Team Approach to Problem Solving, TAPS

Article

Jones, Louis N.; McBride, Ronald C.   (1987, ASQC)   Quality Technics, Olean, NY

41st Annual Quality Congress, May 1987, Minneapolis, MN    Vol. 41    No. 0
QICID: 3288    May 1987    pp. 139-147
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Article Abstract

Quality Circles, Action Teams and ad-hoc committees are currently being used to increase participation of employees in improvement programs such as Total Quality Control (TQC), Quality of Worklife (QWL) and other similar worker involvement programs. Traditionally, these groups have been or have been perceived to be, ineffective and uneconomical vehicles for solving problems. It has been said that a team is a group of people who individually can accomplish nothing, but who collectively decide that nothing can be done. Because of beliefs such as this teams, circles and committes have not been utilized and a very vital resource has been underutilized. These groups are made up of individuals, each with their own backgrounds, strengths, weaknesses and perceptions of how and what the group should accomplish. Too often the training and techniques provided were adapted from individual problem solving methodology and not specifically created for teams. TAPS was created and designed to allow a problem solving team to:- Clearly define team goals and gain team commitment to those goals.- Make maximum use of individual team member's experiences.- Maximize active involvement and consensus decision making.- Provide a supportive emotional climate which encourages "productive" conflict while building teamwork and group dynamics.TAPS blends many of the classical problem solving techniques such as brainstorming, cause and effect and Pareto analysis with other creative techniques such as affinity analysis, imaging and flow diagraming in a concerted approach. TAPS also includes some unique techniques that provides flexibility, team synergy, and group involvement in a "game like" environment. With a knowledgeable leader, the TAPS approach provides a pathway for a group or team with a minimum of theoretical problem solving background and experience to move from the initial "Big Mess" stage of problem definition tot he final solution in a minimal time frame. An example study will be presented to indicate how TAPS has been utilized successfully for problem solving by various groups.

Keywords

Human resources (HR)


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