A team is a collection of people who possess complementary skills, who work together, and who are striving to achieve a shared goal.
Some other definitions of a team
"A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they are mutually accountable." (Katzenbach and Smith, 1993)
“An organization in which the members have a common goal, have the same interests and same beliefs, and have activities that must be coordinated so as to achieve a higher effectiveness.” (Levis, 1988)
Types of teams
Teams can be classified according to their objective. The four most common forms of teams are:
A) Problem-Solving Teams
They are typically composed of 5 to 12 employees from the same department who meet for a few hours each week to discuss ways of improving quality, efficiency, and the work environment.
Figure 1: Problem solving team
In problem-solving teams, members share ideas or offer suggestions on how work process and methods can be improved. Rarely, however, are these teams given the authority to unilaterally implement any of their suggested actions
B) Self-Managed Teams
They are generally composed of 10 to 15 people who take on the responsibilities of their former supervisors. Typically, these responsibilities include:
a) Collective control over the pace of work,
b) Determination of work assignments,
c) Organization of breaks, and
d) Collective choice of inspection procedures used.
Fully self-managed teams select their own members, and the members evaluate each other’s performance. As a result, supervisory positions take on decreased importance and may even be eliminated.
Figure 2: Self Manage team
C) Cross - Functional Teams
Cross-functional teams are made of employees at about the same hierarchical level, but from different work areas, who come together to accomplish a task.
D) Virtual Teams