Multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) have all of the skills required to deliver and improve products and services.
Traditionally, organisations have divided capabilities across functional areas. In contrast, MDTs draw members from a range of disciplines. MDTs can fluctuate in size, but consist of a core group who work together to research, build and improve the product or service. They have:
- a broad mix of technical and expert roles and digital skills
- the right amount of people and resources to deliver the product or service
- the ability to understand the problem through objective research and data analysis
- the ability to change and adapt as knowledge of the products and services evolve
- the confidence to make quick decisions based on evidence
- a focus on outcomes over outputs. MDTs work in ways that are agile and they follow user-centred design practices.
Senior leaders set the vision for the overall service and are crucial to its success. Leaders:
- are responsible for the experience of their service, ensuring user needs are met
- empower their teams to continuously deliver evidence-based improvements
- understand the basic principles of agile delivery and user-centred design
- explore opportunities to reuse, simplify and increase efficiencies across products and services
- help to remove barriers and resolve issues
- protect and champion the work of their teams
- may oversee several MDTs who form part of the service.
A successful team seeks to balance a solution which is desirable, feasible and viable. A typical team might have the following roles:
- product manager
- delivery manager
- technical lead
- subject matter expert
- user researcher
- service designer
- content designer
- interaction designer
For a list of possible roles within a MDT, see 'Understanding digital roles' at the DTA website.
Establish multidisciplinary teams
Pull together the right people at the right time from different functional areas.
Prove the value of MDTs through pilot initiatives. Learn through experience before attempting larger pieces of work.
Ensure teams are focused on a single priority. Limit context switching.
Commit to priorities
Place resources in the highest value products and services and retire services no longer delivering value.
Encourage new ways of working. Help your team understand the problem and encourage solutions based on evidence not preference.
Be part of the team by being available, responsive and collaborative. Ask to see the work. Remove barriers — don’t be a barrier.
Resources for MDT in government
Learn more about MDTs with the following links.
- See the DTA's Managing teams on building and managing MDTs.
Join our agile community
You'll find more resources, advice and support in the Digital Profession's Agile and Lean Community. It's an open and safe space to connect with peers, share experiences, ask questions and help solve common problems.