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Adapting Teams to Enterprise Needs: The Key to Successful Collaborations

Valentina Bianco
Valentina Bianco
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Adapting Teams to Enterprise Needs: The Key to Successful Collaborations

In the ever-changing landscape of modern business, enlisting the support of external vendors often triggers an abundance of questions and uncertainties. However, amidst these considerations, one aspect emerges as paramount—the critical need for adaptability in an era characterized by relentless change and innovation. In a time where the only constant is change, organizations must continually recalibrate their priorities and foster innovation to remain competitive.

With over a decade of industry experience, we've meticulously honed our approach to seamlessly engage and integrate with our clients' teams. This becomes especially vital when partnering with large organizations, which may initially appear as intricate mosaics of diverse teams, units, and departments.

Introduction

As an external partner, our success in integration hinges on the agility and adaptability of our team. We take immense pride in our ability to grasp the intricacies of our clients' teams and take full ownership of the results we deliver.

In this blog post, we'll share the knowledge we've accumulated over the years, alongside the best practices that have consistently enabled us to achieve agile and seamless integration with clients spanning various sizes and industries. Whether you are a corporate giant or a niche player, our insights aim to guide you toward collaborative success in a constantly transforming business ecosystem.

Build Teams with Client-Centric Focus

→ Ensure Synergy in Team Formation

When it comes to choosing the individual contributors who will partake in a new client's project, randomness or the sole reliance on specific skills simply won't suffice. It's imperative to consider the synergy of team members and their ability to function as a cohesive unit, aligning with the client's unique needs and preferences.

Think beyond roles and responsibilities; ponder cultural compatibility. Not everyone possesses the skill set or the desire to work for a specific type of organization. A harmonious connection between clients and team members, not only in terms of their roles but also their cultural fit, is essential.

As one of our operations team members aptly phrased it: 'You wouldn't assign a vegan to work in a slaughterhouse.' This highlights the crucial understanding that assigning individuals to projects they believe in is paramount. It's essential not to underestimate the impact of having people working on a project that resonates with them—something truly rewarding. One team member eloquently expressed, 'I believe that through my work, I make a difference in the lives of those who truly need it. Being able to contribute to a project like this holds a unique significance for me.' By aligning the team's composition with the client's values, preferences, and work culture, we forge a foundation for success that transcends mere technical proficiency. It's about creating a team that shares the client's vision and ethos, ensuring not just project delivery but a harmonious collaboration.

Assignment Process
Our Assignment Process

Client's Needs Assessment: Our pre-sales process includes a thorough evaluation of the client in order to distinguish their specific needs, not only in terms of team composition but also in terms of skills and tech.

Roadmap Understanding: We reach a clear understanding of the client's roadmap: what they need, what's the reach, what techs might be useful, etc.

Tentative Team: A preliminary team is formed where we define the number of people, roles, and techs.

Team Assignment: We meet to assign specific people to those roles taking into account: their professional projections and career path, which techs they feel comfortable with or specialize in. We work with PODs*, so people that work well together stay together, fostering productivity and mitigating turnovers.

* Product-oriented delivery. This refers to a cross-functional team of business and technology professionals who work as a single unit to handle all aspects of development and maintenance (Source).

Understand the Context for Informed Ownership

→ Deepen Your Insight

As we embark on our collaborative journey with clients and their teams, our foremost priority is to immerse ourselves in their world. We gain a comprehensive understanding of their work, processes, tools, and the intricate dynamics that shape their organization. This involves delving deep into the heart of their business, examining its most pressing challenges, and aligning our efforts with their overarching objectives. In essence, we aim to have a clear view of their roadmap and broader business goals.

Our approach to making suggestions is rooted in our commitment to owning the project and delivering exceptional value. However, we don't rush into recommendations immediately upon entering a team. While our position as an external team affords us the advantages of objectivity, a fresh perspective, and the ability to offer innovative solutions, we recognize the importance of first adapting fully to our new environment.

→ Make Informed Suggestions

Before suggesting changes or additions, adaptable teams should immerse themselves in the context, gaining a profound understanding of the client's unique landscape. This approach allows us to make well-informed suggestions that are tailored to the client's needs and challenges, ensuring that every proposed solution aligns seamlessly with their objectives.

By prioritizing context and comprehensive understanding, we ensure our suggestions are more accurate and precise.

Go Beyond Task Fulfillment

→ Add Value through a Startup Mindset

Our journey began with a startup mindset, where innovative ideas sparked in the minds of our clients. We quickly realized that to be true partners, we needed to do more than just fulfill tasks. We needed to embrace their vision as our own, comprehending it swiftly and deeply. This shared commitment led us to adopt what we call the "product studio mindset."

At Xmartlabs, we believe in the power of dedication. That's why we refer to our teams as "dedicated teams." For us, collaborations should not be merely about ticking off tasks on a to-do list. They should provide value that transcends the usual.

Once you absorb the essence of the client's vision, set out to provide solutions that are uniquely tailored to their needs. Don't just apply one-size-fits-all approaches. Instead, draw upon your diverse experiences and expertise to craft strategies and innovations that align perfectly with their objectives.

Seek opportunities to provide insights, suggestions, and improvements that can drive your clients forward. Whether it's refining a feature, optimizing a process, or suggesting an innovative approach, aim to exceed expectations. By adopting the product studio mindset, you'll transform every engagement into a collaboration fueled by creativity, innovation, and the unwavering commitment to provide exceptional value.

Have a Support System Around Your Team

→ Happy Team = Happy Client

Much is talked about keeping customers happy, but having a happy team is also essential. People working in a safe and contained environment will obviously perform better. When incorporating people into a client's team, it's important for them to keep feeling like they work at their own company (in this case, Xmartlabs), have a sense of belonging, and not feel alienated from their co-workers. They shouldn't feel abandoned.

This, of course, shouldn't interfere with their integration with the client's team and their sense of ownership of their work over there. We strive to have a balance and make it all feel like one united team.

To make sure things are going smoothly, is important to have a support system set around the team members. At Xmartlabs, that support system takes the following structure:

  • Project Manager / Account Manager: They provide support and oversee the internal execution of the client's project while they also serve as the main point of contact for the client.
  • Engineering Manager: They look after the team member's professional development and follow closely their career path. They have regular 1:1 instances to check in on their status and address any concerns they might have, as well as provide them with feedback.
  • HR Representative: Each team member has a person from HR assigned who is responsible for overseeing their performance review process, fostering their career growth within Xmartlabs, and providing support for any questions, issues, or specific situations that may arise.

This structure enables you to have several people constantly monitoring the project's health and status as well as making sure the client's feedback regarding performance and team will be internalized and acted upon. It also ensures conflicts are more manageable, as it enables the internal team to catch possible issues before they transfer to the client side or serve as mediators in case issues arise.

Team Support

Ensure Constant Communication

In the realm of client-vendor partnerships, effective communication is the linchpin of success. While having a dedicated account manager is valuable, it should never hinder direct interaction between the client and the development team.

Successful collaborations thrive on shared objectives. Every team member, regardless of their organization, should share a common goal: delivering outstanding results. This unity is only possible when communication channels remain transparent and accessible.

In the spirit of strong partnerships, clients should be regarded as more than mere recipients of services; they should be integral members of the team. This integration transcends titles, offering every team member, whether from the client's side or the vendor's, a direct line of communication.

Keep an Active Search

A key aspect of having a flexible and adaptable team is ensuring that you will be able to cover any new roles that arise. Sometimes you will be able to do so with internal talent, with people you have on the bench or on other projects, but oftentimes, the role or technology is one you might not have the internal capabilities for.

To avoid potential delays, it's advisable to proactively seek individuals with specialized skill sets that may be harder to find within the market. Once identified, ensure internal approval for these niche roles, and inform the client about these potential candidates who could complement and enhance the team. This proactive approach not only streamlines the recruitment process but also reinforces transparency and client collaboration.

An effective way to operationalize this approach is by establishing a systematic process. For instance, at Xmartlabs, our dedicated recruiters consistently identify potential candidates for specific positions. Upon identifying a prospective match, candidates undergo a thorough interview process, including a technical assessment to evaluate their skillset and a cultural interview aimed at gauging their alignment with Xmartlabs' team culture and ethos.

Once candidates successfully navigate these assessments, they are introduced to the team collaborating with the client—the team they may potentially join. If this introduction is well-received and everything aligns positively, the candidate, having already been internally validated, proceeds to a screening call with the client prior to onboarding. This step allows the client to give their approval, ensuring a cohesive and well-matched collaboration from the outset.

Proactive Recruiting Process

Conclusions

In the realm of flexible and adaptable teams, the key to successful collaborations lies in understanding and embracing the evolving needs of your business. Whether you're a corporate giant seeking scalable team collaboration or a niche player in need of tailored enterprise solutions, the principles remain the same—adaptability, client-centric focus, and constant communication.

As you navigate the dynamic landscape of business, the right outsourcing partner can make all the difference. At Xmartlabs, we bring over a decade of experience and a commitment to not just meeting but exceeding your expectations. Choose a partner who understands the importance of client-driven development, agile team integration, and vendor responsiveness.

Ready to elevate your development journey? Let's talk!

Flexible Development TeamsAdaptable Outsourcing ServicesCustom Software DevelopmentScalable Team Collaboration

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