Chapter: Mechanical : Total Quality Management (TQM) : Principles


Why Teams Work, Types Of Teams, Characteristics Of Successful Teams, Elements Of Effective Team Work, Team Member Roles




Employee involvement is optimized by the use of teams.


Ø    A team is defined as a group of people working together to achieve common objectives or



Ø    Teamwork is the cumulative actions of the team during which each member of the team subordinates his individual interests and opinions to fulfill the objectives or goals of the group.




1.                 Many heads are more knowledgeable than one.

2.                 The whole is greater than the sum of its members.

3.                 Team members develop a rapport which each other.

4.                 Teams provide the vehicle for improved communication.




1.           Process improvement team.

2.           Cross functional team.


3.           Natural work teams.

4.           Self Directed / Self Managed work teams.




1.       Sponsor

2.       Team Charter

3.       Team Composition

4.       Training

5.       Ground Rules

6.       Clear Objectives

7.       Accountability

8.Well-Defined decision procedure

9.       Resources

10.     Trust

11.Effective Problem Solving

12.     Open Communication

13.     Appropriate Leadership

14.     Balanced Participation

15.     Cohesiveness



The effective team should have certain characteristics. These are :


1. Sponsor : In order to have effective liason with the quality council, there should be a sponsor. The sponsor is a person from the quality council, he is to provide support to the organization.


2.  Team Charter : A team charter is a document that defines the team’s mission, boundaries, the background of the problem, the team’s authority and duties, and resources. It also identifies the


members and their assigned roles leader, recorder, time keeper and facilitator.


3. Team Composition : The size of the team should not exceed ten members except in the case of natural work teams or self-directed teams. Teams should be diversed by having members with different skills, perspective and potential. Wherever needed, the internal and external customers and suppliers should be included as a team member.



4. Training : The team members should be trained in the problem-solving techniques, team dynamics and communication skills.


5.  Ground Rules : The team should have separate rules of operation and conduct. Ground rules should be discussed with the members, whenever needed it should be reviewed and revised.


6.  Clear Objectives: The objective of the team should be stated clearly. Without the clear objective, the team functions is not to be effective.


7. Accountability: The team performance is accountable. Periodic status report of the team should be given to the quality council. The team should review its performance to determine possible team process weaknesses and make improvements.


8.  Well-defined Decision Procedures: The decision should be made clearly at the right time by the team.


9.  Resources: The adequate information should be given to the team wherever needed. The team cannot be expected to perform successfully without the necessary tools.


10.Trust : Management must trust the team to perform the task effectively. There must also be trust among the members and a belief in each other.


11.Effective Problem-Solving : Problem-solving methods are used to make the effective decision.


12.            Open Communication : Open communication should be encouraged i.e., everyone feels free to speak in the team whatever they are thinking, without any interruptions.


13.            Appropriate Leadership: Leadership is important in all the team. Leader is a person who leads the team, motivates the team and guides the team in a proper direction.


14.            Balanced Participation : Everyone in a team should be involved in the team’s activities by voicing their opinions, lending their knowledge and encouraging other members to take part.


15.Cohesiveness: Members should be comfortable working with each other and act as a single unit, not as individuals or subgroups.




Main elements of effective teamwork are as follows:


1. Purpose


2. Role and responsibilities


3. Activities


4. Effectiveness

 5. Decisions


6. Results, and


7. Recognition.


Figure depicts the seven main elements of effective teamwork .




Each term takes sometime to start functioning effectively towards problem solving. Each team goes through six distinct stage s in its development. These are farming, storming, norming, performing maintenance and evaaluating.


1. Farming stage : When a team is created, it consist of group of individuals and team work does not exist at this stage. Team’s purpo se, members’ roles, acceptance of roles, authority and process of

functioning are learnt in the form ation process.


2.  Storming stage : Initial agree ments and role allocations are challenged and re-established at this stage of team development. At th is stage, hostilities and personal needs often e merge which may be resolved.


3. Norming stage : During norming stage of team development, formal and informal relationships get established among team member s. Openness and cooperation have been observe d as signs of team’s



4. Performing stage : At this stage, the team starts operating in successful manner. Trust, openness, healthy conflict and decisiveness of a group’s performance can be reached at this stage.



5. Maintenance stage : Functioning of team does not deteriorate overtime. At this stage, the performance of teamwork at the earlier stage will be maintained for some period of time.


6.Evaluating stage : At this stage, team’s performance is to be evaluated in view of the set targets.


Both self-evaluation and management-based evaluation form this stage of team development.




Ø    Ensures the smooth and effective operation of the team.

Ø    Facilitates the team process.

Ø    Serves as a Contact Point.

Ø    Organizes the implementation of changes.

Ø    Prepares the meeting agenda.



Ø    Supports the leader.

Ø    Focuses on the team process.

Ø    Acts as a resource to the team.

Ø    Provides feedback to the team.


Ø    Documents the main ideas of the team’s discussion, the issues raise, decisions made, action items etc.

Ø    Presents the documents and distributes the MOM.

Ø    Participates as a team member.



Ø    Ensures that the team maintains the schedule.

Ø    Participates as a team member.



Ø    Contributes best, without reservation.

Ø    Respects other people’s contributions.

Ø    Listens carefully and asks questions.


Ø    Works for consensus on decisions.

Ø    Supports the decision of the team.

Ø    Understands and is committed to the team objectives.

Ø    Respects and is tolerant of individual differences.

Ø    Acknowledges and works through conflict openly.

Ø    Carries out assignments.



1.                 Non-decision.

2.                 Unilateral decision.

3.                 Handclasp decision.

4.                 Minority-rule decision.

5.                 Majority-rule decision.

6.                 Consensus.




Ø    Insufficient training.

Ø    Incompatible rewards and compensation.

Ø    First-line supervisor resistance.

Ø    Lack of planning.

Ø    Lack of management support.

Ø    Access to information systems.

Ø    Lack of Union support.

Ø    Project scope too large.

Ø    Project objectives are not significant.

Ø    No clear measures of success.

Ø    No time to do improvement work.


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