It's difficult today to pick up a periodical, a newspaper, or a
trade magazine without reading something about the concept of team
building. Some companies refer to the concept of teams as total
employee involvement. Others call it corrective action teams. And
still other companies simply refer to it as empowerment,
self-directed work teams, or self-managed work teams.
It is the contention of this author, however, that whatever you call
the teams, the operative word has to be productive in that if your
work teams are not helping to make your business be more responsive
to the customer, more flexible, more profitable, have an improved
bottom line and a positive return on investment, then your teams are
end. When, in fact, utilizing teams to improve the business becomes
a way of life and not a singular in dependent event.
As we look to what needs to be done, the key word to focus on is
productive. To begin, let's define the term Productive Work Team.
Productive Work Teams
Productive Work Teams are a formal structure that enables companies
to carry out an incredible number of improvements at an incredible
Shouldn't Your Work Teams Help Make Your Business...
• More Responsive
• More Flexible
• More Productive
• More Profitable
In a study done in September of 1992, Boston University chartered a
study of the five hundred top U.S. manufacturing companies and
asked them the question, "What are the key strategic actions that
you see yourself undertaking from 1992 to 1995 to help make you be
more competitive?" The results of that study in 1992 bear out
exactly what we've seen since that time, that is, three of the top
four responses all deal with teams. The number one answer was
interfunctional work teams, number two was worker training, and
number four was worker empowerment.
Top Five Action Plans 1992-95: U.S.
1. Interfunctional Work Teams
2. Worker Training
3. Linking Manufacturing & Business Strategies
4. Worker Empowerment
5. Statistical Quality Control
The question one might ask is, "Why haven't more companies been
successful at utilizing a teaming process to increase the
profitability of the business?" This author contends that too often
companies approach a teaming process as a program that had a defined
start and a defined end
Each improvement positively impacts the bottom line and contributes
to achieving the company business objectives .A Productive Work Team
is, first of all, a formal structure. A work team is not an
informal, haphazard, random collection of individuals. It is a
formal structure made up of players with defined positions, just as
there is on a sports team. The second part of the definition states
that a Productive Work Team enables a company to carry out an
incredible number of improvements at an incredible pace. The
objective is not small, incremental change, but major improvements.
A Productive Work Team focuses on making improvements that help the
bottom-line profitability of the business. For an organization, or
specifically a Productive Work Team, to make progress very rapidly
there need to be some rules of operation as well as skills necessary
to make it happen. In fact, there are six basic convenants of
Productive Work Teams.
The 6 Basics of Productive Work Teams
1. Values, Vision, and Mission Must Be Shared
2. Management's Paradigms Must Change
3. A New Methodology Is Needed
• Specific Objectives
• Team Skills
• Business Improvement Knowledge
4. How Adults Learn Is Important
5. Performance Measurements Drive Improvement
6. A Powered Start Is Critical
To be Continued
For balance of this article, click on the below link:
Lean Manufacturing Articles and go to Series 02
stay current on manufacturing
please subscribe to our weekly bulletin, "Manufacturing. Basics
and Best Practices (MBBP)." Simply
fill in the below form and click on the " subscribe
also send you our Special Report, "6-Change Initiatives for
Personal and Company Success."
no cost of course.
personal information will never
be disclosed to any third party.
what one of our subscribers said about the MBBP Bulletin:
articles. Thanks for the insights. I often share portions of your
articles with my staff and they too enjoy them and fine aspects
where they can integrate points into their individual areas of
responsibilities. Thanks again."
Kerry B. Stephenson. President. KALCO Lighting, LLC
Lean Manufacturing Menu
Chain Management Improvement
to Basics" Training for anyone ... anywhere ... anytime
6003 Dassia Way, Oceanside, CA 92056
West Coast: 760-945-5596
© 2001-2007 Business Basics, LLC