Self Managed Teams

Topics: Team, Management, The A-Team Pages: 7 (2274 words) Published: August 28, 2010
Self Managed Teams
Self-managed teams (SMTs) are relatively small groups of employees given substantial responsibility for planning organizing, scheduling and production of work products or service. SMTs however are more than just another way of directing groups. The concept, according to John Simmons, involves nothing less than, the complete restructuring of the jobs that people does. Thus, Self-managed work teams are groups of employees tasked with monitoring and reviewing a product or process in a firm and coming up with solutions to problems they encounter. Self-organized semi-autonomous small group whose members determine, plan, and manage their day-to-day activities and duties (in addition to providing other supportive functions such as production scheduling, quality assurance, and performance appraisal) under reduced or no supervision. Also called self directed team, self-managed natural work team, or self managed team. Self managed teams are workers who have been organized into teams on the basis of relatively complete task functions. They make decisions on a wide range of issues, often including such traditional management prerogatives as: * Who will work on which machines or work operations...

* How to address inter-personal difficulties within the group... * How to resolve quality problems, and so forth.
Also, these teams usually consist of five to fifteen employees, who: * Produce an entire product instead of sub-units...
* Learn all tasks and rotate from job to job...
* Take over vacation scheduling, order materials etc.
Such groups are self-regulating and work without direct supervision. Normally, a manager acts as the team leader and is responsible for defining the goals, methods, and functioning of the team. However, interdependencies and conflicts between different parts of an organization may not be best addressed by hierarchical models of control. Self-managed teams use clear boundaries to create the freedom and responsibility to accomplish tasks in an efficient manner. The main idea of the self-managed team is that the leader does not operate with positional authority. In a traditional management role, the manager is responsible for providing instruction, conducting communication, developing plans, giving orders, and disciplining and rewarding employees, and making decisions by virtue of his or her position. In this organizational model, the manager delegates specific responsibility and decision-making authority to the team itself, in the hope that the group will make better decisions than any individual. Neither a manager nor the team leaders make independent decisions in the delegated responsibility area. Decisions are typically made by consensus in successful self-managed teams, by voting in very large or formal teams, and by hectoring and bullying in unsuccessful teams. The team as a whole is accountable for the outcome of its decisions and actions. Self-managed teams operate in many organizations to manage complex projects involving research, design, process improvement, and even systemic issue resolution, particularly for cross-department projects involving people of similar seniority levels. While the internal leadership style in a self-managed team is distinct from traditional leadership and operates to neutralize the issues often associated with traditional leadership models, a self-managed team still needs support from senior management to operate well. Self-managed teams may be interdependent or independent. Of course, merely calling a group of people a self-managed team does not make them either a team or self-managed. As a self-managed team develops successfully, more and more areas of responsibility can be delegated, and the team members can come to rely on each other in a meaningful way Objective:

The objectives of using SMTs are to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of specific tasks. This approach achieves these objectives by having SMT team members look beyond...
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