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Build a Team

An interdisciplinary mix of thinkers, makers, and doers is just the right combination to tackle any design challenge.


Suggested Time

60 Minutes

Level of Difficulty


Materials Needed

Pen, paper


Project lead, partner organizations

Process Phase

Human-centered design works best with cross-disciplinary teams. You could put three business designers to work on a new social enterprise, but if you throw a graphic designer, a journalist, or an industrial designer into the mix, you’re going to bring new modes of thinking to your team. It’s smart to have a hunch about what kind of talent your team will need—if you are designing a social enterprise, a business designer is probably a good bet—but you won’t get unexpected solutions with an expected team.


  1. First, assess how many team members you’ll need, your staff’s availability, and when your project should start and end.
  2. Look at the core members of your team and determine what they’re good at and what they’re not so good at.
  3. Is there a clear technical capability that you’ll need but don’t currently have—maybe a mechanical engineer, a graphic designer, a skilled writer? Remember that you can always add a team member for a shorter period of time when their skills are most important.