Top 5 advantages of multidisciplinary teams in technology

The advantages of multidisciplinary teams in technology are many; quality, team improvement, time-saving, problem-solving, and versatility.

Fidel Chaves
6 min read

What is a multidisciplinary team?

If you Google the phrase “advantages of multidisciplinary teams”, most likely you’ll end up reading about healthcare solutions and how they enable a wide range of professionals to team up and work together. But you are here to learn about the advantages of multidisciplinary teams in technology, aren't you? Well, health care is not the same as technology, but they have one thing in common: both desperately rely on teamwork.

 

Multidisciplinary teams are groups of people who belong to different disciplines, each providing specific contributions to the project at hand. At the hospital, you would have surgeons, nurses, psychiatrists, social workers, and anesthesiologists. In the software industry, developers, managers, designers, IT specialists, and the unassuming copywriter.

 

So a multidisciplinary team is a group of people with different talents and backgrounds, like the Avengers. You have the techie, the foreign super powerful joker, Mr. “I always do the right thing”, Mr. “I’m always angry”, Mme Russian ballet ninja, and the others (no offense to guys with arrows). But how do these teams look in software development?

What does your team look like?

So you want to assemble your own team of superheroes, and you can't get a hold of Nick Fury. Who should you be calling? There is a long list of options, but most of the software industry does well with summoning these people:

Management

We’ve already talked about project and product management. When there is a group of people, there is always someone in charge of team management. It is usually the person with a bird view of the team; they bring great things to the table.

 

  • Monitoring the progress of any project
  • Communication bridge among the team and with stakeholders.
  • Coordination of the team and making sure everyone has what they need

IT

IT professionals are responsible for a wide range of tasks: testing, building, installing, repairing, and maintaining hardware and software. That is no small burden. We have discussed how automation and orchestration can take things from their plate, but they still have so much to offer. At work, IT professionals spend their time:

 

  • Installing, maintaining, and monitoring platforms
  • Integrating and preparing facilities and assets
  • Bringing support to the rest of the team (Yeah, I tried disconnecting my router, and it didn’t work)

Design

Designers are often forgotten in technology as many people mistakenly consider that design is related to beauty and taste. That is why you see so much comic sans and white-on-white text. I've said it before and I will say it one more time: design looks a lot more like engineering and science than subjective artistic expression. It is putting your creativity in service of communication. Designers are masters of:

 

  • Researching into user needs and frustrations
  • Bringing design thinking to the table
  • The design process behind the UX and UI
  • Testing and improving existing versions

Development

We’ve reviewed the differences between CTO vs. tech lead, and we have also discussed the DevOps culture and how it affects developers. Many people outside the software industry think that there are only engineers and developers. And while these roles are the kernel of it all, they don’t work in a vacuum. CTOs, tech leads, and developers work every day to bring innovation, efficiency, and new releases to the table. They are necessary contributors to any software development project. Roles in development work at:

 

  • Designing, building, and coding the project
  • Identifying problems and looking for solutions
  • Maintaining and updating the produced software

 

But what are the advantages of these diverse teams?

5 advantages of multidisciplinary teams

So you still have your doubts? Well, let’s discuss some of the benefits. Why should you care about hiring such a carnival of professionals? I present to you the top 5 advantages of multidisciplinary teams.

1. Increased product quality

A wide range of vision will allow you to create and design a product of superior quality by bringing a diverse range of professionals to the table, compensating the biases of each discipline, and putting a coordinated construction of a product to avoid failure and defects all at once.

2. Continuous team improvement

People learn from each other. That’s a fact. Experience is hard to teach and walking in other people’s shoes too. Working together is the easiest way to learn—a milestone in the Japanese industry, where innovation and improvement are the standards.

3. Reduction in development time, mistakes, and integration

If all the team members have their eyes on the project, you can expect a reduction in errors, development, and integration times. Why is that? Each will understand what is necessary and can take a look at others' responsibilities. Beware, a humble approach is needed.

4. Versatility and scalability

Multidisciplinary teams are usually highly versatile and scalable. When a project is well-planned from the beginning, having each perspective consulted and materialized into the product, problems are easier to navigate, and foundations are stable enough to build upon.


5. Quick response and problem solving

No matter what, no matter how well you prepare or how far in the future you had planned, problems arise. You will need a team that can put out fires and works together in the face of uncertainty. Multidisciplinary teams are crucial for success in trying times since each member has a given set of skills that can be leveraged for improvement. If you don’t get that, you have probably never played a MOBA.

 

So you have your team, you have your advantages, but something does not click yet? I might have what you are looking for.

The secrets of successful teamwork

Some years ago, someone cried out Eureka someplace near Google headquarters. What did they find? The secret of successful teamwork: psychological safety. What is that, and what does it have to do with teamwork? I hear you asking.

 

Psychological safety has two pillars: setting an environment where people feel safe to talk and encouraging active listening. Good teamwork stems from good communication, either from knowing how the other person feels or opening up your own thoughts and ideas.

 

This approach has proved successful inside Google, showing a surge of innovation, efficiency, and risk-taking. The importance of psychological safety for the good functioning of a team shows how well a person can perform when they feel that someone has their back.

 

At Awkbit, we believe in the importance of having multidisciplinary teams from the very beginning of our startup. That is why we have designers, developers, IT and HR professionals, and even marketers. Like the A-team, every day, we team up and work side by side to provide the best possible solution to challenging problems. Are you looking for a multidisciplinary team to carry out your project?

Reach Out!

Sources & further reading