We build things. We build web products for clients in a variety of industries with varying team structures. And we’ve learned something important amidst all those experiences: How a team is built is just as important as what that team is building.
Our approach to building teams is rooted in our core principle of iteration. We believe that collaboration, partnership, and response to changing conditions are essential to building great teams. And great teams are required to build great products.
As we iterate on client projects—confirming that we’re building the right thing—we also iterate on our team makeup to make sure that our clients have the right team at the right time. Iterating on teams is as natural to Sparkbox as iterating on products. But we recognize this is a concept that can be hard for others to grasp because it is not common in our industry. Let us introduce what it means to be the right team at the right time.
Warning: This is Not Staff Aug
For well over a decade, Sparkbox has been partnering with complex organizations to create user-driven web experiences. We craft a team for each client based on their needs and constraints like scope and timing. Team size can range from a person and a half to eight or ten people divided into multiple working teams. It all depends on what the client needs, and when they need it.
This is very different than a “staff aug” agency. We aren’t assigning team members to simply fill seats on a client team. We’re assigning well-rounded contributors, proactive leaders, and infectious team players. Our teams do not wait to be told what to do. They seek out the valuable places they can contribute, execute with best practices, document their work, set a good example, and help lead the charge once they’ve gained appropriate context and trust.
We deliberately build a team of Sparkbox strategists and contributors who suit the goals, priorities, and budgets of each client. This approach is more personalized, more adaptable, and more fluid over time.
Right Time Means Meeting Changing Needs
Web product needs are constantly changing. As project needs change, so do team needs. The roles that are needed in the first few weeks of a feature or release might look very different than what is needed six months later. Maybe there is a starting focus on major research and UX strategy, followed by heavier sprints of design and frontend development, and then additional developers are brought in during later integrations or migration iterations. It’s possible that a team could need nine people with nine different skill sets, but may only get the budget approved for two or three. Or they might get all nine people, but those people will be sitting on their hands when they aren’t needed. Having an adaptable team is a much more effective way to use the available budget for a project.
Partnering with Sparkbox ensures our clients have all the skills they need when they need them without having full-time employees sitting on the bench. Having the right team at the right time acknowledges that needs change as a project evolves and provides expertise when needed. We also ensure that the people working on each product are the right kind of strategic thinkers, highly experienced in that current problem space.
This is a Better Way to Support Internal Teams
Providing the right team at the right time doesn’t mean there is reliance only on Sparkbox. We love working alongside internal teams. This means our team of experts complements each client team and explores alongside them with a consultant mindset. We aren’t territorial. It’s our goal to level up our client’s team. By the time our engagement is complete, our clients notice that their team is better informed and often better run than when we started.
Throughout a project, our team is constantly documenting, planning, and creating artifacts for future growth of the product roadmap. When our time on a project is wrapping up, we’re intentional about bringing the ownership of this proactive work to a logical handoff point. As our clients transition into maintenance mode or start work on new priorities, we make sure each team has what they need, including a plan for internal management or growth that will meet their needs for the long haul.
Hire Sparkbox to be Your Right Team at the Right Time
There are many, many ways to structure digital engagements. Ours is the smart way to make use of an available budget, provide clients with the benefit of all our expertise, and move quickly toward each project’s definition of success. If you are looking for Sparkbox to be your right team at the right time partner, let’s talk.