What is Team as a Service?
Team as a Service (TaaS) is a dedicated team comprised of various specialists that are contracted to help drive product design, development, and other digital transformation efforts. It’s an ongoing relationship between an organization and a team that can provide enormous benefits throughout its life cycle. TaaS allows business leaders to utilize continuous skills and support to keep things running smoothly. This can include anything from building new software from the ground up to monitoring and maintaining existing platforms, workflows, and services, among other integral business tools.
TaaS offerings will vary depending on the company you’re working with. TaaS comprises many different roles and skill sets, and is delivered through an established, well-running team that has already been working together for years. There’s no hiring trial-and-error process because the collaboration, team building, tools, systems, and processes have already been ironed out. With TaaS, the learning curve is simply getting up to speed on your specific requirements. As an example, at Brightly, we often tell people that there are two ways to engage with us. The first is on a project basis, and the second is on TaaS terms.
When we first engage with a new client, the core focus is on building trust between our team and theirs. This usually begins with what we call a “Discovery” session (or Sprint 0), where we get to know our client’s team, their business, and the urgent needs that brought them into a partnership with us. The workshop-style activities in our discovery sessions are all designed to unpack challenges, reflect them back, and ensure that everyone is aligned. This process allows us to understand what kind of a team will be needed for continuous growth and development.
The important thing to note is that any new relationship we form almost always starts out as a project and then evolves into TaaS. We say “almost always,” because there are instances when we provide fractional staff right out of the gate, but this all depends on the immediate needs of the client.
Okay, got it. But how does it actually work?
You can leverage TaaS in a multitude of ways. Your contracted team and the services they’ll perform are calibrated to meet your specific needs and desired outcomes. Typically this information is gathered during the Discovery phase and throughout the duration of any projects that have already been completed. You might need a full-time effort or a lighter lift. You might need niche skill sets or simply a few additional hands on deck to get the job done faster. No matter your needs, TaaS should always operate as an extension of your own team.
Why not just use my own in-house team?
As mentioned, TaaS operates as an extension of your team, because no business has every single tool it needs for every project it faces. TaaS was born out of a noticeable need for organizations to accomplish even more with the resources they already have. Dedicated teams make this possible, all while accelerating entire processes, getting products and services to market on time, and keeping budgets in check. Furthermore, TaaS workers can easily pinpoint issues and opportunities that you’re likely to overlook simply because you see them every day.
It’s also worth noting that you always have the option to dial up the velocity when your budget allows for it, while keeping a familiar team consistently engaged.
How will I know if my organization needs TaaS?
Some clients choose TaaS because there are skill sets on this team they don’t yet have in-house. Others choose TaaS because they have an urgent timeline or a complex problem that needs immediate solving. Many organizations also choose TaaS because of the money it saves them. The reasons will always vary but the results are clear: contracted teams can provide enormous benefits and ROI for the organizations that use them.
Sometimes an organization might not have continuous needs, and we’ll continue working with these folks on a per project basis. But with so many digital transformation efforts driving business change from the inside out, we’re seeing more and more clients taking advantage of TaaS.
If you’re not sure whether or not you need TaaS, an initial conversation is a great place to start. We’re happy to help you determine the path that’s best for you by asking some strategic questions that can point you in the right direction.