Managing Effective Teams

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Part of being a manager for a company is the managing of teams. These teams can be put together for many different reasons and can have just as many different goals set in front of them. The company wants managers that are capable of putting together a good team that can effectively fulfill the goals set out for them. The four different types of work teams found in organizations are: problem-solving, self-managed, cross-functional, and virtual. By completing the simulation assigned for this course I will be mainly using a cross-functional work team as basis for my analysis of effective team management. There are four contextual factors that can make an effective team. These factors are context, composition, work design and process. Within these factors are components that a manager can utilize to make sure that his team is effective. The components also help a manager better understand his team and how he can help them reach their goals when they get off-track (Robbins, 2005, p278). "'In general, there must be a very clear sense of what the team is trying to accomplish and a timeframe to accomplish it in,' advises Michael E. McGrath, a principal at Pittiglio Rabin Todd & Mc-Grath (PRTM) in Weston, MA (Craft, 1995)." In the simulation for the course on effective teams there is a timeline set and a specific goal. This goal is to come up with innovative ideas that will put the auto company Luxurion ahead of its competition. This work team will be a cross-functional one because once the goal is accomplished each member will go back to working in their designated areas within the company. The first part of the simulation is choosing your members of the team. You are given seven individuals to choose from for a team of five. The simulation obviously has its idea of what the ‘best team' is and that will be covered later on. However, for now, I will discuss the members that I chose during my first run of the simulation. I chose Petra for the assessor/advisor position, Amrita for the creator, Marcell as controller/organizer, Janice as the promoter/maintainer, and Harvey as the linker/producer. Choosing compatible people for the positions available in a team is important. Incompatibility can cause unwanted and unneeded disruption in the team. The choosing of members in a team is part of the composition factor of making an effective team. Another thing to take into account when making up a work team is the diversity of the workforce within the organization. It would be unwise to not take this into account. According to an article written by Shari Caudron: The decision to reorganize employees into work teams has to be carefully considered in the context of diversity issues. If not, the reorganization may become self-defeating, as heterogeneous teams tasked with giving employees more responsibility in work management degenerate into homogeneous teams made up of like-minded members who are divided by race or work status or educational background. To avoid such a situation, companies must first come to terms with the diversity of their workforce. (1994) According to the simulation, my choices were not the ‘best' choices to make the ‘best' team. I only misplaced two individuals. I should have used Petra for the linker/producer and John for the assessor/adviser. Why did I make the choices I did? I felt that Petra would be best for the assessor/advisor position because of her experience as a trainer. According to the simulation this position was partly about design and also keeping people looking for more information and ideas along those lines. I chose Amrita for the creator position because of her experience and highly praised past designing. Marcell was the natural option for the controller/organizer position. All of his co-workers complimented him on his ability to take charge and keep people on track. Janice's affinity to getting what she wants made her my decision for promoter and maintainer. She...
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