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6. Create and empower an interdisciplinary team

  • Bring together the full range of skills you need into the design team and/or draw on relevant subject matter experts.
  • Create a sustainable team culture that is open to being adaptive, collaborative and outcomes driven.
  • Learn to support and challenge each other constructively to do the best work and to grow the capability of the team and community.
  • Empower the team to make decisions through the design, build and operation of the service, with governance arrangements that are appropriate to the service being delivered.

Why it matters

Delivering a quality service needs a diverse range of business and specialist skills. Building inclusive services also requires different perspectives that help reflect the diversity of the community we serve.

Team members may come and go depending on the stage and need. Having the right skills in the team - when you need them - helps ensure a useful, well thought-through end product.

Having a great team is the first step to building great services. Then you need to ensure an ongoing culture within your design and delivery team that works for the individuals involved, and benefits the community, and the services we develop.

A great team culture ensures:

  • all those involved can achieve their full potential
  • a healthy, scientific and collaborative approach to developing the best possible services for New Zealand.

How to meet this principle

At a minimum you should demonstrate that you have access to all the skills and perspectives you need to deliver a service, including:

  • a product manager and delivery manager with decision-making authority
  • service design, user research and user experience skills
  • content designers and developers
  • creative technical architecture and development expertise
  • expertise in analytics, information management, security and accessibility
  • knowledge about relevant cultural, language, gender or other user considerations for the service. 

At a minimum you should describe your team culture and how your team works together to design, deliver and support the service, such as:

  • the team principles and ethos including a strong commitment to users
  • how the team applies project management and delivery methodologies, co-design and service design
  • the team’s working practices (such as stand-ups, demos, sprint planning sessions, and retrospectives) and demonstrated ability to adapt
  • the decision making and approval processes the team uses
  • how users, stakeholders, cultural advisors and business or policy experts are engaged by and collaborated with by the team
  • the team’s approach to support processes like pairing and peer review
  • how you resolve gaps in team capability or capacity as you identify them
  • processes the team uses to transfer knowledge and skills from any external people who work with the team
  • how the team members access and contribute to knowledge transfer and skills development across the public sector.

The team should also be working alongside people representing agencies’ business and policy perspectives, and should describe the gaps in their team and how they will mitigate the gaps through external engagement or advisors. No single team can represent all areas of diversity, but active team self-awareness and mitigation can help ensure diversity of perspectives is well represented.


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