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Difrent
Nov. 5, 2020

Building high-performing digital delivery teams

3 minute read

Text: Difrent Talks: Building high-performing digital delivery teams

Image: Difrent Talks: Building high-performing digital delivery teams in healthcare

Last week, we spoke to Rita Brockless, Sandeep Bansal and Daniel Leakey about building high-performing digital delivery teams in Healthcare. This was a great panel of experts and they gave us some amazing insight into bringing teams together to deliver quality products and services.

Meet our panellists

Image of Rita Brockless looking at the camera. Text: Rita Brockless Transformation Leader


Rita Brockless has a background in organisational development, both in the public and private sector. For the last five years, she’s worked within health, partly within leadership teams to deliver things that really matter to society.

Image of a smiling Dr Sandeep Bansal. Text: Dr Sandeep Bansal Founder, CEO, Clinician

Dr Sandeep Bansal is a clinician by background, with deep experience in social care. He is currently the founder and CEO of Medic Bleep, which is changing communications across the NHS.

Image of a smiling Daniel Leakey. Text: Daniel Leakey Delivery Lead


Daniel Leakey has been working in and around the public sector for the last ten years. For the last 5 years, he has primarily focussed on health and social care and the technology for good space. He has also worked with the NHS in a consultancy capacity and on several NHS projects.

How to bring your teams together for maximum success

In the health sector, it’s safe to say that most people are pretty passionate about what they do. In the technology space, that means people want to build great products and services that help people. The problem with this is that projects can be steered in directions that result in a worse outcome because everyone wants to do their own thing. It can also put the focus on the technology side of the project instead of what the team is trying to accomplish for the new service.

Start with the people you have

The main takeaway from this is to build strong leadership teams with a clear and agreed goal. In some leadership teams, people are working in isolation as the head of their own discipline so it’s important to bring those people together, and making sure everyone understands what they’re trying to do.

This means starting with your people. Once you have your goal and clear outline of what you’re delivering, who the users are and the purpose for the delivery, then you need to look at who you have on your team. Don’t rely on job descriptions, speak to people and find out what they do in their role.

Barriers preventing teams from performing

Lots of tech companies in the healthcare sector seem to misunderstand the focus. Technology solutions only account for around 20% of the overall piece of work. The rest is about change management, so making sure you have that expertise is critical. This involves knowing when you can scale up and when you need to bring in other organisations to help you.

There have also already been tech solutions within the NHS that haven’t worked properly. Clinicians and healthcare staff are tired of things going wrong with the technology they’re being asked to use. Making sure the solution is the right one and works well will prevent people from disengaging further.

This involves a lot of change. To make sure the product or service you’re building is the right thing, you need to:

  • rewrite standard operating procedures
  • engage with the end user(s)
  • ensure clinical safety throughout

There is a link between these two topics because, in order to build high-performing teams, you need to overcome these barriers.

What we can positively do with teams

In the midst of a global pandemic, there is a need for accelerating processes and building products and services faster and to help us deal with the issues COVID-19 has caused. Remote technology and remote working has advanced massively in the last year or so because it needed to.

One of the big things we need to do is remember that the landscape has completely changed. If you want to build teams in this complex environment, you’ve got to be able to adapt to personal needs. It’s amusing when somebody’s cat walks across the camera when they’re on a zoom call. It’s funny when you can hear their kids screaming in the background. Work is now happening in people’s homes and you’ve got to accept that and be flexible.

Set clear goals

Because we’re all scattered across the UK, things like casual chat in the kitchen making a cup of coffee aren’t happening. Trying to replicate that remotely is impossible, but we can still interact regularly with our teams.

There’s a real importance in providing people with a level of authority and autonomy so they can act on their own. Although you’re part of a team, you’ve got to be empowered when you’re working on your own, to get on with your own work and make sure things happen.

Think about welfare as well as work

Working remotely is not something that everyone enjoys or is set up for. People have been thrown into this new way of working and have had to adapt very quickly to having their work interrupted by home life. There are also many people who live alone and have lost the social interaction they got from working in an office environment.

Daily stand up meetings is a good way of keeping everyone connected and giving people a chance to talk about challenges. This involves a daily 15 or 30 minute meeting, usually in the morning, where you come together as a team to discuss your work and anything blocking you from continuing. It’s also important to create a safe environment so people feel comfortable talking to each other if they’re struggling.

Questions from the audience

After the panellists had spoken, we had some great questions from some of our audience. This led to some great conversations about how to map skills across teams and how to utilise the skills you have to create high quality products.

There were also some great insights into what key performance indicators to use when measuring the success of your teams and what you are delivering. To learn more, watch the full 45 minute conversation on YouTube about building high-performing digital delivery teams in healthcare.

Alternatively, you can listen via your preferred podcast platform or down below


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