Teams in the Age of Systems


Scholtes, Peter R.   (1995, ASQC)   Scholtes Seminars & Consulting, Madison, WI

Quality Progress    Vol. 28    No. 12
QICID: 13033    December 1995    pp. 51-59
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Article Abstract

Customer focus and systems thinking affect the implementation of teamwork. Without attention to these factors, teams can proliferate and become disconnected. A customer-in mentality means that customers drive the formation, activity, and evaluation of teams. A team should satisfy the needs of the gemba, that is, the resources and activities that add value to the customer. A team is a system. Its purpose, environment, and activity are interrelated both at the team level and the organizational level. Teams do not act in isolation, and they should be aligned with the systems view of the organization. For some efforts, teams are not needed. Factors that affect the need for teamwork include the complexity, interdisciplinariness, length, cross-functionality, and contentiousness of the project. The article gives tabular information on seven team types and their descriptions, purposes, strengths, weaknesses, strategies, and when to use them. The seven team types are business, executive, improvement project, linchpin, natural work, new product/service design, and process redesign teams.


Customer focus,Leadership,Organizational design,Systems analysis,Teams

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