Liquid Teams: How Remote Teams Can Optimize Efficiency And Quality

October 30, 2021

With the pandemic, traditional software development teams underwent a profound shift. Overnight, the physical offices that defined organizational silos disappeared. In this time of change, there is a massive opportunity for IT executives to take a leap forward in how teams are built and managed. We call this the shift to Liquid Teams.

Liquid teams is the concept that team resourcing should respond dynamically to the needs of each phase of a project. Just like modern cloud scales capacity and services on demand, a modern team should have the right people with the right skills flowing in and out of the development cycle in a perfectly coordinated way.

This approach to staffing is the newest way that IT is evolving to an on-demand model. We have on-demand cloud computing, cloud-native applications composed from on-demand microservices, and increasingly, the team resourcing models are shifting from fixed to liquid. But creating and managing liquid teams takes more than guesswork. It calls for team intelligence that uses advanced technology to provide constant calibration across talent, team, and the delivery process.

Gigster’s Team Intelligence is a software platform that makes liquid teams possible because it helps you ask — and get precise answers to — these key questions: Talent calibration: What technical skills do I have in my organization, what is their availability and how well do they work in a collaborative model? If I don’t have the exact skills needed, how can I find those skills in the broader market? Team calibration: How well do team members work together and complement one another?

What do team metrics and sentiment predict about project risk and business value? What proactive steps can improve team performance. Delivery calibration: What can the team do to reduce delivery risk and ensure quality? For example, can each project deliverable be assessed by an independent expert to identify potential issues and resolve them quickly? Having precise answers to all these questions has helped our clients increase productivity by 30% and reduce project delivery risk by 60%.

Gigster’s Team Intelligence uses data we have gathered from over 3,500 project milestone deliverables. This volume of data makes Gigster’s predictive analytics highly reliable, and continuous calibration means our models get more predictable with every deliverable. As an example, Gigster recently helped a leading bank staff and manage distributed teams building critical operational infrastructure. The project had a small core team that was engaged for the duration of the effort and a much larger team of specialists and developers who flowed on and off the project as needed. The client was able to draw on a much larger and more specialized skill pool.

More importantly, because people were only brought onto the project for the effort required, the project was delivered with over 30% higher productivity than the bank’s traditional fixed team approach. Given such compelling cost and quality benefits, it’s no wonder that more and more IT departments are moving to liquid teams made up of just-in-time talent. Even better, they are learning that on-demand teams provide the same kinds of benefits they have already achieved from on-demand computing.

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