What are fusion teams and development?
As businesses adopt new technologies as part of their digital transformation strategy, they also have to evaluate how internal teams operate and communicate with each other to ensure their digital transformation succeeds.
Fusion teams will be an integral part of that strategy. They'll help improve both business outcomes and user experiences by delivering products and solutions faster and better meeting the needs of customers and clients.
What are fusion teams?
A fusion team is a multi-disciplinary team of developers, users, and business leaders that use their specific disciplines and expertise to help build a product that aligns to one common goal. By combining the team’s knowledge with the latest technology, fusion teams can deliver products and solutions faster and more efficiently.
Essentially, it’s a new way of working for your organization. By overseeing a project from end to end, fusion teams use an agile strategy as they help create each solution and integrate them into the overall digital strategy. This agile strategy allows you to consistently test and modify your solution based on user needs. This way, teams are able to pivot plans, reframe decisions, and tackle critical business problems without hesitations of organizational and financial setbacks. In this case, you’ll give teams the freedom to choose how they’ll tackle those problems.
With fusion teams, you’re able to focus more on the end results rather than the time, effort, and money to get those results. According to Fusion Teams 101, while fusion teams typically don’t have a designated reporting structure, team leaders would most likely report to your IT department or other business areas outside of IT. By blurring the lines between IT and the rest of the business, fusion teams are becoming more popular over the traditional, IT-centric delivery models.
Fusion development approach
As digital transformation grows, there’s a growing demand for the applications that organizations need to create versus available developers who can actually develop them quickly. To accomplish this feat, you’ll need developers that can build new products or solutions, but you don’t want them to spend all their time working on the no-code aspects of your project. That’s where low-code developers come in.
By bringing in those without coding experience, fusion development teams benefit from those closest to the problem and with the most knowledge of the business. That way the team is able to tackle the most challenging of business scenarios--using the diverse skillsets of managers, department leads, and IT experts to develop solutions faster. Pairing those with less coding experience but vast amounts of technical and organizational knowledge with experienced developers ensures your fusion team is working to capacity.
Both types of developers bring their own skillsets to the team: low-code developers plan to help meet those initial challenges and experienced developers assist with their advanced technical expertise to enhance, extend, and execute the final product or solution. Finally, they present that finished product or solution to a key set of users. Those users provide feedback on functionality and necessary changes for a smoother experience, and the fusion team goes back to work.
Low-code and experienced developers come together to create a clear and simple experience that can support business needs, address the app gap, and make the connection to experienced developers, resulting in the agile fusion team. As fusion development becomes embraced from the top down, teams are more likely to use emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots.
Benefits of fusion team development
Some of the benefits of implementing fusion teams in your organization are:
- Larger distribution of knowledge sharing. By engaging with employees who would be typically siloed and not included, fusion teams can better distribute knowledge throughout the company. When teams are siloed, they’re disconnected and missing key moments where a knowledge transfer could help teams work together. This maximized flow of knowledge allows team members to naturally learn from each other—usually information outside of their daily activities.
- Rapid digital transformation. Organizations need to keep up with the rapid pace of technology. With fusion teams, an agile strategy, and rapid pace, they’ve been shown to deploy projects and solutions at a much greater rate, even up to two and a half times faster.
- Greater team autonomy. Fusion teams foster effective teamwork. They can react and respond to threats and opportunities quickly, as well as create new strategies for what might work better. As fusion teams have more autonomy to make decisions without the challenges of bureaucracy (i.e., many stakeholders, lost time, etc.), they feel more of a commitment to a successful outcome and personal responsibility for its success, thereby boosting morale.
- Consistent experiences across all channels. Creating a single omnichannel user experience that rivals the competitive marketplace is crucial in today’s ever-evolving digital world. Fusion teams are constantly testing and using those results to gauge what users want, ensuring they’ll get everything they need, no matter what channel they land on.
- Ensuring you’re focused on your customer’s needs. There are great rewards for your team and your end customer. You can deliver a successful product or solution to the customer in less time with fusion teams. Fusion teams are able to take a customer’s problem with real-time feedback and data, gather skillsets from several internal departments to work on addressing those wants and needs, and solve it quickly. Customer insights and product adoption will determine your organization’s success, and fusion teams work to solve that puzzle from the inside out.
Building a fusion team
When building your fusion team, you need the right people in place focusing on what your users want and how your business can accomplish that. Your team will consist of various people with knowledge in multiple areas of the company—those who have the skills to identify customer needs and can create a solution that satisfies those needs. As that could potentially be hundreds of people in your department alone, it’s best to narrow down the people you’ll need to build a team that can help colleagues and reach your business goals.
Without a framework in place, you won’t be able to create teams that are able to tackle your customers’ problems. Here are four steps to help build your fusion team:
- Find the proper use case. Before creating your fusion team, you first need to understand the problem or problems you’re solving. When deciding on how to create an app, website, or digital solution, make sure you:
- Stay simple—find a use case that’s low effort but can provide a considerable impact.
- Stay close—don’t involve too many stakeholders and try to avoid security and governance roadblocks.
- Stay relevant—make sure it’s a pertinent problem and needs solving quickly.
- Assemble your team. Start putting together team members who are proactive about problem-solving and ready to do a little bit of legwork. Because they’ll have to gather knowledge across many lines of business, information and answers they’ll have to work to track down. Some of the roles you may need are:
- Developers who understand the needs and are capable of building products or applications to solve it.
- Business leaders and owners who bring product knowledge plus insights into business processes and customer experiences—including pain points.
- IT administrators to lead your products’ governance, compliance, and maintenance.
- Architects that understand the bigger picture and provide technical guidance and leadership.
- Digital product owners who’ll build upon their functionalities by compiling acceptance criteria.
- Team leaders and scrum masters who’ll implement agile strategies to build and deploy products quicker.
- Testers to ensure the quality and reliability of your product.
- Trainers to guide inexperienced team members, helping them code and build applications.
- UX designers to ensure a smooth user experience and design.
- Plan your roadmap. Determine how much time it’ll take to create, implement, and produce results. Your team will have time to troubleshoot and determine which solutions work best, rather than guessing and attempting to hit unreasonable deadlines.
- Accept mistakes along the way. In addition to factoring in time for training and developing applications and solutions, fusion teams also need to be prepared for roadblocks. Your team, and the organization, must be ready for some failures. By working in an agile environment, your team will constantly be testing to see which solutions yield the best results and have to be ready to pivot when necessary.
As fusion teams gain knowledge through phases of the development cycle, they’ll need coaching and guidance to identify viable business-use cases to make the right decisions. Developers will need hands-on tools and space to fail, re-evaluate, and try again. If your business can invest in your teammates’ learning, development, and required training, they can embrace this way of working and fuel innovation and creativity without fear.
Fusion team use cases
As fusion teams are implemented within your business, they’ll have the power to focus more on the human side of managing your digital risks: behavioral, cultural, and organizational.
Some use cases of fusion teams are:
- Data and analytics. Provides insights to all other organizational teams to aid in their data-driven decision making, such as labor market forecasting.
- Digital channels. Focuses on the user experience and finds areas to digitize and integrate marketing, sales, service, and online channels for customized experiences and targeted marketing.
- Digital operations. Finds additional ways to further digitize operations, like redesigning supply chains.
- Digital products Delivers and maintains customer-facing products and solutions—including digital product development.
Your team needs a solution that empowers everyone globally to be able to give your users what they need, as well as a tool that can use new technologies to their benefit.
Using emerging technologies in fusion development
With more people working remotely globally, there’s been a significant increase of technology use in the workplace. Organizations are starting to look toward new technologies and realizing that fusion teams can benefit greatly from them.
One example is the robust bot experiences powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to help manage their customer needs. Through conversational AI, products can respond to users using language they can understand.
By creating these conversational AI bots with a fusion team, teams are able to build the application by creating low-code chatbots and integrating more advanced AI to enrich the user experience. Developers are able to focus on advanced coding while the business can bring value to the conversational logic—all working together for a seamless process that meets the needs of the business.
Getting started with fusion development solutions
When your business is ready to create fusion teams, you need to first think about the fusion development solutions you’ll use. You’ll need a tool that easily aligns with your project and business goals, yielding for a smooth and seamless implementation.
For instance, if you’re looking to develop bots with conversational AI, you’ll want a solution that can build and scale with ease, such as Microsoft Power Virtual Agents which helps support fusion teams of any skill level. And with the option of integrating your bots of existing business processes with the features from the entire Microsoft Power Platform, your fusion team is sure to have the flexibility and freedom to work how they want to work.
Frequently asked questions
What are fusion teams?
Fusion teams are multi-disciplinary groups blending technology or analytics with business knowledge for a successful finished product.
What is fusion development?
By combining the expertise of low-code and experienced developers with user feedback, businesses can build well-rounded, successful products.
Why should you create a fusion team?
Fusion teams allow your business to build better products and solutions faster with low-code and no-code applications.