Bringing the circus into town: the perks of Lighthouse Teams
In a nutshell
A look into our Lighthouse way of working: providing the right resources, bringing speed, triggering innovation and sharing knowledge.
Everyone who’s interested in team organisation, collaboration and accelerated innovation
In 1946, residents around the Lockheed Martin factory were presented with a peculiar sight. A large circus tent standing in their parking lot. No lions, or clowns within sight, but still the tent sheltered a different kind of magic. In just 143 days, a special team created the first jet fighter in that circus. The tent, and the team it housed, became known as Skunk Works. The name still resonates today, not in the least within our teams. Skunk Works became the base of what we like to call our Lighthouse Teams.
Today, we also set up our own circus tents - or Lighthouse Teams - to build towards our client’s digital future. It has become a major part of our way of working. But how does it all fit together? What’s behind this way of working? And what advantages does it bring to us and the client?
The idea behind our Lighthouse Teams
Lighthouses are stand-alone buildings that show others the way. Our Lighthouse Teams share the same intention: showing a company the right path towards digital growth. It’s only logical that not every company has all the in-house power to realise their digital dreams, nor should they.
To start building towards a digital solution, they often come knocking on a specialist’s door but not every digital company has the same way of working. Way too often, body shopping or just dropping individual tech profiles is presented as the solution. As a digital product studio, we strive for a more collaborative way of working.
In analogy to Lockheed Martin, we set up a figurative circus tent outside the company to accelerate the time to market. The crew inside our tent is a hand-picked dedicated team that has a mandate to focus on one challenge only. No distractions from the company, just sheer commitment towards a specific goal.
We spin out to innovate and spin back in to grow the business.
This clear mandate, together with a dedicated team and no distractions, make it possible to gain speed and significantly fasten the time to market. During the process, knowledge is transferred from the circus to the company to steadily integrate that dedicated product into the company. In other words: we spin out to innovate and spin back in to grow the business.
Providing the right resources
So what does a Lighthouse Team look like? There’s no one-sided answer to that question, but it’s always a story of joined forces. Getting the right people on board of our Lighthouse Teams always starts with the core of the client’s challenge. What do we need to realise? Which skills and knowledge does the client have in-house? Do they have experience with an agile way of working, product design or lean thinking?
Based on the challenge and the client’s own capabilities we can start assembling a team that’s complementary to our client and that has a hard focus on the challenge at hand.
When building a digital product, the only constant is change. Embrace change. That's why we install a culture of transparency and trust through frequent interaction, creating one cross-company core team. We’ll discuss our scope, problems, next steps and team needs.
It’s natural that during a discovery phase there’s more need for a strategic profile, while during development more technical profiles should be embraced in the team. Our Lighthouse Teams are alive and breathing, constantly evolving and being assessed.
Speed of delivery
Speed of delivery is one of the major advantages a Lighthouse Team brings. These teams aren’t strictly attached to the core business and remain focused on one single challenge. And it’s exactly that autonomous character that allows us to avoid day-to-day hurdles and pick up momentum.
Although product managers on both sides ensure the story fits in the bigger picture, a Lighthouse Team mainly operates on its own and evades delaying internal processes like step-by-step management approval that would slow us down.
Besides overcoming hurdles, our decade of experience adds to that speed and momentum. It’s simple: we fill in the gaps of skills and knowledge that the company doesn’t have. Working with a Lighthouse Team means you don’t start from scratch, you start with a decade of experience right from the getaway.
Sharing for the future
Circuses unfortunately aren’t made to stay. The same applies to Lighthouse Teams. They’re meant to show you the way and to bring the right people for the right challenge. But perhaps most importantly: they intend to leave an empowered company behind.
Luckily, we’re no big fans of hard cut-offs. Instead of trying to hand over the product in the final stage of collaboration, we implement a continuous flow of knowledge sharing right from the start. Step by step, we share our learnings with the client so they can gradually take ownership of the product itself and implement it fully in their core business.
We give time and space to our clients to prepare themselves for full control of their digital product, from the discovery phase to aftercare. Even when the transition is almost fully complete, our team remains stand-by for any possible hick-ups or unexpected issues.
A circus on your parking lot?
To state in a Biblical mantra: instead of giving a man a fish, we teach them how to fish. Eventually, the circus will pack up and leave behind an empowered company that took a huge step forward towards its digital future.
Lighthouse Teams are ready to make an impact on your companies’ growth. Check out our work for Barco Demetra that was brought to life by one of our Lighthouse teams and make sure to contact us if you’re looking for a new circus in town.