Build diverse, multi-disciplinary teams
The best services are made by multi-disciplinary teams with diverse skillsets and backgrounds. Diverse teams are innovative, flexible, capable and reflect the communities they serve. These teams:
- Have a dedicated role with the authority to make most decisions about the service
- Have technical knowledge sufficient to build and maintain the service’s entire technology stack
- Have user experience, user research, service design and content design expertise
- Have access to subject matter experts who can provide specialized data, security, privacy, policy, legal or technical advice
- Have input from business areas that will implement the service, including non-digital service delivery staff
- Reduce barriers to diversity by ensuring their workplace and hiring practices are accessible and inclusive
- Collaborate widely, share their work and benefit from lessons learned by teams in other governments and the private sector
Support teams with strong digital leadership
Creating excellent digital services is impossible without talent, and talent needs the right support. Creating a healthy digital ecosystem means attracting the best talent and ensuring that they have the resources and support to work at their best. If you’re a part of our digital leadership, you can support digital talent by:
- Resourcing teams sustainably by thinking of services as permanent products, not point-in-time projects
- Doing long-term planning to make sure teams have the staff and other resources they need for the service’s entire lifecycle
- Giving teams the flexibility to adjust their resourcing and fill gaps quickly as their needs change
- Prioritizing competitive pay, rewarding career paths and meaningful work to attract and retain the best digital talent available
- Promoting digital literacy at all levels, but especially for leaders
- Avoiding brain-drain by creating opportunities for mentorship and knowledge transfer
- Creating a culture that values diversity, inclusion, innovation, experimentation, collaboration and learning
- Structuring delivery teams with minimal hierarchy so everyone is encouraged to voice their opinion and know it will be respected
- if you manage multiple delivery teams, thinking of them as a portfolio to help find ways they can support each other and share resources
Make the best use of external resources
External contractors provide important support to delivery teams and government collaboration supports the Province’s digital economy. But contractors aren’t a substitute for permanent, internal capacity to build and maintain systems. To make sure your team is making healthy use of contractors:
- Build your team on a strong foundation of permanent public servants before adding support from contractors
- Plan ahead and create permanent product teams that can support services for their entire lifecycle
- Make sure roles that lead service delivery and make high-impact decisions are filled by public servants
- Put public servants in all key knowledge roles, such as product managers, so we have the expertise to maintain and improve our systems
- Take advantage of the Digital Marketplace to make finding external talent easy and fair
The alignment guide is intended to be used with the supporting context of the related practice and resources. This guide provides examples of what the implementation of this practice may look like and defines a range of competence within the practice area.
Initial teams may not recognize the value of diverse perspectives, leading to gaps in their capacity.
- Overloading their team with people with similar experience and knowledge
- Failing to document or transfer knowledge when team members leave
- Lacking support from leadership to quickly identify and fill gaps in resourcing
Developing teams are gathering foundational skills and resources to help them work efficiently and independently.
- Identifying the skills needed to deliver their product and planning hiring or training activities to secure them
- Learning about practices that can encourage mentorship and knowledge transfer within the team
- Connecting with colleagues who can support them with specialized expert advice when needed
Delivering teams retain the diverse skills they need to deliver connected services and maintain them through their lifecycle.
- Maintaining a multi-disciplinary team able to handle all the challenges of delivering modern digital services
- Making sure their hiring and workplace practices are accessible and inclusive and do not create any barriers to diversity
- Keeping technical expertise within government by filling key roles with internal resources
Optimizing teams constantly evaluate their capacity and resourcing and push themselves to be capable of more.
- Building trust with leadership so the team can be empowered to follow the direction of their product independently
- Experimenting with new team structures that enhance their flexibility and responsiveness to change
- Attracting and retaining digital talent by prioritizing flexibility, innovative work, competitive compensation and opportunities for advancement
Innovating teams demonstrate the value of cutting-edge digital capacity and grow our reputation as a world-class digital government.
- Creating teams with a wide range of expertise that can deliver and support groundbreaking digital services
- Partnering with academic and private sector groups to build a culture of innovation and attract the best digital talent in the world
- Helping leaders understand the vital role digital capacity should play in strategic decision making
UK Service Manual: The team