When you set forth to create a digital product, you will realise very early that this is a process that deserves multi-disciplinary action that blends creativity, engineering, support, compliance and business strategy.
Due to its complexity, large businesses and global brands undergo various transformations and they struggle when it come to figuring out how they need to structure their digital teams. To succeed, they need to ask themselves several questions that range from;
What is the right way to organise all the necessary roles and their responsibilities?
What part of the organisation should take up capable ownership?
How do we get every team member working together?
Ideally, the optimal structure of a digital team should vary from company to company. However, one effective way of making this approach would be to use a defining framework that would help identify 10 – 15 key roles of the project. These roles can be further divided into three conceptual teams – Digital Business, Digital Technology, and Extended Business. We shall take a look at what these define independently.
The Owner of the the digital business team has a vision that defines the key business and its objectives for the property. This includes target market segmentation and its objectives etc. This vision makes the final decision on the product to take proper direction.
Product Management teams own the product on a daily basis and ties up with other areas of the business to make sure that the value of this digital proposition is realised very early on in the product lifecycle. Product teams tare responsible for commissioning and reviewing research exercises to develop and build the roadmap for the company in terms of business vision and the ability to prioritise improvements and changes.
Program Management, not to be misunderstood for Product Management is responsible for the long term ownership of the product and making sure that all objectives are in place to achieve the roadmap desired by the product team. This can extend to budgeting and resource allocation that eventually comes together to maintain a good release schedule.
UI and UX teams are responsible for the overall look and feel of the product. This team maintains and develops a standard for the product where they outline the user flow and intended usage pattern for some time to come. These teams work with user testing initiatives as well as focus on quality assurance teams to ensure that new releases bring the product on par with the goals of the company.
Content Developers create non-marketing and non-campaign oriented material for the site/product. These include articles, instructions, FAQ and so on. Their primary job is to create content that is easy to understand and at the same time that is consistent with the brand or vision of the business.
Front End Development teams select the framework. They also define the code that will be deployed to the front of site thereby standardising technologies to be used. Tech teams here will also help contribute to writing code that will render in browsers. These languages extend to HTML, JS and Objective C etc. This kind of development drives requirements for back-end teams thereby ensuring that the best user experience can be implemented.
Back-End teams manage all the enterprise responsibilities including inventory, finances and content management systems. They are responsible for enforcing standards that protect the integrity of all systems a business relies on. These teams need to be scalable enough to ensure that they are able to implement new capabilities, features and tech requirements.
These teams have Data Developers that consistently monitor the health of databases, services and infrastructure architecture. The infrastructure built will be able to maintain the physical hardware used for applications and data processing. They also maintain disaster and business contingency programs, while at the same time being able to monitor the scalability and reliability of all physical infrastructure. These teams will also need to proactively monitor the security of the businesses tech requirements.
Quality Assurance, popularly known as QA, maintain standards for code in production and develop automated systems to test scripts that are based on the business’ contingency plan. These teams execute any integration and manifest testing scenarios such that there is a certain degree of quality that is being published. Team members here will also be responsible for monitoring key metrics that could identify potential problems. These are then manifested with documentation to the tech teams to carry out bug fixing or rollbacks. It should be kept in mind that although you may want a trained professional to carry out QA, it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that quality is maintained across the board.
Marketing teams are responsible for most key operations. They are the ones that develop campaigns and offers to drive traffic to the site. Their goal should be to focus on numbers while studying every detail through ongoing business analysis. They also manage subscriber lists, CRM systems and make first level reach-outs.
Within the marketing team, there is a Product and Pricing division that is setup to ensure that the responsibility of pricing is effectively measured and offered across all digital properties. In appropriation, they develop, merchandise or license anything sold on the website. They set all pricing and drive the overall requirements for aligning features with new products based on the company’s parameters.
Another essential team within extended business is that of Operations. They are the ones responsible for fulfilling the value proposition of the company. eCommerce sites have operational assistants to handle picking, packing and shipping. Digital video business have searching, vetting and uploading teams etc.
Business Development teams or BD is responsible for creating partnerships that help increase site visitors and help sales teams find a new stream of revenue. The focus here is to shift dynamics from traditional exhaustive channels of sales and introduce new ones where market research dives.
Customer Support is the aftermarket team that is responsible for sharing knowledge of the digital policies, platforms and solutions a business needs to provide. They assist customers with issues and help maintain track performance of satisfact levels.
While this structure may seem exhaustive, most teams differ from company to company. This means that if you have key roles in your business, you will need to create a list of well defined responsibilities that define these processes. Finally, you will need to see how they function together and tweak teams in the most effective manner that is beneficial for individuals as well as the business. The ultimate goal here is to ensure that digital business teams, digital technology teams and the extended business teams are all in sync and working effectively on the projects they are assigned.