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Statistical Thinking: Improving Business Performance, Second Edition by Ron Snee, Roger Hoerl

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APPENDIX A

Effective Teamwork

It’s easy to get the players. Getting ’em to play together is the hard part.

—Casey Stengel

As soon as you begin to think about doing an improvement project, you need to think about who will be involved and how the work will get done. Working in teams is the most effective way to do such work, both in the classroom and in the business world. In class projects, teams bring different interests and skills to the problem, as well as reduce the amount of work to be done by students and instructors alike. Simply put, better projects are produced by teams. But as Casey Stengel (Hall of Fame manager of the New York Yankees) points out, it’s not easy to get teams to work together.

People in any organization will be a part of many teams, both formal and informal, throughout their careers. It is rare that a piece of work is successfully completed by a single individual working alone and without interacting with anyone. When teams are appropriate, the work gets done more quickly with higher quality. This appendix provides general suggestions to increase the probability that teams will be successful. For more detailed information on effective teams, see the references at the end of this appendix.

BENEFITS OF USING TEAMS

Effective teamwork provides significant benefits to both the organization and the individual team members. The organization gets a complete entity that collectively has all the knowledge and skills needed to improve the process. Thus an effective ...

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