Chapter 23. Teams and Teamwork

B. G. Dale, A. van der Wiele and J. D. van Iwaarden

Introduction

The development of people and their involvement in improvement activities both individually and through teamwork is a key feature in a company's approach to TQM. A key aspect of this is making full use of the skills and knowledge of all employees to the benefit of the individuals and the organization and to create a group culture. There are a number of different types of teams with different operating characteristics, all of which can act as a vehicle for getting people involved in improvement activities and improving organizational performance. Teams can be found everywhere and for almost everything, and most organizations have them. Some teams have a narrow focus, with members coming from one functional area; others are wider and cross-functional, dealing with the deep-rooted problems between internal customers and suppliers. Each type of team has its advantages. The names given to the teams are varied and include quality circles (QCs), yield improvement teams (YITs), quality improvement teams, continuous improvement teams, cost reduction teams, problem elimination teams, self-directed work teams, self-managing teams, process improvement groups, task groups, SPC teams, error cause removal teams, corrective action teams, kaizen teams and cross-functional teams, in areas such as design, quality assurance, costs, standardization, delivery and supply. There are groups of people already working ...

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