by Kevin McManus, Chief Excellence Officer and Systems Guy, Great Systems
How many teams do you have?
To begin with, you have at least one team in place already (unless all of your employees work in isolation). In most cases, organizations have at least two of the three main types of work groups in place – focus and work teams. These groups may not be very effective, or they may not have the cohesiveness you desire and in turn you choose not to call them teams, but they depend on each other to get the work done each day. That is how I decide when I should assign the ‘team’ label to a group of people. Do they depend on each other to get the job done?
Aren’t there more than three types of teams?
In my opinion, no. It depends on how you define a team of course. I base my definitions on the job design that either allows, or requires, them to work together. I have also learned through experience that any organization needs three types of work groups to reach optimum effectiveness and effectively pursue process excellence – process / work teams, project teams, and focus teams.
Quality circles, kaizen teams, tiger teams, six sigma teams, improvement teams, and problem solving groups are all examples of project teams. These groups take time away from their ‘regular jobs’ to develop and implement improvement projects. a work, or process, team is made up of people that work together for a majority of the day, even though their degree of self direction, or autonomy, can vary. A focus team is analogous to a safety committee, steering committee, recognition board, or management group. Like project teams, they tend to be cross-functional, but they also endure over time to support the primary goals of the organization.
DISCOVER MORE: Characteristics for Three Team Types