Many types of teams have been identified by social scientists. Managers can encounter various types of challenges while managing different types of teams. The challenges associated with cross-functional teams can be different from those of a geographically dispersed team or a virtual team. This article explores some common categories and subtypes of teams.
Teams are organized in different ways; Teams can be adapted for different purposes and can be categorized based on their dependency, authority, location, purpose, time, and many other attributes. If you understand the taxonomy of teamwork, you will be a better leader and a better team player.
1: Independent and interdependent teams
An independent team is a team where all team members are able to perform the same basic tasks independently. They may be able to help each other, perhaps offering advice or giving moral support, but each other’s success is mostly due to each other’s efforts. For example, chess players don’t win their own games just because the rest of their teammates did, and math students don’t pass tests just because their neighbors know how to solve equations.
In an interdependent society, no important task can be accomplished without the help and cooperation of one of the members; Within this team, members usually specialize in different tasks and the success of each individual is inextricably linked to the success of the whole team. An interdependent team benefits from the social knowledge of other team members, the development of mutual trust and the conquest of artificial challenges.
2: Formal and informal teams:
Formal teams or groups are deliberately created by managers performing specific tasks to help the organization achieve its goals. The most common type of formal group is the command team, which includes a manager and all employees who report to that manager. Another type of formal team is the committee, which usually lasts a long time and deals with recurring issues and decisions. Some formal teams are temporary. They can be called working groups or project teams. These teams are created to address a specific issue and are usually disbanded when the task is completed or the issue is resolved.
Teams or informal groups emerge whenever people come together and interact on a regular basis. Such groups thrive within the formal organizational structure. Members of informal teams tend to subordinate some of their individual needs to those of the team as a whole. In return, the team supports and protects them. The activities of informal teams can serve the interests of the organization. Saturday morning games, for example, can strengthen the bond between players.
3: Based on purpose or mission:
According to this dimension, teams can be divided into work teams and improvement teams.
Work teams are primarily concerned with the work performed by the organization, such as developing and manufacturing new products, providing services to customers, etc. Their main objective is to use the organization’s resources to effectively create its results. Work teams are responsible for the very act of creating tangible products and services. Real workers in an assembly line would be an example of a production team, while waiters and waitresses in a restaurant would be an example of a service team.
Improvement teams are primarily mission oriented to increase the efficiency of the processes that are used by the organization. For example, most companies today have quality teams that focus on improving the quality of operations across the whole business or process.
4: Based on time:
A team is a group of people organized to work together in an interdependent and cooperative manner to meet the needs of their customers by accomplishing a goal and objectives. Teams are created for long-term and short-term interaction.
Some teams are only temporary and are formed for a specific project that has a long lifespan. A product development team, a leadership team, and a functional team are sustainable operational and planning groups. Short-term teams may include a team tasked with developing an employee onboarding process, a team tasked with planning the company’s annual party, or a team tasked with responding to a specific customer issue or complaint .
Other types of teams are permanent and stay as long as the organization is running. For example, teams that focus on providing effective customer service tend to be an integral part of many organizations.
5: Based on authority structure:
In some organizations, teams may cross different functional units (eg, marketing, finance, human resources, etc.). Such arrangements are often difficult due to ambiguities regarding authority. In contrast, some organizations use teams that are intact from the organization’s existing structure. Companies like General Motors are structured so that people work together on specific products all the time and don’t apply their specialty to a wide range of products.
6: Functional, cross-functional and self-managing:
Functional or departmental teams: groups of people from the same area of work or department, who meet regularly to analyze customer needs, solve problems, provide support to members, promote continuous improvement and share informations.
Groups of people from different departments or job functions to address a specific product, issue, customer, issue, or to improve a particular process.
Groups of people who take responsibility for self-management in all aspects of work are called self-managing teams.
7: Based on the nature of the work:
A management team develops activity plans and then directs these activities. An example of a leadership team would be a construction team designing blueprints for a new building and then guiding the construction of the building using those blueprints.
The purpose of the command team is to combine instructions and coordinate action. In other words, the command teams serve as the ‘middleman’ in the task. For example, messengers on a construction site, conveying instructions from the management team to the builders would be an example of a command team.
Project teams (cross-functional):
A team used only for a set period of time and for a distinct, concretely definable purpose often becomes known as a project team. Managers typically label groups of people as a “team” based on a common function. Members of these teams may belong to different groups, but are assigned activities for the same project, allowing outsiders to view them as a single unit. In this way, the establishment of a team would facilitate the creation, monitoring and assignment of a group of people according to the current project. This category of teams includes the negotiation, commission, and design team subtypes. In general, these types of teams are versatile and made up of individuals with expertise in many different areas, with the goal of using this combination of talents to produce new solutions and innovative products. Negotiating teams serve to persuade, commission teams tactfully make judgments and decisions on sensitive topics, and design teams are tasked with generating strategies.
Advisory (parallel) teams:
Consulting teams make suggestions on a final product. For example, a quality control group on an assembly line would be an example of an advisory team: they would review manufactured products and make suggestions on how to improve the quality of manufactured items.
Action teams are highly specialized and coordinated whose actions are teams intensely focused on producing a product or service. An NFL football team would be an example of an action team. Other examples are the military, paramedics, and transportation.
8: Based on location:
These are the traditional teams that are located in one place and work together for a common goal.
The evolution of communication technologies has seen the emergence of the virtual work team. A virtual team is a group of people who work interdependently and with a common purpose across space, time and organizational boundaries using technology to communicate and collaborate. Virtual team members may be located in one country or around the world, rarely meet in person, and include members from different cultures.
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Created Date Monday, March 18, 2013 Views 23687 Team Management, what is team management