If there are only three team types, what’s with all of the different names?
Cynics say that consulting firms create a lot of these names to simply to make more money. For example, if quality circles don’t work, why don’t we call them problem solving teams? Some group names help indicate differences in design or focus within each of the three major groups. The structure of Kaizen teams allows for faster project development (usually days) than the more traditional quality circle could produce (usually months).
The degree of process work team self-direction leads to additional names for this team type. Multiple strategic focus areas result in a variety of focus work team names. How should we design jobs and budget resources to support team involvement? How many teams of each team type do you need?
EXPLORE MORE: How to Increase Work Team Engagement
How do I measure work team effectiveness?
Because they focus on process execution, each process work team has its own set of effectiveness factors. In my “Facilitating and Leading Teams” team effectiveness workbook, I include tools you can use to define and assess effectiveness for each team type. In general, we look at (1) results across multiple performance areas and (2) cohesiveness to measure group effectiveness.
Cohesiveness is necessary to help drive high levels of output. Keep in mind that most work groups don’t fail because of low cohesiveness. Instead, teams often fail due to a lack of proper support in the areas of information, recognition, resources, and alignment.
Example process output measures usually fall into the quality, safety, cost, and growth performance areas. Cohesiveness measures include absenteeism and tardiness rates, survey score results, and retention rates. Most process work teams use some set of scorecard measures. Primarily, project work team measures look at performance to milestones and budget. Sadly, leaders often fail to track cohesiveness for project work teams.
Similarly, leaders often fail to measure focus work team performance. Do you measure safety committee or leadership team effectiveness? Often, measures of focus team effectiveness come from annual survey statement responses. Improvement and project implementation rates versus team cost provide additional focus team effectiveness measures.
DISCOVER MORE: Process Improvement Strategies
Would you like to design a team structure that drives operational excellence?
My goal is to help you use the workbooks, workshops, and articles I feature on this site to (1) develop engaged and effective work teams, (2) design excellent processes, and (3) sustain great results. An organization must have an effective process, project, and focus team structure in order to drive operational excellence. However, one should not have to spend a lot of money or time to do this.
I can help you improve work team effectiveness in several ways. Options include training facilitation and effective work team infrastructure design. I want to provide you with tools to help you measure and improve work team effectiveness.
LEARN MORE: How Effective are Your Work Systems?
Keep improving! – Kevin McManus, Chief Excellence Officer and Systems Guy, Great Systems
Would you like more information about the work team engagement and effectiveness tools I have to offer? If so, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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