Companies often blend the fusion team approach with an agile software development model to gain agile benefits like deep, daily collaboration, accelerated development cycles, and iterative, continued learning and improvement.
To reduce the steep learning curve and coding expertise needed for traditional app development, many fusion teams empower their members with application development platforms. With visual modeling, automation, and AI, business people without coding experience and junior developers can make meaningful development contributions.
Nearly half (43%) of fusion team leaders report outside of IT, according to Gartner. Their responsibilities include strategy, roadmapping, and resourcing, as well as balancing the need for autonomy with the need for governance.
What Are the Challenges of a Fusion Team Approach?
As with any large shift in management strategy, some organizations face challenges when introducing a fusion team approach. These challenges may include:
- Teams optimizing for just their own outcomes rather than broader enterprise goals
- Weak governance and oversight, leading to unnecessary business and technology risks, such as poor data architecture and non-functional issues
- A lack of clear leadership roles as digital delivery responsibilities shift from technology to business leaders
- Suboptimal hiring practices, such as inconsistent skill descriptions, duplication of resources
- Minimal communication of best practices and innovative ideas across fusion teams.
Best Practices to Successfully Embrace a Fusion Team Approach
To avoid these pain points when creating a fusion team culture, follow these best practices:
- Cultivate “digital judgment.” This Gartner-coined term refers to the understanding and articulation of technology governance, risk, and trade-offs when developing digital solutions. Nurture this skill in business teams through learning opportunities with governance and IT experts so that all fusion team members understand existing data and technology standards.
- Collaborate with HR to hire more precisely. Fusion team leaders should work with HR to ensure job descriptions are uniform and make sense across teams.
- Get leadership buy-in and promote a shared vision. Fusion teams break down silos and decentralize IT from digital initiatives. For this to work successfully, the CIO must be innovative and forward-thinking, and LoB leaders must be ready to step up and lead digital-first teams.
- Communicate across fusion teams. Prioritize learning from one another with regular meetings to share best practices, innovative solutions, and resources that can be shared, such as technology or contractors.
How the Right Technology Can Support Fusion Teams
Key to enabling fusion teams to work at full capacity, with all members contributing to the success of digital products, is technology that can empower people who don’t have a development background.
Low-code technologies are great assets to support this type of development.
In fact, according to the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for LCAP, the pressure to enable fusion teams to implement a composable business is one of the key trends leading to a higher adoption of low-code platforms.
OutSystems, a leader in the low-code space, provides automation, AI-assisted development, and a visual IDE to make professional developers more productive, but also to support visual communication and cross-collaboration between IT and business stakeholders.
Concepts like composability and reusability are at the core of OutSystems to enable organizations to speed up innovation and close the gap between business and IT. Development teams can also quickly present a working prototype to the business to gather their feedback much faster and adjust accordingly, instead of going back and forth till they get it right.
This way, organizations can pivot new solutions to respond to market changes much faster.
To learn more about how OutSystems supports a fusion team approach, take a look at our webinar The Modern Dev Team: Collaborating to Quickly Build Great Apps.
To learn more about our platform, check our platform page.