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What Makes a Cross-Disciplinary Team So Valuable?


When it comes to project handoffs, design and development teams are usually considered separate capacities — that’s not how we work at Tandem. Here’s why our cross-functional teams pair across disciplines throughout our custom software projects:


A feasible product from the get-go

Too often, clients come to us with a disconnect between the design intent and technical feasibility of their product. Tandem’s cross-disciplinary team removes that gap. Our holistic approach accounts for discipline-specific dependencies and ensures that our output is practical, from prototypes to MVPs to shippable products.

By working together, designers better guide implementation, and developers can make knowledgeable user-focused decisions. This way, everyone thrives — and so does your product.


Time and cost-effective

When design and engineering teams are separated during a software build, developers may make quick decisions to avoid waiting for guidance from a product designer. Your risk increases with each assumption, and as details get missed, time and effort are wasted, and quality decreases. These problems are frustrating and costly to fix retroactively.

Working in tandem encourages creative, collaborative thinking rather than cobbled-together implementations that may resolve a ticket but don’t actually add value. Together, our team creates a solution that meets the needs of your codebase and your user.

In turn, our project timelines shorten because designers and developers openly communicate while working towards the same goal — there’s no need to re-work uninformed assumptions or wait for communication to run up and down organizational silos.


Focused on your users — and your business

We understand that working with a cross-disciplinary team can feel like a big commitment, especially if you are accustomed to working with offshore development teams whose objective is to churn out code as quickly as possible. However, your most crucial, business-enabling software is too important to sacrifice quality for speed.

At Tandem, our cross-disciplinary team prioritizes the requirements essential to your goals, creating the best solution for your user and product needs within a realistic timeline. When our designers and developers both bring their strengths to the process, the software drives results because we aren’t just trying to get code out the door: we are working to create real impact for your business.


In Practice

When Tandem began working with the United States Military Entrance Processing Command (MEPCOM), a major command of the U.S. Department of Defense, they were a siloed organization that had tried unsuccessfully to re-envision their MIRS enlistment platform twice, at a sunk cost of more than $10M. Their stakeholders were disconnected in every direction, and further constrained by the bureaucracy that’s common in government organizations.

Tandem partnered with MEPCOM and modeled the power of cross-functional teams. With designers and developers working collaboratively to solve the same problems, MEPCOM colleagues realized that their needs were complex — but solvable.

Tandem brought all stakeholders together to prioritize problems and engage with the solutions, ultimately resulting in the launch of MIRS 1.1: a modern, user-friendly platform that has cut training time down from several months (plus a 200-page user manual!) to a matter of days — enabling field advisors to guide applicants through the enlistment process more efficiently than ever before.

To learn more, read our MEPCOM case study.


Curious about how our cross-disciplinary teams can help bring your software product to the next level? Let’s chat!

Let’s do something great together

We do our best work in close collaboration with our clients. Let’s find some time for you to chat with a member of our team.

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