Managing the Transition to Self Managed Teams

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Team Performance Models
Through a two-year Teamwork in Manufacturing project, supported by the UK's Department of Trade and Industry, the London-based Tavistock Institute has developed a guide to teamwork in manufacturing (Neumann, Holti and Standing, 1995). They define a model to help describe the future state by classifying levels of self-regulation in working groups, identifying three basic performance dimensions or key areas of competence within these:

Managing core short-term responsibilities with a group area:

Basic job competence.

Group and individual motivation.

Personnel administration.

Special competences.

Managing wider short-term responsibilities jointly with others:

Co-ordination with like groups.

Liaison with unlike groups.

Setting targets for performance.

Managing operational process and people development:

Develop organisational process.

Develop the work organisation.

Develop individual people.

The model, copyrighted with the Tavistock Institute, is then further developed to identify the levels of competence and performance using a scale ranging from skeletal to advanced. Three stages of the model move a team from being focused and competent on internal operations through to managing ever more complex interactions with the organisational environment.

A second model used by a number of organisations including Procter & Gamble and Motorola, which applies similar thinking to self-managing teams boundaries, is given in Figure 1.

Here, the team's future work is described in terms of:

Core skills, the basic doing, making or filling skills of getting tasks done.

Support skills including, for example, maintenance skills which would previously be supplied by a support department.

Boundary skills, or those needed to manage across team boundaries such as training, recruitment and production planning which are typically carried out by managers.

The degree of self-management or...
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