This has been a constant thread in agencies for a couple of years now and having been working within an design and UX direction role the past year on client side (the dark side?) I can see how they’re slightly ahead of the curve. They constantly want to build things and we’ve found that the best way to do this is, as you say, to have these cross functional teams where everyone is T shaped (has a broad knowledge of the whole product but a specialism in only a few fields if not only one). As a result everyone chips in and that includes the stakeholders in close knit, daily meeting teams with the aim of deliberate, fast paced prototyping to demonstrate and not just show concepts. It’s a great way of working that empowers the people in the teams/scrums/tribes to keep pushing and to do it quickly to test on real users. This is great as it puts far more emphasis on data driven design over the old notion of the lone wolf expert designer in a room which then presents the work after a hidden amount of time.
Keep up the good work Jo! We’ve been using the the Google Ventures ‘design sprint’ method over the past 6 months to help build up these ideas, which has been both great for internal stakeholders and for getting design seen as the subject to define the organisation over the whims of clients and budgets.