The Task: What Work Needs to Be Done?

What practices and structures need to be put into place to achieve highly functioning teams? To a great extent, this is determined by the nature of the work that groups are doing. For example, some teams make products, some teams provide services, other teams make decisions, and still others provide advice and consultation. The nature of the work sets constraints on design. However, there is much variation in team design, even among companies doing very similar types of work—and sometimes even large variation among teams within the same company!

Obviously, there is no single recipe for optimal team design—it depends upon the type of work the team is doing, the structure of the organization, and so on. However, ...

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