In our first guide, we introduced the definition of digital as applying the culture, processes, business models and technologies of the internet era to respond to people's raised expectations. Since its inception, the Digital Boards programme has engaged board members from over 100 NHS trusts. A key question has been 'what capabilities do you need to execute this vision of digital transformation'?. The answer for the NHS, as with other sectors, is this: the unit of delivery for digital transformation is the team.

Nothing is done without teams. They're the foundations on which transformation is built. Highly skilled teams supported by effective governance enable your organisation to be responsive, open, efficient and agile. Teams are your culture, your strategy, your capability, and your only way of getting things done. Investing significant effort in creating the best possible teams, and the best possible conditions for them to thrive has to be the top priority and are a precondition of success.

In this guide we explore what a good digital team looks like, how to build one, and where to start to support boards keen to build digital capability. We also look at how boards can enable effective digital teams by establishing governance that supports exceptional performance, and explain how boards can set themselves up to operate at the speed of trust rather than the speed of process.

Digital teams are the cornerstone of building a digital organisation irrespective of whether you're mostly building or buying technology, and they are the muscles that allow you to successfully deliver increasingly transformational services. This is about leveraging digital opportunity to improve health and care outcomes for all patients and service users.

What they are not is simply a rebrand of your IT department. Although there are overlaps, digital encompasses new skills, new tools, new culture, and new operating models. All board members need to understand what a good digital team looks like and the board's role in enabling digital teams to flourish as a key driver of wider organisational transformation.