Last November we announced a pivot from team collaboration and decision making to team building. Why TeamFit. One more time around the sun is a good time to take stock of how far we have come and where we need to go.

We have accomplished a lot in the past year. We have built a platform, attracted users and even have our first paying customers. We have learned from all of these people and made our share of mistakes.

The pivot to team building was based on four key insights.

  • Teams are where we do most of our work
  • Our teammates are the people best positioned to know our real skills
  • Skills are critical to how we build teams
  • The people on our teams come from our extended talent networks

The first decision we made was to build around skills rather than psychometrics (we chose to focus on aptitude and not attitude). We think psychometric data is important to understanding people and building teams, and we will get there, but we are starting with skills because you cannot build a really effective team without having a grounded view of people’s skills.

Building a general team building platform for all of the many different types of teams seemed like too big a place to start, so we narrowed our problem by focusing in on the teams that deliver revenue directly. Not sales teams, but the project delivery teams at consulting, systems integration, consulting engineering and other professional services organizations.

We now know that TeamFit is most valuable to companies with 50 or more consultants, that are growing, have a distributed talent network, and include both internal and external people on their teams. There are many such companies.

We remain committed to freelancers and other participants in the gig economy. We see growing evidence that more and more people are working at least part time as freelancers and the most successful firms are figuring out how to leverage their extended talent networks and bring these people onto teams. We are starting with companies as they get immediate value from TeamFit and they create value for the freelancers. We want to make sure we provide a lot of value for both sides of the market.

So we have designed the TeamFit platform to support both sides of the market. It is a way to build and leverage the extended talent network. Anyone can join TeamFit for free. People can carry their skill records with them from company to company. And companies can build teams from any combination of internal, partner and external people.

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To deliver all this, we have built a software platform that is easy to extend and has a lot of capabilities. At the heart of the TeamFit platform is a Bayesian network that is constantly ingesting information from multiple sources to calculate individual’s SkillRank™ on each of the many skills in their Skill Map. The platform also creates a Skill Graph for each individual and organization. The Skill Graph shows how skills fit together to define our unique capabilities.

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We did get some things wrong. The biggest problem in TeamFit V1.0 is that the user experience is organized around processes and relies on individuals entering their own data. A related problem is that we built everything around projects. In V1, you have to create a project record before you suggest a skill to one of your teammates or claim a skill for yourself.

TeamFit V2 will be different in two key ways.

  • Data will come from many sources: project management and professional services automation systems, talent management systems, résumés and social networks
  • People will be able to enter from any of the following perspectives: who they have worked with, the jobs they have had, the skills they have, the projects they have worked on and the skills they want to develop and the projects they would like to work on

So we are going from a project-centric model

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to an open model centered on skills.

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TeamFit is becoming more Open, Integrated and Forward Looking.

Join us.

We will help your company build better teams.

And we will make you more competitive in a world where skilled people are in demand.

The top image is of Janus, the Roman god who looks to the past and the future and who stands at the threshold, the portal, and is a symbol of transitions. From MythDancer.