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A Toolbook for Quality Improvement and Problem Solving (contents)

Successful teams

The Quality Toolbook > Teamwork > Successful teams


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In summary, teams can be helped to be more successful by considering a few key points:

  • Smaller groups are usually more focused and successful. Larger groups are slower and more conservative. Around three or four people is a good size for a problem-solving team, although up to ten can work.
  • If formal and informal team roles are complementary, the team will find it easier to work together on the problem without conflict and are more likely to have requisite skills available for specific tasks.
  • A successful team has a sense of cohesion and focus, having worked through to the 'perform' stage. The problem is well understood and 'owned'. They believe they can succeed and are committed to success.
  • When the team is focused is on solving the problem, advantage is taken of any available ways of achieving this, including tools, training and facilitation.
  • People are more likely to accept changes when they have been involved in the decision-making and implementation processes.

Finally, it is worth noting that research has clearly shown than teams learn faster, come up with more ideas and make better decisions and than individuals working alone. The only disadvantage is that this usually requires a greater total effort. If the potential benefit of team problem-solving is considered worthwhile, then the investment has a good chance in paying off with effective results.



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