How to form a freelance team?
Forming a team is like going on an expedition. It takes time, effort, and careful attention. It is ideal to build a team where each member enjoys working together and solving challenges as a team.
Identify the needs
Inventory required capabilities
As a team, you are essentially creating capabilities that can be accessed easily by clients. Hence, it is important to understand your core capabilities.
By starting a team, you eventually become the team leader for your specific task and for the skill-set you will contribute. As a leader, you should possess certain soft skills, such as the ability to work with others, understanding the team needs, communication, collaboration, and steering the team in the direction of success.
Additionally, you may also take an inventory of technical, functional, and non-functional capabilities required to be successful. A well-rounded team requires well-defined roles and responsibilities, with a good mix of skill-sets which provide end-to-end coverage of intended services.
For example, web application development involves different stages from planning, architecture, design, development, testing, and implementation. Each stage requires certain skills and responsibilities, and a team should possess the right mix of members with skills that can handle different aspects of the web app development. Below are a few points to consider:
- Identify the roles, responsibilities, and skill sets required to successfully achieve the team’s goals
- Assess the capabilities of the existing team members
- Identify the percentage of effort required
- Determine any gaps and areas of strength
- Fill the gap by either creating or bringing additional members.
Scout for the “right” talent
Once you have identified the gaps, you can fix the gap using different options:
Leverage your existing network – take a look at your existing network to see whether there are any suitable friends or colleagues that you would like to partner with. You can use social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter to quickly identify the “right” talent.
Borrow capabilities from another team – Freelancing team allows members to work with different groups. For example, if you are looking for a few hours of graphic design per week and there are existing members in the platform with the required bandwidth, you can invite them to join your team.
Leverage from the external network – You could also use meetup groups, startup incubators, and technology user groups to find additional talents.
Freelancing Teams recommends team size anywhere between two to five members. Instead, of looking at the size, we recommend looking at the capabilities and build the team accordingly. Larger teams make communicating and collaborating difficult, which leads to confusion. You may need to have proper coverage of the roles, responsibilities, and skill sets required to be successful. Stuff happens, having a plan B, or someone as backup is not a bad idea. We recommend to start small and grow accordingly.
Set team goals and structure
Teams are driven by goals. Whether it is scaling Mount Everest, winning the World Cup or the World Series, or solving the next big thing, teams are always driven by goals. Having a common goal will bring members together and work towards achieving the goal every day. The first step should always be setting a clear and accurate goal for the team. Some of the team goals may be:
- Achieve the highest customer satisfaction
- Quality at the best
- Create the best value for the client
- Finish projects on time and within budget
- Make every project successful
In summary, teams should be built with intention and based on the nature of the service. All members should be able to contribute a relevant skill-set needed to complete the job. Clear and consistent communication amongst team members is necessary to work through setbacks and to produce a high value product for the client.
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