Sparks from a sparkler

Way too busy? You might need a Functional Team.

You know how it is when you need help with a project but the thought of finding, training and managing somebody – or even a whole team of people – sounds overwhelming? That’s where functional teams come in.

The goal of a functional team is to work within a specific department of an organization on a project that has defined start-and-stop dates with appropriate milestones to evaluate the project’s success. Depending upon the needs of the client, a functional team can be placed onsite or can work virtually through satellite offices.

So how is this different from a staff augmentation or outsourcing project work? I’m glad you asked. Let’s break it down a little further.

At Experis, we see three variations of functional teams:

  • Tier 1: Experis provides the team and the client provides direct management oversight. In this scenario, Experis recruiters sourcing the talent and our subject matter experts conduct the technical interviews. We build the team, which could consist of a project manager, information architect, web designer, developer, etc., depending on the project. You take over with the day-to-day management of their tasks.
  • Tier 2: Experis provides the team, the client provides direct management oversight, and Experis provides 1 (or more) subject matter experts from our Practice to assist with oversight and guidance. It’s very similar to Tier 1, but now you can pull in an Experis subject matter expert to help you and guide the team as you see fit.
  • Tier 3: Experis provides the team and the direct management oversight. Experis runs the team for you and produces the deliverables to meet your business goals. This means Experis becomes fully responsible for the success of your project.

Clients mostly like using functional teams for a few key reasons.

  • It’s flexible.
  • Recruiting and technical screening is done for you.
  • The functional team fills in any gaps in staff knowledge (avoiding the issue of not knowing what you don’t know)
  • Functional teams are not full-time hires and there is a defined start-and-stop date. Human Resources departments love this because they have no additional insurance or benefits questions to worry about.

In my next post, I’ll help you examine and understand when you should consider a functional team versus using one or two contractors, what the different roles are for a functional team, and what the right team size is.

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