apply digital criteria, and make the best decisions for
creating and launching digital solutions on their own.
The role of the CIO orchestrator should focus on technology management and the human component of teams.