In my last blog I discussed the differences of various types of web companies that exist in today's market. One key factor in the overall cost of a website is the utilization of the team environment versus individuals simply working on a project. Operating a team at an efficient level of production for a web development project is simply not a task for the feint of heart. I will be the first to admit that any single individual can technically be more efficient than a team, however that does not directly correlate to more output and/or a better product. Ultimately, if the team is managed effectively it CAN be more efficient. With some companies, especially low cost ones, the only team aspect you are getting is an assembly line style production performed by individuals. Regardless of the industry, assembly lines are geared for one single purpose; to produce a large volume of the EXACT same product. If you are into custom cars or have ever had the pleasure to watch 'Pimp My Ride' on MTV, you will notice that they always consist of teams working towards a single vision and common goal of producing a completely custom product. Each team member contributes to this vision with their own area of expertise. So what unique aspects do you get from a team when building a website?
1. Ideas - The world is full of 'ideas' people. While some are more creative than others, the true creative individual doesn't just spawn creative thinking in their sleep. They gain inspiration from their environment and more importantly other individuals dedicated to a common purpose and goal. Each team member brings their unique expertise and experiences to the table to come up with GREAT solutions that most people could not accomplish as individuals.
2. Thoroughness - The larger the project, the harder it is to collectively think of all of the ins and outs that go into its creation. It would take one heck of a person to single handedly think of the thousands of elements that go into a large scale project, and the odds are that they will miss something in the end. With a team, similar to ideas, you get each individual's strengths to contribute to making sure every point is covered. Some team members are user interface experts, while others are great at testing, and more. There are so many more proficiencies in the web industry beyond just designing and developing. Furthermore individuals that are simply great at everything are extremely rare or are extremely full of it.
3. Productivity - An individual, working as an individual, must be extremely self-motivated and/or have some strict guidelines to work within. It is easy to distract an individual and likewise if that individual has other responsibilities you would be hard pressed to ever gain that their 100% attention. I have seen websites produced by individuals take months with mediocre results and I have seen teams do the same amount of work within days and produce stellar results. Teams motivate and feed off of each other. There is no greater motivator than competition and no one wants to be dragging the rear.
All of the benefits of a team producing a website are consistent with the same elements of a great sports team or a military unit. When it comes to a web design company you might pay a little extra for a true team, but the odds are the results will be faster, better, and more inline with your end goal than the luck of a draw of choosing than the alternative. Is lifeBLUE a team? You bet we are!