I have two different teams (which are separate implementation vendors) doing design and development for an implementation of Microsoft dynamics CRM, currently at the prototyping stage. The Design team feels that the Development Team is unable to interpret the design and develop while the Development Team feels that the output of the Design Team is substandard.

How can I improve their collaboration and change how they evaluate each other?

  • 1
    What kind of design is the Design team doing? Is it UI/UX design or software design? Oct 17, 2016 at 11:27
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    And if you are really following Scrum, as is implied by your tags, why do you have separate teams rather than a cross-functional team that works collaboratively? There's also no question in your question.
    – Thomas Owens
    Oct 17, 2016 at 13:00
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    This sounds like a situation where both vendors feel it's in their best interest to blame conflict and failure on the other vendor. Aside from "designing and fielding a good product", what incentive do these vendors have to work with each other? A question to ask yourself is "why is the Requirements/Design vendor not developing the product?" Then the same question "why is the Development vendor not designing the product?" Most shops (particularly agile shops) would expect to do both design and development. Sounds like you have vendors resenting each other.
    – PeterT
    Oct 17, 2016 at 13:29
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    Still unclear what you're asking. Your two don't sub-teams like each others' work. Okay. Do you want to know how to improve their collaboration? How to change how they evaluate each other? How to figure out which team to fire? How to create better design specs? How to interpret design specs better? I could go on, but my point is: you've so far provided only a problem. What is your actual question?
    – Sarov
    Oct 17, 2016 at 13:30
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    I suspect the answer is in the specifics, not the generalities. You don't want to know how to get two arbitrary teams to work together, you need to know how to get these two specific teams to work together. We are unlikely to have more insight than you do.
    – MCW
    Oct 19, 2016 at 11:06

2 Answers 2


having two separate teams is bay far the best way to get conflict. If you have some developers work with the designers and visa-versa the benefits will be great. Developers will understand the design better and designers will understand what developers want and need better. :)

here is a good example of how one firm did it: http://www.slideshare.net/LeonBarnard/leon-barnard-productcamp-sf


I have seen companies outsourcing each phase of SDLC to different vendors. It asks for more collaboration plus strenuous and strict processes to avoid conflicts and ensure smooth running of the project.

  • Now an important question to ask:

Are the two activities, design and development happening in parallel with design a little ahead or so?

Or is it that you/development team wait for the requirement analysis and design to finish to embark on development journey?

If both teams are working simultaneously, the best way to resolve conflict is to encourage constant collaboration between the two teams. You could do agile incremental delivery of your deliverables and involve the designers in planning to understand you interpret the requirements correctly from the design. Also it is equally important to invite design team to the demo/showcase of the completed stories.

If on the other-hand if you are yet to start the development, make sure your team spend some upfront thoughts into the designs handed over to you before starting the development work. It will help the team to figure out if the designs are the best possible and feasible solution for the problem you have. Do a sprint zero kind of activity to derive your key deliverables from the design documents. Ask design team for clarifications and set up reviews if needed. Establish a solid understanding of the system high level before you code it. You will need to make sure the design team agree on this understanding - otherwise it will turn out to be interpretation error!

  • Are the two activities, design and development happening in parallel with design a little ahead or so? - YES... The design team is slightly ahead but currently we are going rounds, no progress. The Development team is not producing what the design team has designed Oct 17, 2016 at 15:07

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